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HTX Rodeo 2014
Shelby's Social Diary

Wine lassos up an all-time record price: Big spenders plunk down $1.7 million at Rodeo auction

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15 Kirby Janke, from left, Elizabeth Gardner, Rainey Janke and Lee and Kristen Nix at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
Kirby Janke, from left, Elizabeth Gardner, Rainey Janke and Lee and Kristen Nix. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
21 Joe and Jennifer Van Matre, from left, and Jack Lyons at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
Joe and Jennifer Van Matre, from left, and Jack Lyons. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
5 Stephanie Baird, left, and Gigi Wark at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
Stephanie Baird, left, and Gigi Wark. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
22 John Eddie and Sheridan Williams at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
John Eddie and Sheridan Williams. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
20 Nick Florescu and Dominique Sachse at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
Nick Florescu and Dominique Sachse. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
19 Gene Clark, from left, Laura and Jerry Kent and Archie Thompson at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
Gene Clark, from left, Laura and Jerry Kent and Archie Thompson. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
13 Steve Stevens, left, and Sam Ray at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
Steve Stevens, left, and Sam Ray. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
4 Kristina Sommerville, from left, Brenda Stewart and Carol Sawyer at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
Kristina Sommerville, from left, Brenda Stewart and Carol Sawyer. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
1 Paula and Butch Robinson at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014.
Paula and Butch Robinson. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
12 Sam Ray, from left, Cindi Wilson, Kristi Baker and Chip Green at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
Sam Ray, from left, Cindi Wilson, Kristi Baker and Chip Green. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
11 Monique Studak and William Darnell at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
Monique Studak and William Darnell. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
10 Leah Stasney and Curtis Clerkley at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
Leah Stasney and Curtis Clerkley. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
9 David Baird, from left, Bonnie Laughlin and Tom Davis at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
David Baird, from left, Bonnie Laughlin and Tom Davis. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
8 Carmelo Pieri, from left, Allyson Serrao and Thor Egeli at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
Carmelo Pieri, from left, Allyson Serrao and Thor Egeli. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
15 Kirby Janke, from left, Elizabeth Gardner, Rainey Janke and Lee and Kristen Nix at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
21 Joe and Jennifer Van Matre, from left, and Jack Lyons at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
5 Stephanie Baird, left, and Gigi Wark at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
22 John Eddie and Sheridan Williams at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
20 Nick Florescu and Dominique Sachse at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
19 Gene Clark, from left, Laura and Jerry Kent and Archie Thompson at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
13 Steve Stevens, left, and Sam Ray at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
4 Kristina Sommerville, from left, Brenda Stewart and Carol Sawyer at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
1 Paula and Butch Robinson at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014.
12 Sam Ray, from left, Cindi Wilson, Kristi Baker and Chip Green at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
11 Monique Studak and William Darnell at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
10 Leah Stasney and Curtis Clerkley at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
9 David Baird, from left, Bonnie Laughlin and Tom Davis at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014
8 Carmelo Pieri, from left, Allyson Serrao and Thor Egeli at the RodeoHouston Wine Auction Dinner March 2014

Rodeo champion wine auction regulars John Eddie Williams, Paul Somerville, Tom and Mimi Dompier and Joe Van Matre head huddled, just before the chichi dinner was served at Reliant Center, plotting their strategy for making the winning bid on the Grand Champion Best of Show Wine. "We're not going to lose," Williams quipped.

Sure enough, the team took the 9-litre bottle of 2009 Antinori Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore with a winning bid of $230,000. That was a record price for the top wine. And that combined with sales of the remaining 51 lots brought in a record $1.7 million, most of it for scholarships.

As Williams explained the generous purchase, it's all about kids and education. Bringing that point home was winemaker Ryan Levy who relayed how his rodeo scholarship to Rice University gave him a jump start in life.

On this 10th anniversary of the wine auction, another record was set — just under 1,000 guests, mostly in western cocktail attire, sat down for the white glove dinner service from waiters in white jacket uniforms. With four exceptional courses served with specialty wines, the Jackson and Co. touch was clearly visible at this rodeo event. As as one bidder observed, "The Wine Committee surely knows how to throw a party.

Key players in making this and the popular Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites competition a success were wine events chair Karen Pruitt, winery relations chair Sam Ray, wine garden chair JW Daubert and wine sales chair Gigi Wark. 

In a western wine mood were guests including emcee Dominique Sachse and Nick FlorescuPaula and Butch Robinson, Steve Stevens, Sam Ray, Rainey and Kirby Janke, Jennifer Van Matre, Sheridan Williams, Kristina Somerville, Kristen and Lee Nix, Carol Sawyer, Shelley Ludwick, Sam Malone, Judy Nichols and Peter Remington.

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