<a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/Se4PbrQPMuI/AAAAAAAAApA/8rxmLmKr7Tg/s1600-h/Americas+Best+BBQ.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/Se4PbrQPMuI/AAAAAAAAApA/8rxmLmKr7Tg/s200/Americas+Best+BBQ.jpg" border="0"></a>Title: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0740778110?ie=UTF8&tag=fucugobb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0740778110">America's Best BBQ</a><img alt="" src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=fucugobb-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0740778110" border="0" width="1" height="1"><br>Author: <a href="http://harvardcommonpress.com/content/author/details/25-essentials-techniques-for-grilling/">Ardie A. Davis</a> & <a href="http://www.baron-of-bbq.com/">Paul Kirk</a><br>Published: 2009 by <a href="http://cookbooks.andrewsmcmeel.com/?p=196">Andrews McMeel Publishing </a><br><br>On this blog, I have documented my visits to over 160 BBQ joints. The authors of this book claim to have tried 8000 joints between the two of them. Skeptical? Remember that they've each had the BBQ bug for over 50 years a piece, and have the sauce stained white beards to prove it.<br><br>The book starts with an explanation of how the joints were chosen for the book, and the authors are very open about their sometimes less than rigorous method. The rest of the book is full of recipes from each of their favorite 100 joints in the country. All of the classics like smoked brisket, Brunswick Stew, Pulled Pork, Baby Back Ribs, and Burgoo are included, but the variation of recipes required to include unique recipes from all 100 joints led to a few forced items such as the very un-barbecue like Volcanic Goat Cheese, tamales, and deep fried Oreos. Most of the recipes are solid choices that really seemed to reflect the essence of their associated joint, and the well written stories that accompany the recipes help to provide some background for each joint.<br><br>Throughout the book, the authors add tips and tricks for good 'cue as well as a few stories about some of the personalities they've encountered on their journeys. One of the best stories was about the Florentine chef that they convinced to travel to the US and enter a barbecue competition. Near the end of the book, a list of joints the authors would like to try are listed. Given their knowledge of 'cue nationwide, I'd be happy to show them around some of the Texas joints that they've missed along the way.<br><br>The major beefs that I've got with this book <span>may seem like a shallow pot-shot, but the authors have opened themselves up for criticism by providing their national Top 10 list. First, both authors chose <a href="http://www.rubbbq.net/">RUB BBQ</a> in New York City as one of the nation's Top 10. I'm not saying that New Yorkers can't do good 'cue, but it just doesn't seem right to include a joint that one of the authors (Kirk) has ownership in without adding one giant asterisk. My other beef is with Mr. Davis choice of <a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/09/coopers-bar-b-q.html">Cooper's</a> in Junction. On my trip to Junction, Cooper's wasn't even the <a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/09/lums-country-store.html">best joint</a> within this town of just over 2600 people, but it may have just been a good day for Lum's. Darn, I guess I'll have to go try them both again.<br><br>- BBQ Snob<br><br>For those interested Texans out there, here's a list of all the Texas BBQ joints included in the book:<br><br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2009/04/blacks-barbecue.html">Black's</a>, Lockhart<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/clarks-outpost.html">Clark's Outpost</a>, Tioga<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/09/coopers-bar-b-q.html">Cooper's</a>, Junction<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/coopers-old-time-pit-bar-b-q.html">Cooper's</a>, Llano<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2009/01/county-line.html">County Line</a>, Austin<br><a href="http://www.goodecompany.com/goodeRestaurantBBQKirby.aspx">Goode Co.</a>, Houston<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/iron-works-bbq.html">Iron Works</a>, Austin<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/louie-mueller-barbeque.html">Louie Mueller</a>, Taylor<br><a href="http://www.lulingcitymarket.com/">Luling City Market</a>, Houston<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/meyers-elgin-smokehouse.html">Meyer's</a>, Elgin<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/north-main-bbq.html">North Main BBQ</a>, Euless<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2009/03/rudy-mikeskas-bar-b-q.html">Rudy Mikeska's</a>, Taylor (Closed)<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2009/01/salt-lick.html">The Salt Lick</a>, Driftwood<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2009/04/smittys-market.html">Smitty's</a>, Lockhart<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/southside-market-bbq.html">Southside Market</a>, Elgin<br>Tom's Ribs, San Antonio (Closed)<br></span>

Winemaker Sharon Fenchak

