Go Globe Trotting at Wally Wine Fest

It may not be possible to travel far right now, but during Wally Wine Fest you can take your taste buds on a tantalizing journey across the globe. The three-day event in Hawley, April 9-11, features a vast array of domestic and international brands from wine regions around the world. Guest Chef Nok Suntaranon will bring A Taste of Thailand to The Settlers Inn on April 9 for a dinner paired with J. Lohr wines to kick off Wally Wine Fest weekend.

Chef Nok has garnered numerous accolades since arriving on the Philadelphia restaurant scene. She opened Kalaya Authentic Thai Kitchen in 2019, which became an overnight sensation. James Beard named Kalaya a finalist for its Best New Restaurant 2020 award and Esquire placed the eatery at number one on its list of the 23 Best New Restaurants in America. The traditional dishes of Chef Nok’s homeland will be paired with selections from J. Lohr Vineyards. Founder Jerry Lohr was a pioneer in establishing California’s Central Coast as a world-class wine growing region. The award-winning winery is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Wally Wine Fest platinum ticket holders enjoy entry to the J. Lohr Thai Wine Dinner as well as one tasting session during the weekend.

Tickets may be purchased for one of three seated wine tasting sessions offered on both Saturday and Sunday at The Waterfront at Silver Birches. During the two-hour sessions, attendees will enjoy four small plate tasting courses accompanied by three wine samples per tasting. Ticket holders will select their top three sampling choices from eight different wines for each course. Settlers Hospitality Sommelier, Claude Briere, has personally chosen the featured wines, which include domestic and international labels. Tastings are scheduled from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. each day. Tables may be reserved for groups from two to 10 people. A Champagne Brunch at The Settlers Inn on Saturday and Sunday  from 11 am. To 2:30 p.m. adds a bit of sparkle to the festival. Visitors may savor a prix fixe brunch menu, live music and a tasting flight of three French champagnes including Veuve Clicquot. Wine seminars all weekend let attendees brush up on a classic pairing- wine and cheese. The 90 Point Wine and Cheese Seminar will feature pours rated 90 or better by Wine Spectator along with a selection of imported cheeses. Sommelier Luciana Nunez will lead the seminars, which are scheduled for Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. The cost is $50 per person.

“Each year we really try to raise the bar and challenge ourselves to bring a new dynamic to Wally Wine Fest,” explains Justin Genzlinger, CEO/Owner, Settlers Hospitality. “It’s the caliber of wine and variety of experiences that make this the premier wine festival in the Pocono Mountains. The adjustments we’ve made for social distancing really enhance the enjoyment of the tastings and it’s accompanied by truly wonderful cuisine.”

Bottles of every wine featured will be available for sale. Prices range from $10-$100. Fine food, gift items and decor fit for wine lovers overflow at The Marketplace. Visitors may shop offerings from places such as Art on the Edge, which features home/wine décor. The Silent Auction benefits Lake Wallenpaupack’s fireworks display and features overnight stays at some of the area’s finest accommodations plus gift cards to local restaurants and businesses. Golf and spa packages, as well as boat and paddle board rentals, are also up for grabs. Live entertainment rounds out the weekend-long festivities. 

Everyone who attends the festival at Silver Birches receives a commemorative wine glass. General admission is $50 per person. Designated drivers may attend for $25. A $195 platinum ticket includes the Taste of Thailand Dinner at The Settlers Inn on April 9. For $125, visitors may attend the Taste of Thailand Dinner only. Visit wallywinefest.com to purchase tickets. Special thanks to Champagne Level event sponsors Silver Birches Resort, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, E. & J. Gallo Winery and Bold Gold Media Group, as well as Cabernet Level sponsors, AM Skier Insurance and BMW. Organizers also acknowledge the participation of Sauvignon Blanc Level sponsor Adams Outdoor, Lewith and Freeman Real Estate and Guaranteed Rate. Rose Level sponsors include Honesdale National Bank, The Dime Bank, Wayne Bank, Chant Realtors, Lighthouse Harbor Marina, Lake Region IGA and Dakan Construction. Settlers Hospitality would also like to thank local sponsors Clemleddy Construction and Moka Origins.