Wine & Swine is growing up. The annual whole hog roast and wine tasting event held in the parking lot of Wine Country Bistro may have started out as a bacchanalian throw-down built around smoked whole hogs and really good wine – and it’s still that, for sure – but the last few years have found Wine & Swine behaving more like a compact food and wine festival. Celebrity chefs from throughout the South have been added to the bill, Great Raft Brewing has created special, one-off beers for the event and local farmers have been pulled in as collaborators. To top it all off, the party is admitting its actual age (the 2015 event billed itself as “the 79th annual” celebration; the 2017 event purports to honestly be the 9th installment). This year’s Wine & Swine will be held, 3-6 p.m., Sunday, April 9. Tickets are $85 each and can be purchased here. They’re going fast.
This year’s guest chefs will include journeyman Chef Tom Ramsey, rising Louisiana seafood star Dustie Latiolais (he’s the guy who smoked the entire alligator at Wine & Swine in 2016), Chef Holly Moore Schreiber of Sainte Terre in Benton and all five competing chefs from the 2016 Food Prize. You can see complete event details on the official blog post announcing Wine & Swine.
I asked Schreiber what she’s planning for her contribution to the event. Schreiber is collaborating with local farm Mahaffey Farms for her dish.
“We’re doing a ‘backwoods’ bánh mì sandwich using all Mahaffey Farms meats,” Schreiber wrote in an email. “It’ll be a three-meater with ham hock rillettes, country pâté and crispy pork belly.” Schreiber previously worked as a staff member at the world-renowned French Culinary Institute. She has made a name for herself as the cook behind events at Sainte Terre as well as the Pineywoods Supper Club. It’s great to see her cooking at larger, public events.
And, yes, there is a lot of wine at Wine & Swine. This year’s event will feature samplings of more than 75 wines selected by regional wine purveyors. The recent relocation of Wine Country to a much larger space should make the wine sampling component of Wine & Swine much more enjoyable – it’s always good to be able to enjoy your champagne and pig ears without having to throw any elbows.
Please celebrate responsibly and please don’t drink and drive.
Photos for this post were provided by event organizers and were taken by Jim Noetzel.