Ξ March 28th, 2008 | → 2 Comments | ∇ A Day at a Time, Wine News |
This past weekend, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo ended. It’s the largest and richest rodeo in the world, with people coming from all over the world to attend this institution held every year for the past 75 years.
It officially ran from March 3rd to the 22nd this year; however leading up to the rodeo there are many events to kick off the rodeo in style. One of these is the Roundup and Best Bites Competition. Houston’s best restaurateurs serve delicious food paired with the winning wines of the Houston Livestock Show’s International Wine Competition. Four thousand foodies converged February 18th, 2008 into the now sadly unused Astrodome to eat, drink and make merry.
The actual wine competition was held November 10, 2007 where 1,969 wines were awarded 1,544 medals in various categories. The wines are presented at the Best Bites Competition on February 18, 2008 and culminate in a giant wine auction on March 3rd which raised $1,115,800 for the Houston Rodeo Scholarship Foundation.
This years Best in Show was Stag’s Leap Winery 2004 California Cabernet, Reserve Champion was Orogeny Vineyards 2005 Green Valley Pinot Noir and the Texas Champion was Brennan’s Vineyards 2006 Viognier.
This is also the yearly kickoff for the wine industry in Houston. Following the busy holiday season, the wine sales industry experiences a slow down in the month of January as the buying public sobers up a bit after the heavy drinking holiday season the year before ends. At the Best Bites Competition, distributors, importers, sommeliers, buyers, collectors all gather with the local foodies for a bacchanalia of food and wine and recharges everyone for the year ahead. All the champion medal winning wines are served and it’s a great time to see old friends and meet new ones.
The most important people in the Rodeo are the volunteers who give their time and energy to make its running a success. Two of the most important volunteers that make the wine competition such a popular event are Bear Dalton, the head wine buyer of SPECS warehouse and Guy Stout, Master Sommelier, CWE who is the director of beverage education with Glazer’s distributors. I’m quite proud to know these fine gentlemen and their unselfish contribution to the wine industry of Texas needs to be acknowledged.
So, whether or not you are a cowboy or cowgirl, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is definitely a destination everyone should experience once in their lifetime as it has something for all to enjoy. Especially wine lovers.