Belt Buckles, Saddles & Chaps? Oh My!

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Wine Competition Winners named for 2009 Houston Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Wine Competition Committee has announced the winners for their International Wine Competition for 2009. In its sixth year, the International Wine Competition awarded 1080 medals among a field of 1800 participants for the 2009 HLSR Season. Like other Rodeo events, winners were awarded belt-buckles, saddles and chaps.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ International Wine Competition is unique in that in addition to the standard medals, the Show awards Champion and Reserve Champion rodeo belt buckles to the top two wines (silver medal or above) in each class. The top Champion Buckle winners (those with either five gold votes or four-gold votes-and-one-silver-vote) are then considered for eight of the Show’s “top” awards. The big three – Grand Champion Best of Show, Reserve Grand Champion Best of Show, and Top Texas Wine – each earn Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ trophy saddles with the award engraved into the stirrup leathers. The next five – Top Red Wine, Top White Wine, Top Sweet Wine, and Top Sparkling Wine – each earn trophy chaps with the award won branded into the leg of the chap. Saddles are also awarded to the Top All Around Winery and the Top Winery Outfit. Top All Around Winery – think Top All Around Cowboy in traditional rodeo terms – recognizes the winery (one “label”) that enters at least six wines with the highest entry-adjusted award point total. Top Winery Outfit (a company owning multiple wine brands – think of the best team of cowboys competing in a ranch rodeo) recognizes the “wine outfit” that entered a minimum of 18 wines from at least three wineries (all under that company’s ownership) with the highest entry-adjusted award point total,” says wine educator and buyer Charles M. “Bear” Dalton, Chairman of the Wine Competition Committee.

Winners were chosen through blind-tasting by 15 panels of five-member teams–for a total of 75 judges–which included retailers, wholesalers, suppliers, restaurateurs, media and consumers from Houston and around the United States. Judges included include Dale Robertson (wine columnist for the Houston Chronicle) and Glazer’s Guy Stout and Pappa’s Drew Hendricks (Texas’s only Master Sommeliers).

SADDLE AWARDS
GRAND CHAMPION BEST OF SHOW

Vina Robles, Suendero, Paso Robles, 2006

RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION BEST OF SHOW
McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah 2007

TOP TEXAS WINE
Piney Woods Texas Moon Magnolia NV

TOP ALL AROUND WINERY
d’Arenberg

TOP WINERY OUTFIT
Constellation Brands

CHAPS AWARDS
TOP RED WINE

Robledo Family Winery Merlot Los Carneros Rancho Emilliano 2005

TOP WHITE WINE
Friedrich Fendel “Friedrich” Riesling Kabinett 2006

TOP SWEET WINE
d’Arenberg “The Noble” Chardonnay – Semillon McLaren Vale 2006

TOP SPARKLING WINE
Simmonet-Febvre Cremant de Bourgogne Rose Brut NV

TOP VALUE WINE
McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2007

Check here for a list of other medal winners.

The Champion wines are presented for tasting and awards at the Roundup and Best Bites Competition on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009. In 2008, more that 4,000 guests tasted the award-winning wines and sampled signature bites from the participating Houston-area restaurants, caterers, shops and hotels.

The Champion Wine Auction and Dinner will be March 7, 2009. A reception and the pairing of the champion wines with a special seated dinner will begin the exciting evening of bidding for the award-winning wines from the competition. The Champion wine lots are unique, with over-sized etched bottles prepared especially for this event.

Monies raised by the Show’s International Wine Competition and its associated events – the Rodeo UnCorked Round-Up & Best Bites Competition and the Champion Wine Auction & Dinner – go to the bottom line of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a Section 501 (c)(3) charitable organization benefiting youth, supporting education, and facilitating better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. Since its beginning in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has contributed more than $220 million in scholarships, research, endowments, calf scramble participants, and other educational and youth programs.

The 2009 The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ runs March 3-22, 2009 at the Reliant Center in Houston, Texas. For more information, visit www.hlsr.com

About Amy Corron Power

A licensed attorney, Amy is a wine-lover, foodie, photographer, political junkie and award-winning author who writes about Wine, Food, Beer & Spirits. As Managing Editor & Tasting Director for Another Wine Blog, she travels all over the world's wine regions to share her experiences with her readers and nearly 10,000 twitter fans. Amy holds certifications through the International Sommelier Guild, and is also certified, with honors, as a California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). She is a member of the Guild of Sommeliers, The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas and regularly attends Houston Sommelier Association events.