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Entries in Abiouness (1)

Friday
Aug192011

The Mooring and Abiouness Wines

The Mooring and Abiouness Wines 

1 Sayer’s Wharf
Newport, RI 02840

401-846-2260

I’ve never been much of a wine snob and have an affinity for small wineries. My ex-wife had relatives owning their own winery, where Uncle Al once proclaimed, “Any grapes not bought by Welchs make a great wine.”  Many a night was spent in northern Ohio, playing killer Uno and drinking Haut Sauterne (from their website: A sweet white wine blended with Niagara and light Concord wines for a pleasant, fruity aroma and taste). In researching this post, I see the price has nearly doubled to $6.26 a bottle over the past 30 years….still a great value for a 2010 Ohio wine competition gold medal winner!

So when a good friend offered the opportunity to go to a wine dinner where the wines of a small winery were featured, I jumped at the chance.

I enjoy wine dinners, or the “wine flight” accompanying a dinner. You get to enjoy a variety of wines and explore foods intended to complement and enhance each other.

This wine dinner was hosted at The Mooring, in Newport, Rhode Island. The Mooring is one of the restaurants in the Newport Restaurant Group, and overlooks a series of docks for some fabulous boats/ships.

When we arrived, we made a straight shot to the outside deck, enjoying some late rays of summer. Arguably the event was oversold, as we found ourselves shoulder to shoulder with others. Servers expertly maneuvered through the crowd, serving some libations and delightful openings of Caprese salad shooters, corn cake blini with smoked salmon, and apple and crab puff pastry.

Once seated, Nicole Abiouness shared her story. Nicole is one of the well-travelled, ‘self-made’ winemaker. In 2000, she decided to try her own hand at winemaking, and Abiouness was born. She buys grapes and processes in small batches keeping her overall overhead low with a focus on the wines.

We captured her description of the 2010 Rose of Pinot Noir on the attached video, apologies the audio is hard to hear.

The Rose was paired with rabbit sausage. A great deal of discussion was held at our table about having rabbit, with the consensus being it was great sausage…and “if you didn’t know it was rabbit” kind of comments.

The second course was a generous portion of herb raised pork belly. Pork belly is a boneless cut of fatty meat from the underside of a pig. Some around us cut off the fat, while many subscribe to the “fat is where it’s at” mantra. The conversation at the table shifted to how our mothers cooked pork. Suffice to say the two Midwesterners were brought up with the philosophy of “you cook it until it’s done, then you cook it more.”  The Mooring Chef, being somewhat more enlightened than Mom, made a fabulous presentation.

This course was paired with a 2008 Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir, and a 2007 ‘Pommard Clone’ Pinot Noir. Our party found the 2007 Pommard Clone something special, and made arrangements to add a few bottles to our cellar.

The third course of truffle infused duck breast was likewise fabulous. Sometimes we find duck a little too gamey to fully enjoy, this was not the case with this preparation. This was matched with a 2007 ‘Eaglepoint Ranch’ Sangiovese.

We left before the desert course; it was a “school night” and Newport is a 1 hour 40 minute trip. That said, it’s easily within striking distance for a fun day, followed by a great dinner at the Moorning.

Nicole Abiouness said the only places to get her wines right now are mail order, in Texas and in Rhode Island. We picked up our wine on the Newport pilgrimage at Newport Wine Cellar.  We did check in locally with Julio’s, and they don’t carry the wine.

So…next time it’s a nice day and you are looking for a destination, we’d suggest a Newport trip for some great food and beverage. Of course, drink responsibly.

The Mooring and Abiouness Wines gets a:      – Go and enjoy