The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Wine Sales Committee knows how to prime the pump when softening up big buyers at the Champion Wine Auction and Dinner. Saturday night, they succeeded in convincing a number of well-heeled cowboys and cowgirls to let loose of record dollars for the prize-winning vino.
After a rousing cocktail hour in which the adult libations were bountiful, guests moved to the ballroom at Reliant Center for a gourmet dinner washed down with winning wines from the Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition.
As the bidding began, hopes were high and no one was disappointed. By the time the last of the 53 lots of wine had found the highest bidder, the preliminary total (unaudited) for the night reached a record $1.582 million, surpassing the 2012 record of $1.4 million. That means a load of student scholarships, fulfilling the rodeo's mission of providing education support.
The 2013 Grand Champion Best of Show Wine, the 2008 Alexander Valley Vineyards CYRUS, Alexander Valley, sold for a record-breaking $215,000. The consortium that put their change together was comprised of Bisso Marine (Eva and Beau Bisso), Annie and David Dunlap, Energy XXI (Kristi and John Schiller) and Melba and Ronnie Murphy.
For another show record of $205,000, Bradley Fish, Gay and Red Griffin and Chuck Simmons purchased the Reserve Grand Champion Best of Show Wine, the 2010 Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley.
In the wine crush were Darby Hopson and Charlie Gaudy, Laura and Scott Anderson, Bob Boudreaux, Courtney and Bas Solleveld, Natalie and Mark Elliot, Robin Young-Ellis and Rachel and Jake Marsico.