Thursday, March 3, 2011

Perfect Pairings of Food and Wine Amid Lush Flowering Tropical Plants - It's An Evening Uncorked!

MARCH 23 Update: Here's a slideshow of the festivities.

After the latest spate of snowy weather, frigid temperatures, and biting cold winds, a tropical getaway to warmer surroundings sounds pretty inviting, doesn't it?

On March 19, wine lovers are invited to get away to the tropics – without ever leaving Rhode Island.

That's the bonus of attending this year's An Evening Uncorked!, the annual food and wine event to benefit WSBE Rhode Island PBS. This year's gala will take place in New England's largest indoor garden, the Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park, on Saturday, March 19, at 7 p.m.

Amid lush exotic flowers and trees, chefs from some of Rhode Island’s top restaurants will prepare tasting-sized portions of dishes that will be paired with just the right wine to complement the flavors. Participating restaurants include: Blaze, Capital Grille, Fireworks Catering, Harry's Bar & Burger, Nick's on Broadway, The Ocean House, Perro Salado, and Pot au FeuMS Walker will provide the international wines.

An Evening Uncorked! will also feature a silent auction and a traditionally lively live auction of classic and cult wines. [Partial list attached.] The fund raising event is co-chaired by Aldo Cipriano, Gary Light, and Greg Mitrakas. Committee members include Ivan Colon, James Leach, Karla Little, Ann Martini, and Len Penagio. Committee members come from diverse walks of life, but share a common passion for wines and wine collecting. The group is also enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge about various wines. The energy, ideas and discussions – and the donations that come in as a result – set An Evening Uncorked! apart from other local wine auctions. Most of the bottles we offer just can’t be found in your local wine shop.

Donations come from private wine collectors, as well as local retailers, and restaurants. Non-wine auction items include gift baskets, hotel stays, and restaurant gift certificates. Auctioneer Richard J. Conti of Conti Estates, Auctions, & Appraisals in Attleboro, will keep the bidding lively and exciting.

Tickets to the gala are $125 per person and must be purchased in advance by calling 401-222-3636, extension 327, or online at The popular event has sold out in past years; guests are encouraged to buy tickets early to avoid disappointment. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to attend. Cocktail attire is appropriate. Support for An Evening Uncorked! is provided by Gencorp Insurance Group, and Adler Pollock & Sheehan, PC. All proceeds benefit programming at WSBE Rhode Island PBS.

Classic Wines
1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Value of this lot: $900)
1998 Beaucastel Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 Paul Autard Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 Monpertois Chateauneuf-de-Pape Tradition
1998 Pegau Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 Charbonniere Chateauneuf-de-Pape VV
1998 Moulin Tacussel Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 La Nerthe Chateauneuf-de-Pape

Silver Oaks Cabernet Vertical (Value of this lot: $700)
1982 Silver Oak Napa Valley
1985 Silver Oak Napa Valley
1988 Silver Oak Napa Valley
1990 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
1991 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
1996 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
1998 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
2000 Silver Oak Alexander Valley

2 bottles of 1984 Stag's Leap Cabernet Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon (Value of this lot: $400)
Rated 94 points by Robert Parkers Wine Advocate

Cult Wines
8 bottles of 2000 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon (Value: $750)

  • 94 points Robert Parker: "The dark ruby-colored 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon has a nose reminiscent of a blackberry-flavored Yoplait yogurt laced with roasted oak and hints of licorice. A full-bodied wine of power and structure, it is crammed with black currants, blackberries, and spices. Its dense fruit is matched blow for blow with a muscular, firm structure. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2020." (12/02)
  • 93 points Wine Spectator: "Announces itself as a serious red from the first whiff of earthy, smoky notes weaving through the licorice-scented dark berry flavors. This firm, chewy wine expands on the long finish under a layer of fine-grained tannins, holding it all together seamlessly. It begs for time in the cellar to develop. Best after 2006." (09/03)
  • 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright medium ruby. Aromas of crystallized dark berries, tobacco, mocha, peat, graphite and smoky, spicy oak. Very rich and dense but not overly sweet, with strong oak notes of spice and chocolate along with suggestions of pipe tobacco and fresh herbs. Finishes with ripe, chocolatey tannins and excellent length."

Cult Napa Cabernets (Value: $700)
2 bottles of 1999 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
1 bottle of 1999 Forman Cabernet Sauvignon
1 bottle of 1999 Rudd Jericho Canyon Red
1 bottle of 1999 Laird Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
2 bottles of 1999 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon
2 bottles of 2000 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon

Rare California Reds (Value: $700)
4 bottles of 2004 Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir Savoy
1 bottle of 2004 Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir La Neblina
1 bottle of 2003 Alban Vineyards Grenache Estate
1 bottle of 2003 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva
1 bottle of 2003 Alban Vineyards Syrah Lorraine