Texas Wine Lover was invited for this coverage. All opinions, experiences, and photographs are entirely our own.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Roundup & Best Bites Competition was held on February 20, 2022. The annual competition paired signature dishes from Houston-area culinary institutions with nearly 500 award-winning wines from the 2022 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition including the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion. Nearly 100 of the area’s top restaurants competed in this year’s event.
These are the Best Bites winners:
Outstanding Showmanship Award
- 1st Place: Eculent
- 2nd Place: Texas Harvest
People’s Choice Award
- 1st Place: Cotton Culinary: Figgy Piggy
- 2nd Place: Guard & Grace, A Modern Steakhouse: Oak grilled Creekstone Farms Prime New York Strip with loaded baked potato
Tasty Tradition Award
- 1st Place: Joyce’s Seafood & Steaks: White chocolate bread pudding
- 2nd Place: Taste of Texas Restaurant: Certified Angus Beef tenderloin and Megan’s mac & cheese
Trailblazer Appetizer Award
- 1st Place: Omni Houston: Pork belly skewer, Moroccan BBQ, Carrot Puree, Chicharrone
- 2nd Place: Songkran Thai Kitchen: Thai Steak Salad (Neu Nam Tok)
- 3rd Place: Revival Market: Cauliflower Crositini – cauliflower hummus, homemade giardiniera, za’atar, chives
Lone Star Entrée Award
- 1st Place: Killen’s Tex Mex: Brisket suadero taco with black garlic salsa guacamole and queso fresco, and charro beans with jalapeno sausage
- 2nd Place: Gus’ Fried Chicken: Fried Chicken Wing
- 3rd Place: Russo’s Italian Kitchen: Lobster maestro – lobster essence, bianco, talegio, capelietti, maine lobster, smoked pecan
Two-Steppin’ Dessert Award
- 1st Place: Egghaus Gourmet: Texas Pecan Croissant
- 2nd Place: Ragin Cajun: Bread pudding with rum sauce
- 3rd Place: Ashley Cakes: Carrot Cake
Craft Creamery: R-C Ranch Wagyu Brisket Ice Cream Sandwich
Trail Boss Food Truck Award
Cruisin Sushi: Cruisin Special Roll – fried roll inside chicken, zucchini, carrots, Monterrey cheese, Tampico, cream cheese and avocado, drizzled with homemade spicy mayo and eel sauce (homemade soy and jalapeno sauce on the side).
During the event, nearly 500 award-winning wines from the 2022 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition were paired with gourmet dishes. The 19th annual wine competition was held in honor of Charles M. “Bear” Dalton, founding member of the annual wine competition, as well as the Rodeo’s wine committees. The competition featured 2,862 entries from 17 countries, including France, Spain, Italy, Israel, Peru, Argentina, and South Africa. Of those entries, 480 entries were from Texas wineries, and 203 entries came from this year’s featured region, Washington State, an established wine-growing region with a reputation for excellence in wine production.
Award-winning wines from the annual competition will be auctioned at the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction & Dinner on Sunday, Feb. 27.
A selection of the champion wines will be available for purchase, by the glass and bottle, in the Champion Wine Garden, presented by Frost Bank. The Champion Wine Garden, located in Carruth Plaza, is open throughout the Rodeo, Feb. 28 – March 20. Daily hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 4 to 11 p.m.; Fridays, 2 p.m. to midnight; Saturdays, 11 a.m. to midnight; and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Enjoy live music daily beginning at 4 p.m. on weekdays, 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays.
For more information about the Champion Wine Garden, visit rodeohouston.com/Visit-the-Rodeo/Attractions-Activities/Wine-Garden.
Following are photos of the Texas wineries that were present at the event.