Award-winning wines and gourmet dishes are a hit during 2020 Best Bites Competition

On Sunday, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo hosted a destination for local food and wine enthusiasts during the Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup & Best Bites Competition.

The annual competition paired signature dishes from Houston-area culinary institutions with more than 450 award-winning wines from the 2020 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition, including the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion. A total of 113 of the area’s top restaurants competed in this year’s event.


Outstanding Showmanship Award

1st Place: Brother’s Produce

2nd Place: JW Marriott – Downtown

People’s Choice Award

1st Place: Grazia Italian Kitchen & The Caboose – Smoked & Soaked Wagyu Chuck, Corn Pudding, Date Gastrique, Cabernet Reduction, Tallow Fried Crumble, Micro Arugula & Amaranth

2nd Place: Cotton Culinary The Art of Catering – Duck Carnitas

Tasty Tradition Award

1st Place: Maggiano’s Little Italy – Lasagna with Marinara Sauce

2nd Place: Revival Market – Miso Mushrooms Toast, Whipped TX Goat Cheese & Houston Urban Honey

Trailblazer Appetizer Award

1st Place: Brennan’s of Houston – Hot Hot Oyster with Crystal Hot Sauce Butter, Pepper Jelly Glaze & Pickled Okra Chow Chow

2nd Place: Smokey Cheeks – Smokey Cheek Taco with Coleslaw, Pickled Onions & Cilantro, finished with a Blueberry Ghost Pepper Hollandaise Sauce

3rd Place: The Capital Grill – Porcini-Rubbed Smoked Bacon with Sweet Corn Risotto finished with Tomato Jam

Lone Star Entrée Award

1st Place: NOBU – Black Cod Miso on Lettuce Cup topped with Crispy Khataifi

2nd Place: Phat Eatery – Beef Rendang

3rd Place: Pinstripe’s – Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta & Peppercorn Cream

Two-Steppin’ Dessert Award

1st Place: Ooh La La Sweets – Praline Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

2nd Place: Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria – Mini Cannoli

3rd Place: Joyce’s Seafood & Steaks – White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Rookie Award

Killen’s in the Heights – Smoked Brisket Enchilada

Trail Boss Food Truck Award

Eaker Barbecue – Smoked Pulled Pork atop Creamed Corn with Green Onion Garnish

More than 450 champion wines from the 2020 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition were paired with the dishes. The competition included over 3,500 entries from 19 countries, including France, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, Israel, Argentina, and South Africa. Texas wineries represented 480 entries, and 380 entries came from this year’s featured region, Mendoza, Argentina.


Grand Champion Best of Show – Piper-Heidsieck Brut, Champagne, NV

Reserve Grand Champion Best of Show – Cavaliere d'Oro Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, 2015

Top Texas Wine – Bingham Family Vineyards Dugout Red, Texas High Plans, 2017

Top Sparkling Wine – Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut, Spain, NV

Top White Wine – Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling, Columbia Valley, 2018

Top Red Wine – Revelry Vintners D11 Cabernet Sauvignon, Dionysus Vineyard, Columbia Valley, 2015

Top Region Wine – Mi Terruño Mayacaba Malbec, Mendoza, 2015

Top Dessert Wine – Inniskillin Gold Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula VQA, 2017

Top Value Wine – Raywood Merlot, Central Coast, 2017

Top All-Around Winery – Wilson Family Winery

Top Region Wine Company – MundoVino

Top Wine Company – E&J Gallo Winery

Top Texas Winery – Becker Vineyards

Award-winning wines from the annual competition will be auctioned at the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction & Dinner on Sunday, March 1.

A select few 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, March 3 – 22. Click here for more information about the Champion Wine Garden.