Texas Wine Lover was invited to the event for the purposes of this press coverage. However, all opinions, experiences, and photographs are entirely our own.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Roundup & Best Bites Competition was held on February 19, 2023. The annual competition paired signature dishes from Houston-area culinary institutions with nearly 500 award-winning wines from the 2023 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition including the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion. More than 110 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: Brother’s Produce
People’s Choice Award
- 1st Place: Cotton Culinary – The Cotton Pearl. Duck fat crostini with wagyu beef and lemon verblanc pearl
- 2nd Place: Patra Lee’s Kitchen – Caramel Stracciatella ice cream with praline ethiopie and whiskey caramel swirl
Tasty Tradition Award
- 1st Place: Joyce’s Seafood & Steaks – White Chocolate Bread Pudding
- 2nd Place: Carrabba’s – Meatballs and Romano with Homemade Pomodoro Sauce
Trailblazer Appetizer Award
- 1st Place: Low Tide Kitchen & Bar – Ceviche with Cilantro Citrus Sauce on Corn Tortilla Chip
- 2nd Place: Terrace 54 Bar & Table – T54 Bang Bang Shrimp. Crispy Shrimp tossed in their signature bang sauce.
- 3rd Place: Henderson & Kane General Store – Mighty Meaty Mac
Lone Star Entrée Award
- 1st Place: Patagonia Grill & Café – Sausage-Ribeye Outside Skirt Steak
- 2nd Place: Calavera Mexican Kitchen – Taco Al Pastor with grilled pineapple, salsa taquero with onion and cilantro, corn tortilla / Cajeta mousse, raspberry semi-fluid jelly, candied pecan, vanilla Chantilly cream
- 3rd Place: North Italia – Braised Short rib over creamy mascarpone polenta with mushroom medley, marsala jus, & rainbow microgreens
Two-Steppin’ Dessert Award
- 1st Place: Mostly Chocolate – Tequila añejo 2.0, barrel aged tequila chocolate bonbon. A caramelized, lime sea salt & tequila infused ganache layered with a creamy milk chocolate tequila ganache.
- 2nd Place: Whisky Cake – Whiskey Cake
- 3rd Place: Cacao and Cardamom Chocolatier – Popcorn and butter. A buttery caramel layered with a popcorn praline crunch.
- Patra Lee’s Kitchen – Caramel Stracciatella ice cream with praline ethiopie and whiskey caramel swirl
Trail Boss Food Truck Award
- Capone’s Oven & Bar – Capone’s Pizza
During the event, nearly 500 award-winning wines from the 2023 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition were paired with gourmet dishes. The 20th annual wine competition featured 3,071 entries from 18 countries, including Argentina, Bulgaria, France, Israel, Italy, South Africa and Spain. Of those entries, 531 entries were from Texas wineries, and 160 entries came from this year’s featured region, Australia, 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. 26.
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 19. 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/WineGarden.
Following is a video of the Texas wineries that were present at the event.
Wineries in video in order: Messina Hof Winery, Clear Creek Winery (eculent), Llano Estacado Winery, Slate Theory Winery, Texas Heritage Vineyard, Bending Branch Winery, Kiepersol, Fiesta Winery / Arch Ray Winery, Barons Creek Vineyards, Thirsty Mule Winery & Vineyard, Meierstone Vineyards, Pebble Rock Cellars, Nice Winery, Longhorn Cellars, Hye Meadow Winery, Torr Na Lochs, Busted Oak Cellars, Cast Iron Winery, Kai-Simone Winery, Whitley Vineyards, Limestone Terrace Vineyard.
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