The sold-out Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition featured award-winning wines and decadent dishes from 102 distinguished Houston restaurants, chefs and caterers for thousands of eager guests.

The 2016 International Wine Competition judging boasted nearly 2,500 entries from approximately 20 different countries, including Chile, Croatia, France, New Zealand and Portugal. Texas wineries alone represented 267 entries. The competition also received 181 entries from the 2016 featured region, the Pacific Northwest, which includes the wine-making regions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia. The champion wines are:

Grand Champion Best of Show – Orin Swift Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Mercury Head, Napa Valley, 2013
Reserve Grand Champion Best of Show – B.R. Cohn Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Olive Hill Estate, Sonoma Valley, 2013
Top Texas Wine – Pedernales Cellars Viognier, Texas, 2014
Top Sparkling Wine – La Gioiosa Prosecco Superiore DOCG, Valdobbiadene, NV
Top White Wine – B.R. Cohn Winery Chardonnay, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros, 2014
Top Red Wine – Mercer Estates Reserve Cavalie, Horse Heaven Hills, 2012
Top Region Wine – Mercer Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, 2012
Top Sweet Wine – J. Lohr Late Harvest White Riesling, Arroyo Secco, 2014
Top Value Wine – Harken Chardonnay, Barrel Fermented, California 2014
Top All-Around Winery – Sutter Home Family Vineyards
Top Region Wine Company – Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Top Wine Company – Trinchero Family Estates

The 2016 Best Bites winners are:

Outstanding Showmanship Award
Grand Champion – Davis Street at Hermann Park
Reserve Grand Champion – Squash Blossom Catering
Third Place – Houston Texans Grille

People’s Choice Award
Grand Champion – Royers Round Top Café
Reserve Grand Champion – Grazia Italian Kitchen

Tasty Traditions Award
Grand Champion – Joyce’s Seafood & Steaks

Trailblazing Appetizer/Starter Award
Grand Champion – Max’s Wine Dive: fried oysters over wonton crisp
Reserve Grand Champion – Federal Grill: truffled beef carpaccio
Third Place – Sonoma Wine Bar & Restaurant: all-natural pork-and-beef meatballs, kale, fresh mozzarella cheese, sweet tomato broth and rustic baguette

Lone Star Entrée Award
Grand Champion – Grazia Italian Kitchen: smoked beef short rib served over pancetta risotto, topped with a cilantro molasses glaze
Reserve Grand Champion – Newk’s Eatery: pimento and bacon mac and cheese
Third Place – Taste of Texas: beef tenderloin

Two-Steppin’ Dessert Award
Grand Champion – Trentino Gelato: gelato pops
Reserve Grand Champion – Joyce’s Seafood & Steaks: white chocolate bread pudding
Third Place – Mostly Chocolate & Catering: truffles

Rookie Award
Grazia Italian Kitchen

All champion wines will be auctioned at the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016.

A selection of the champion wines will be available for tasting, by the glass and bottle, throughout the run of the Show, March 1 through 20, in the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Garden, located in Carruth Plaza. Times are Monday through Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Fridays, 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturdays, 11 a.m. to midnight; and Sundays, noon to 10 p.m. For more information on event times, visit

Information provided by the Houston Rodeo.

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