<a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/Se4PbrQPMuI/AAAAAAAAApA/8rxmLmKr7Tg/s1600-h/Americas+Best+BBQ.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CleRr46Nh1w/Se4PbrQPMuI/AAAAAAAAApA/8rxmLmKr7Tg/s200/Americas+Best+BBQ.jpg" border="0"></a>Title: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0740778110?ie=UTF8&tag=fucugobb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0740778110">America's Best BBQ</a><img alt="" src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=fucugobb-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0740778110" border="0" width="1" height="1"><br>Author: <a href="http://harvardcommonpress.com/content/author/details/25-essentials-techniques-for-grilling/">Ardie A. Davis</a> & <a href="http://www.baron-of-bbq.com/">Paul Kirk</a><br>Published: 2009 by <a href="http://cookbooks.andrewsmcmeel.com/?p=196">Andrews McMeel Publishing </a><br><br>On this blog, I have documented my visits to over 160 BBQ joints. The authors of this book claim to have tried 8000 joints between the two of them. Skeptical? Remember that they've each had the BBQ bug for over 50 years a piece, and have the sauce stained white beards to prove it.<br><br>The book starts with an explanation of how the joints were chosen for the book, and the authors are very open about their sometimes less than rigorous method. The rest of the book is full of recipes from each of their favorite 100 joints in the country. All of the classics like smoked brisket, Brunswick Stew, Pulled Pork, Baby Back Ribs, and Burgoo are included, but the variation of recipes required to include unique recipes from all 100 joints led to a few forced items such as the very un-barbecue like Volcanic Goat Cheese, tamales, and deep fried Oreos. Most of the recipes are solid choices that really seemed to reflect the essence of their associated joint, and the well written stories that accompany the recipes help to provide some background for each joint.<br><br>Throughout the book, the authors add tips and tricks for good 'cue as well as a few stories about some of the personalities they've encountered on their journeys. One of the best stories was about the Florentine chef that they convinced to travel to the US and enter a barbecue competition. Near the end of the book, a list of joints the authors would like to try are listed. Given their knowledge of 'cue nationwide, I'd be happy to show them around some of the Texas joints that they've missed along the way.<br><br>The major beefs that I've got with this book <span>may seem like a shallow pot-shot, but the authors have opened themselves up for criticism by providing their national Top 10 list. First, both authors chose <a href="http://www.rubbbq.net/">RUB BBQ</a> in New York City as one of the nation's Top 10. I'm not saying that New Yorkers can't do good 'cue, but it just doesn't seem right to include a joint that one of the authors (Kirk) has ownership in without adding one giant asterisk. My other beef is with Mr. Davis choice of <a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/09/coopers-bar-b-q.html">Cooper's</a> in Junction. On my trip to Junction, Cooper's wasn't even the <a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/09/lums-country-store.html">best joint</a> within this town of just over 2600 people, but it may have just been a good day for Lum's. Darn, I guess I'll have to go try them both again.<br><br>- BBQ Snob<br><br>For those interested Texans out there, here's a list of all the Texas BBQ joints included in the book:<br><br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2009/04/blacks-barbecue.html">Black's</a>, Lockhart<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/clarks-outpost.html">Clark's Outpost</a>, Tioga<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/09/coopers-bar-b-q.html">Cooper's</a>, Junction<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/coopers-old-time-pit-bar-b-q.html">Cooper's</a>, Llano<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2009/01/county-line.html">County Line</a>, Austin<br><a href="http://www.goodecompany.com/goodeRestaurantBBQKirby.aspx">Goode Co.</a>, Houston<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/iron-works-bbq.html">Iron Works</a>, Austin<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/louie-mueller-barbeque.html">Louie Mueller</a>, Taylor<br><a href="http://www.lulingcitymarket.com/">Luling City Market</a>, Houston<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/meyers-elgin-smokehouse.html">Meyer's</a>, Elgin<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/north-main-bbq.html">North Main BBQ</a>, Euless<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2009/03/rudy-mikeskas-bar-b-q.html">Rudy Mikeska's</a>, Taylor (Closed)<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2009/01/salt-lick.html">The Salt Lick</a>, Driftwood<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2009/04/smittys-market.html">Smitty's</a>, Lockhart<br><a href="http://fcg-bbq.blogspot.com/2008/08/southside-market-bbq.html">Southside Market</a>, Elgin<br>Tom's Ribs, San Antonio (Closed)<br></span>

