Excellent food and wine was celebrated when the American Royal Association announced the winners of the 2014 Grapes & Steaks Competition October 8th in the Wagstaff Theater located in the American Royal Complex. Last year’s competition was featured in the Wall Street Journal.
Grapes and Steaks is the culmination and celebration of two separate competitions to name some of the country’s best steaks and wine. The winners of both competitions were announced at the event, and guests had the opportunity to sample the winning wines as well as delicious food from area restaurants. This year’s participating restaurants were The Bristol, Chaz at the Raphael, Kansas City Club, Milano, Ophelia’s, Pierpont’s, Providence New American Kitchen and Sasha’s Bakery.
Beef producers from across the nation were invited to submit rib eye steaks to compete for the best tasting steak. Steaks were judged by a panel of experts. There were two entry categories, Grass-finished and Grain-finished. Each steak was prepared in an identical manner at K-State University Olathe Campus. They were cooked on a George Forman grill, sliced into one inch cubes and served to a panel of expert judges. Each steak was identified only by a numerical code, to ensure unbiased judging. Points were assigned for flavor, juiciness, and texture and scores were tabulated by computer.
Grand Champion Grass-Finished: Got Grassfed, Plainview, Nebraska.
Reserve Champion Grass-Finished: The Merrill Cattle Company/Beefalo Meats, Ellensburg, Washington.
Grand Champion Grain-Finished: Thompson River Ranch, Marion, Montana.
Reserve Champion Grain-Finished: Bichelmeyer’s Meats, Kansas City, Kansas.
Grand Champion Red – North by Northwest, Red Blend
Grand Champion White – Cupcake, Cupcake Chardonnay
Category Winners – White
Sauvignon Blanc – Sterling Vintner, Sauvignon Blanc
Chardonnay – Cupcake, Cupcake Chardonnay
White Blend – Les Bourgeois, Solay
Other White – Pirtle Winery, Missouri Traminette
Fruit and Dessert – La Doga Ridge Winery, Strawberry Rhubarb
Category Winners – Red
Pinot Noir – Hope Family Wines, Liberty School Pinot Noir
Cabernet – Balius, Balius Cabernet
Zinfandel – Ravenswood, Ravenswood Zinfandel
Red Blend – North by Northwest, Red Blend
Red Varietal – Les Bourgeois, Chambourcin
Through individual ticket sales, sponsorships, and an auction, the event generated funds for American Royal scholarships and educational awards. Hundreds of wine and food enthusiasts gathered at the American Royal Complex to participate in the tasting of the competition wines complimented by an array of delectable dishes from area restaurants.