Houston Rodeo Roundup and Best Bites Competition for 2011…Almost

Yesterday evening, the 2011 Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition, a Texas-sized food and wine extravaganza, was held at Reliant Center. This is a premiere event in the Southwest for those who savor the delights of award-winning wines from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s International Wine Competition and taste signature dishes submitted for competition by area restaurants and catering institutions.

The best I can say, however, is that I had an invitation and plans to go. However, as related in the words of  the renowned John Steinbeck,”The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and which some say is an adaptation of Robert Burns “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.” These words are my only solace today.

No matter how carefully a plan is made, something may still go wrong. In my case, it was the head cold from last week followed by a weekend of planning and reveling in my Mother’s 100th birthday with family and friends. It resulted in a relapse, more coughing and congestion, but with a new twist: laryngitis.

Anyway, enough about me…

I gleaned from the online media that it was still a grand affair without me. They didn’t loose a beat. This is probably for the best as for the past ten days, wine tasted and felt like battery acid on my palate.

Last night, over 4,000 guests packed Reliant Center for this annual food and wine exhibition, where the The Houston Rodeo And Livestock Show Interntational Wine Competition’s top winners were announced and paired with food form and 50 regional restaurants.

In a bit of Texas flair, this event didn’t just hand out medals to wining wines like most competitions do. No sir! The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the top winners from the 2011 Houston Rodeo’s International Wine Competition, including Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion, Best of Show and more….same as do in the livestock show competition of beef on the hoof. Winning wineries ride off with custom-made coveted saddles, chaps and buckles.

Luckily, I had a peak at the Houston Rodeo wine competition’s winning wines and had previously provided this information on VintageTexas, See:

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Announces its 2011 International Wine Competition Champions

More Texas Wine Winners from 2011 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Wine Competition

I have included a couple of event photos from the Houston Press website. For the complete show of their 25 slides, click here. The complete lowdown on the results can be found on John Demers’ Houston/Austin Delicious Mischief.

In summary, the takeaways are:

Top Texas Wine – Becker Vineyards, Viognier, Texas, 2009

Popular Choice Best Bites Awards: First Place – Royers Round Top Café; Second Place – Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Other awards were”

Trailblazing Appetizer/Entrée Award: First Place – Beef Short Rib Roast Ragu on Polenta Grand Parma – Hasta la Pasta-Italian Grill; Second Place – Pork Taquito With Green Sauce – Molina’s Cantina; Third Place – Blackened Tenderloin and Fleming’s Potatoes – Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

Two-Stepping Bread/Cheese/Dessert Award: First Place – Artisan Cheese – Veldhuizen Cheese; Second Place – Richly Flavored Texas Coffee – Pips Just Great Coffee

All champion wines will be auctioned at the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction and Dinner, Saturday, March 5, 2011, 5:30 p.m., Reliant Center, 600 series meeting rooms. A separate ticket is required to attend the auction.

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A selection of winning wines will be available for tasting, or by the glass and bottle, throughout the run of the Show in the Champion Wine Garden, located in Carruth Plaza. In addition to live music, the Champion Wine Garden offers a variety of wine seminars exploring a collection of vintages for $30 per person.

During the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, the Champion Wine Garden tent, located next to The Hideout, will be open Thursday and Friday, Feb. 24 – 25, 5 to 11 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 26, 2 to 11 p.m. Starting March 1, the Champion Wine Garden in Carruth Plaza is open Monday through Friday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 10 p.m.

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I may be sick, but I can still blog. All I can hope for now is better health in 2012 and a first chance to experience first hand this grandiose Texas wine and food experience.

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The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a Section 501(c)(3) charity that benefits youth, supports education, and facilitates better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. Since its beginning in 1932, the Show has committed more than $265 million to the youth of Texas. The 2011 Show runs March 1-20. For tickets and more information, visit www.rodeohouston.com.

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Love to taste, talk and tweet about Texas wines and where they are in the global scheme for wines. After all that's the only way they will reach the full potential.