You’re wine savvy, for sure. So, quick, what’s the most visited winery in America? Beringer? Robert Mondavi in Napa Valley? Kendall Jackson who has bought up many small, distressed Sonoma county wineries, or….maybe Gallo? Hold on to your spit cups. It’s the Biltmore winery estate in Asheville, North Carolina, George Vanderbilt’s famous 250-room French chateau circa 1895. The Biltmore is not just a pretty property to visit. The estate winery produces more varietals of wine than you can imagine, many of which have garnered gold medals at reputable U.S. wine competitions. One taste and you will see why for yourself. Ambitious winemaker Sharon Fenchak of the Biltmore Wine Collection will be gracing Houston for the upcoming Woodlands Wine & Food Week, June 17-20. Sharon will be one of the women winemakers on the panel at the The Ladies of the Vines event on June 18. Moderator Eric Arnold, lifestyle writer for FORBES, will lead the panel of winemakers, owners and experts as they guide guests through the winemaking process from grape to glass and then enjoy a winemaker lunch. We caught up with young winemaker Fenchak and here’s what she had to share about the Biltmore Wine Collection: WHEN WERE THE FIRST BILTMORE WINES PRODUCED? In the late 1970s. The present day Biltmore Winery opened in May 1985 and we will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year. When I started at the Biltmore winery in 1999, there were around 40 vineyards in North Carolina. Now, we are fast approaching 100 vineyards, so the North Carolina grape growing industry is certainly growing HOW MANY WINES DO YOU CURRENTLY PRODUCE? Over 40 different wines. For the Biltmore Reserve line we buy grapes from a California supplier and produce the wines at a facility there. We have such a wide range of visitors every year to the Biltmore property that we want to capture that range with something for everyone. WHY DO YOU THINK THE BILTMORE GETS SO MANY VISITORS EACH YEAR?  The Biltmore Winery is located on the Biltmore Estate property located in Asheville, North Carolina. Often the visitors that come to the winery have never been to a winery and we might even be introducing them to wine for the first time. Visiting the winery is a must for anyone visiting the beautiful Biltmore Estate.  WHICH VARIETALS ARE YOU GROWING IN NORTH CAROLINA? On the property, we have a 94-acre vineyard. At Biltmore vineyard, we grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chardonnay, Viognier and Riesling.  YOU BLEND GRAPES FROM VARIOUS STATES TO MAKE SOME OF YOUR WINES. HOW IS THIS DESIGNATED ON THE LABEL? We purchase grapes from different vineyards in North Carolina along with the Biltmore Estate grapes.  For our North Carolina fruit, we use a North Carolina state appellation.  We also purchase grapes, produce, and bottle wine in California.  If we bottle a wine in California, we have a tier of wine called Biltmore Reserve, which are labeled to designate a state or geographical appellation such as Napa or Sonoma. THERE’S SOME CONTROVERSY OVER NATURAL VERSUS SYNTHETIC CORKS. WHICH DO YOU USE? We only use natural corks at this time. I prefer natural corks for wines that need aging. Synthetic and screw tops are best for young wines that are not held for aging like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosés and some other whites. CAN WE BUY YOUR WINES IN TEXAS AND WHAT IS THE PRICE RANGE?  The majority of our wines are in the $10-25 range. Some of the Texas retailers who carry our wines include Austin Wine Merchant, Cost Plus World Market, Spec’s, Goode Company Texas Seafood in Houston, and many more. Here is the website to locate our wines: www.biltmore.com/our_wine/buy/retail_locate.asp DO YOU PRODUCE A SPARKLING WINE? We presently produce six different sparkling wines. Two sparkling wines are available in Texas–the Biltmore Blanc de Blanc made from Chardonnay grapes and our Pas de Deux made from Muscat Canelli grapes. All of our sparkling wines are made in the traditional method with secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle. Martha Stewart named it a ‘best sparkling pick’ in one of her magazine editions. ANY GOLD MEDALS OR AWARDS?  We are very proud of our many wine awards. The following are some of the gold medal awards we have received for 2009/2010 wine competitions: Antler Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competiton; Biltmore Red Zinfandel, 2009 San Diego International Wine Competition; Biltmore Reserve Cabernet Franc double gold, 2009 North Carolina State Fair Wine Competition; Biltmore Century White, 2010 Houston International Wine Competition. Don’t miss the chance to say hello to Sharon and taste her wonderful wines! Other must-visit events during Woodlands Wine & Food Week include the Sips, Suds and Sliders event featuring Texas beer and wine, sliders and live music, and the Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase presented by Texas Monthly. Fifty chefs from all over the world will showcase their talents for guests and judges as they compete for the national Waterford Crystal Chef of Chefs Award. There will be over 500 global wines including Texas based Messina Hof, McPherson Cellars and Fall Creek, 50 restaurants and a live and silent auction. For the full schedule of tasty events and ticket information, visit: www.wineandfoodweek.com.