It's like entering Downton Abbey.
Wine And Rosecliff, Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI
It's the first elegant soiree of the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival, held each year in September in the mansions of Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. The mansion was modeled after the Grand Trianon at Versailles, built to impress and one certainly feels like a member of royalty when stepping across the transom into a bygone era of opulence.
A valet takes your car keys at the main entrance. After walking down a long red carpet in the marble foyer one enters a large reception room. It's like entering Downton Abbey. The gentlemen in tuxedos collect your invitation. You are immediately poured a glass of Taittinger champagne. This is the evening event where it's just as much about seeing and being seen as it is about the wine and food. There is a dress code.
Rosecliff is the mansion where the original Great Gatsby film was made. If you walk from the entrance foyer right through the Grand Ballroom to the back you will end up at the fountain and rolling manicured lawn that leads down to the water. Tonight there is a canopy on the back terrace and the weather is good enough to wander on the lawn and check out the classic cars placed there from the Audrain Museum down the street. The people are beautiful. The clothes are beautiful. It's almost enough to make one forget one is there to enjoy the wine and food.
Yet, enjoy we did, especially our favorite taste of the night, this Native Crab And Corn Bisque With Sea Urchin Crostini. The flavor was as spectacular as the jewels in the crowd and the texture some impossible level beyond a silky cream.
The dish was presented by Newport Beach House, East Coast, a Longwood venue.
It wasn't just wine, either (and we'll have a full rundown of our favorite wines in the next post). This was the team pouring the tequila from José Cuervo, a fun and lively bunch who we really enjoyed talking and laughing with.
The desserts were not bad. Anything with rum buttercream is high on our list.
Coffee and sweets were served in the dining room, replete with soaring ceilings and crystal chandeliers as the live big band sounds began to wind down. A perfect end to a perfect night.
Don't miss our next post on the Grand Tasting at Marble House where we will fill you in on the best wines you'll want to sip this fall season and well into the holidays.
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