Do you like BBQ? Do you like bacon? Do you like wine? Do you like beer? Do you like to eat and drink and then let everyone know your opinion? Then we’ve got a wonderful way for you to spend next Saturday. It’s time for the 3rd Annual Wine Country Big Q in Santa Rosa on Saturday July 13. This is a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) nationally sanctioned competition and some of the best Pit Masters will be here to serve you up a slice.
There is a Public Tasting where you can come and taste (and vote for your favorites) between 1:00 and 5:00 pm that day at Sonoma Academy (2500 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa). Sample “authentic” barbecued meats, bean-based side dishes, desserts made with bacon, world class wines, and award-winning brews all while enjoying great country and blues music.
It’s supposed to be about 85 degrees next Saturday, so even the weather is encouraging you to go. If you have kids, bring ‘em along. Youth tickets (ages 12 and under) are available at reduced prices, and the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County will be at the event with their Kid’s Museum on the Go.
At the Wine Country Big Q, admission to the Public Tasting is $45 for adults and $20 for youths. Adults will receive eight 2-ounce tastes of barbecue plus four 2-ounce beverage tastes, and youths get four 2-ounce tastes and a non-alcoholic beverage. Tickets can be purchased in advance by going here. Additional tasting tickets will also be sold at the event for $2 each if you’re still hungry (or thirsty).
Here’s the Wine Country twist to a typical KCBS competition – a “Winery Big Beef Competition” where winery and vineyard chefs go fork to fork competing for a coveted People’s Choice award for the best tri-tip and the wines that best complement the dishes. Some of the wineries that day are Flora Springs, Kelley & Young Wines, The Meeker Vineyard, Murphy-Goode, Optima, Pasos Vineyards, Pat Paulsen Vineyards, Seghesio Family Vineyards, and Thumbprint Cellars. If you’re looking for beer, Lagunitas Brewing Company will be one of the breweries pouring at the Wine Country Big Q.
Wine Country Big Q Competitions
Yes indeed, there will be plenty of battles at the Wine Country Big Q. The major competitions going on that day are:
- KCBS Barbecue Meat Challenges (Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pork, Beef Brisket and “Mystery Meat”)
- Winery Big Beef Challenge (Tri-Tip, prepared by local winery and grape grower teams who will also bring wine made by their winery, or made from grapes they farm or own)
- Bold Bean Challenge (Perfect side dish to accompany great barbecue, where the beans may or may not be prepared on the grill themselves)
- Bacon Dessert Challenge (Dessert competition where bacon must be used in the recipe)
Cash prizes and awards will be given out in multiple categories at the Wine Country Big Q, including the ultimate selections of an Overall Grand Champion and a Reserve Grand Champion. There will also be a regional Rancher’s Reserve® Beef Cup Competition event (Top Sirloin) taking place on Saturday. Of course, good old fashioned bragging rights are at stake as well.
Live Entertainment at Wine Country Big Q
Entertainment at the Wine Country Big Q will be provided by PETE [stringfellow] and his band the Stringtones™, who play a unique brand of country that has won over audiences at local events and concerts and on country radio stations. He’s known for his songs “Santa Rosa“, “It Ain’t Nothin‘” and “Up and Flying“ and his new single is “Pole Dance.”
The opening act is Paulies Garage, a high energy Southern Rock Outlaw country band from Santa Rosa.
Last Year’s Wine Country Big Q
Here are some of the winners from the 2012 Wine Country Big Q, hopefully some of them will make a return trip for 2013:
Overall Grand Champion – R&R BBQ (Taylorsville, UT)
Reserve Grand Champion – I.A.B 30 (Gilbert, AZ)
Chicken – Hog Island Pitmasters (Discovery Bay, CA)
Pork Ribs – R&R BBQ (Taylorsville, UT)
Pork – Smokey Luv BBQ (Novato, CA)
Beef Brisket – I.A.B. 30 (Gilbert, AZ)
Mystery Meat – Smoke Slayers (used Pork Belly) (Sunnyvale, CA)
Sonoma County is a mecca of great food and world-class wine, and next Saturday you can help increase its visibility and influence as a destination for great barbecue. Once again, additional details and ticket purchases for the Wine Country Big Q can be found here.
Children’s Museum of Sonoma County is a beneficiary of this year’s Wine Country Big Q. The mission of the Museum is to inspire children’s creativity and stimulate their curiosity to discover the world through playful exploration of the arts and sciences. The new permanent home for the Museum is expected to open in October 2013.
THE KANSAS CITY BARBEQUE SOCIETY (KCBS), a nonprofit organization, is the world’s largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts with over 15,000 members worldwide. KCBS sanctions over 400 barbeque contests coast-to-coast throughout America and offers educational programs, consultation services, and civic organization presentations to help promote barbeque as America’s Favorite Cuisine. For more information about the Society, membership benefits, and/or future BBQ competitions, please go here.