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Biggest fundraiser in the state supports local arts, television, wineries and restaurants; an Uncorked! review

Kaicie Boeglin

News Editor

Rhode Island PBS sets the bar for iconic events as they hold the state's biggest annual fundraiser and networking event, Uncorked! Hosted by RI PBS. This benefit is a wine and food event with sponsors, vendors, VIP's, celebrity guests and hundreds in attendance. This year marked the 23rd annual celebration and was held at the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence. The theme of pop art was presented through the silent and live auctions, local and regional art exhibit, culinary delights and individual’s style ー while alluding to current Publics's Radio and RI PBS merger.

RI PBS President David Piccerelli spoke of the merger in his speech to kick off the night. “We’ll be able to deliver even greater things to the community of Rhode Island. It will be an absolutely awesome transaction and event and when we're together, we will be amazing.” After thanking board members and the President of Publics's Radio for being in attendance, he went on saying “we're so excited. We will be stronger together [and] we will bring [forward] more content to the state of Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts.”

Image taken by Kaicie Boeglin

Before the live auction began, Piccerelli announced RI PBS is nominated for 19 New England Emmy Awards, adding “it is a testament to the staff we have, and the production team, as well as the support services and engineering, development and everyone in the organization and everything they've done to bring us to that point. That is an incredibly proud moment for me, considering where we were six years ago, and I can't thank all the employees of Rhode Island PBS enough for being able to come home with 19 Emmy nominations.” 

An echoing applause made way for John D'Aloisio, who spent over two decades in the New England and New York automobile auction circuit. Working with RI PBS for the last four years he became a fan favorite, his compelling presence captivated all attention towards the bidding. Between the live and silent auctions bidders had a chance to win self care packages, gift baskets, date nights, bottles of wine, cultural week-long trips to various destinations, art, family getaways, certificates to various businesses and a Taylor Swift guitar. Excluding the week-long trips, the Taylor Swift guitar auctioned for the most with a $3,900 bid.

As the auctions were happening attendees had a chance to sample wine from various local spirit companies. For those in sobriety, Kristi’s Kraftails was present creating a piece of mind, brightness and flare. A wine guide from Town Wine & Spirits allowed for everyone to rank the wines at each table as well as each individual brand. The top choices of The Anchor were MS Walker’s Jansz Cuvee Brut, a solid champagne for any special occasion; McBride Sisters Savignon Blanc 2022 from Mancini Beverage, the perfect light wine; for those looking for the sweet taste, Caposaldo Moscato from Horizon Beverage was a highlight and for those looking for a deep rich red choose Sakonnet Rhode Island Red from Sakonnet. At the conclusion of the event, Town Wine donated 10% of revenue from each wine order to RI PBS. 

The food was unanimously everyone’s favorite part of the event. Throughout the evening you could hear “the oysters are decadent” from one side, “make sure you try the ramen bar” from the other and “where did you get that,” from everyone in the middle. Culinary delights were spread around the entire space with most swarming Matunuck Oyster Bar, Matildas Empanadas, Kin, Chapel Grille and the famous ramen bar from Easy Entertaining. As many created their own meal, more people divulged in the treats. Cakes by Eboni, Wright’s Dairy Farm and Ellie’s provided renowned desserts and pastries that pair well with the wines. Out of every edible delight, the chocolate cake bars from Cakes by Eboni and the pulled pork empanadas from Maatilads Empanadas were the best of the night.

RI PBS chose the pop art theme for Uncorked! 2024 as a connection to their show “ART Inc.” They also chose to partner with the WaterFire Arts Center (WFAC) on an “Art is Everywhere” exhibition which will continue to be featured in the WFAC gallery until April 28. The art on display invokes a spirit that leaves the question, is life a form of pop art in 2024? 

To stay up to date on RI PBS events and to be notified about next year's Uncorked! fundraiser follow @RhodeIslandPBS on all social media platforms.


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