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Dining Review of The Mooring in Newport , RI – and an Unexpected Bottle of 2000 Ornellaia

moorings entryWe are in Newport several times a year, and generally we end up at The Mooring if we are looking for something to eat in a classy but casual setting without costing a small fortune.  This restaurant has just about everything you could want, with outdoor seating right on the water in nicer weather, a comfy and quite spacious indoor dining area and a well appointed, roomy and comfortable bar.  We’ve moorings baravailed ourselves of all those options at one time or another, although the bar seems to get most of our attention.  This was again the case this past weekend as we found ourselves in downtown Newport, had a few hours in the afternoon to occupy, and needed something to eat before a Christmas party later that evening.  As usual we found ourselves seated at the bar at The Mooring.

What to drink?  This was the first question, and as we pondered wine by the glass the bartender, Andy, informed us of a very special special, this one being that every red wine older than 2002 was $99.  Now we never spend that much on a bottle of wine, whether at a restaurant or certainly not for our cellar, but we took a look.  To our surprise there was a 2000 Ornellaia staring back at us.  We can’t come close to that price retail, and in fact a quick look on Wine Searcher reveals a $200+ retail price for this Bordeaux grape blend, Super Tuscan from Bolgheri.  So this was indeed a bargain, and one which we were not going to let pass us by.  We took the plunge.

Would we be disappointed?  I think not.  Here are the notes:

We had a little poured in the glasses and decanted the rest.  The wine had a huge nose of dark fruit, oak, moorings winespice with currant and plum and hints of vanilla.  The wine is purple red and showing some amber tinges, and it’s age, at the rim.  It’s not old though, or past its prime, as the wine is full bodied and extremely long.  Think great left bank Bordeaux.  While the tannins are well integrated they are still there, and the wine is far from done.  We sipped and savored, as this is extraordinary juice indeed.   Cheri described it as “wrapping you with a warm hug.”

moorings view

view from the bar

This was fun, and delicious.  We added a juicy burger on a Brioche bun and a plate of sole francais.  The burger was perfect with the wine.  We were a bit hungry so the pictures were of half eaten entrees and we won’t show them, but you get the point.  The food was very good, the wine was outrageous, the experience was phenomenal.

We heartily recommend The Mooring for anytime, as we’ve always had an excellent experience.  We can’t promise a wine special like this, and definitely not the Ornellaia as we got the last bottle.  Still, we are pretty sure you’ll enjoy yourself.  Our wallet is always out for The Mooring when we’re in Newport.

A votre sante!
The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

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