For the past 19 years, Rhode Island PBS has orchestrated An Evening Uncorked!, a fine wine auction and fundraiser to help the organization continue to educate and entertain. This year’s event is quickly approaching, and Lucie Raposo, Rhode Island PBS’ Director of Public Information, has all the details.
“Starting at the Roger Williams Park Casino, the event has been held at such venues as the botanical gardens at Roger Williams Park, the Squantum Club in Rumford, the Hope Club in Providence, and in recent years, at the Pawtucket Armory,” lists Lucie. More than just the location has changed: The menu, too, has evolved from food stations by a single caterer to wine tastings and small bites prepared by an assortment of restaurants and confectioners. But what hasn’t changed? “The fun and elegant atmosphere, and the excitement of the live auction with competitive bidding on amazing wines.”
The event is refined yet relaxed – Lucie notes it was renamed to An Evening Uncorked! in 2003 or 2004 “to reflect the event’s more-fun/less-pomp aesthetic” – where you can sample some of the best of the state’s culinary scene.
“We have restaurants that come back year after year, like Pot au Feu and owner Bob Burke, who has been with this event since 2010 – the first year we invited restaurants to participate,” says Lucie. Other returning stars include The Capital Grille, Bake.Eat.Love Bakery, Chapel Grille, The Coast Guard House Restaurant, David Burke Prime Steakhouse, The Dorrance, Fire Works Catering, Just Ellen’s, Luigi’s Restaurant and Gourmet Express, and Warwick Ice Cream. And this year, Gracie’s makes a comeback, and newcomers Caputo Trattoria, Celebrated, Sarto, Tony’s Seafood, and Yoleni’s join the ranks.
Wine and food aren’t the only attractions. The live auction includes many extravagant items and experiences, such as a Stewart Cellars Wine Tasting in Napa Valley (airfare included), a stay at Weekapaug Inn, and an autographed jersey from Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady.
And if that isn’t enough reason to pop the cork, “This year,” Lucie excitedly explains, “our celebrity guest is Lidia Bastianich, one of the best-loved chefs on television.” An Evening Uncorked! takes place April 6. Find tickets to the event – plus a pre-event champagne reception with Bastianich – on their website.