Wine, Swine and Bovine

Barbecue Party

Salt Lick ribs and sausage are always crowd pleasers on New Year's Eve.

For the fifth straight New Year’s Eve, my father and stepmother Jane hosted almost 30 people for their locally famous “Wine, Swine and Bovine” blowout. My father assembled more than twenty pounds of pork and beef barbecue from around the nation and their friends brought premium wines and sides. After people ate enough meat to satisfy a small tiger and drank a bottle’s worth of wine apiece, everybody stumbled downstairs to dance and ring in the New Year. No surprise, the food was delicious and the experience was a lot of fun.

Last year, my father (the pit master) ordered ‘cue from The Salt Lick BBQ and Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que in Texas Hill Country and Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous in Memphis. This year, he stuck with the Lick and Rendezvous, and went big for Snow’s BBQ, which was voted #1 in Texas Monthly’s latest rankings.

Barbecue Party

Snow’s brisket traveled better than Salt Lick’s, but people devoured both versions.

Of course it’s impossible to judge a barbecue shack via mail-order, but Snow’s brisket definitely traveled better than the Salt Lick’s version. Snow’s slices had wider streaks of fat, but they also had more give featured thicker smoke rings thanks to 8-10 hours of buffeting. Snow’s pork ribs had a pleasant chew and the Salt Lick’s sausage links boasted their usual snap.

Barbecue Party

Snow’s pork ribs with vinegar mustard sauce outpaced Rendezvous dry-rubbed ribs.

Rendezvous pork ribs were slathered with their signature dry rub, leading to more spice. Still, the Salt Lick’s pork ribs were moister and clearly better, especially when splashed with the addictive vinegar and mustard based sauce.

Side Dishes

It was tempting to focus exclusively on meat, but friends brought sides.

Family friends contributed oversized side dishes, including cole slaw, baked beans streaked with bacon and mac & cheese. The full complement of sides also included textbook paprika-dusted deviled eggs and sweet squares of “wet” cornbread.

Pies Michigan

Mayor Bill ordered cherry, strawberry-rhubarb, and apple pies from Grand Traverse Pie Company.

For dessert, Mayor Bill ordered three pies from Grand Traverse Pie Company in Traverse City, Michigan, a city famed for its cherries. Bill bought a tangy cherry pie, a sweet strawberry-rhubarb pie and an apple pie, all with flaky crusts. Jill made moist chocolate chip cookies and Swedish wedding balls, date and Rice Krispies balls flavored with vanilla and rolled in coconut shavings.


Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut resulted in legendary New Year’s Eve antics.

Everybody clanked and downed glasses of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Champagne when the clock hit midnight.

I’ll spare you the photos from when Jackie did the worm and Steve led partygoers on a “train ride” around the living room. Those are images better left in the “New Year’s Eve” archives.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

I should say that has lots of interesting information. Looks like the author did a good job. I will be coming back to for new information. Thank you.

Totally agree on the Snow’s.


Thanks for a wonderful description of the 5th Annual Wine, Swine & Bovine New Year’s Eve festivities. The food and wine were as delicious as described and we are grateful you didn’t publish any embarrasing photos. We are looking for to the 6th Annual.

dang that’s an awesome party. I need to do that (or go there one year).

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