Wine Country Bistro and Bottle Shop, located at 4801 Line Avenue in Shreveport, hosted its fourth annual “Wine and Swine” event on Sunday, April 22. As the title suggests, “Wine and Swine” is a wine tasting that also features a bounty of different pork dishes prepared by the talented folks in Wine Country’s kitchen.
Arguably most popular among the wine purveyors in attendance was Neat Wines, of Metairie, La., who trade exclusively in small-production boutique wines. Another crowd favorite (judging from the line) was Tuck Beckstoffer Wines, of Saint Helena, Ca., who spotlighted their appropriately-named 2011 Hogwash Rosé. Wine Country’s bar staff worked double-time turning out their fantastic fruit-infused mojitos and martinis to those not wooed by the wine tables. In a moment of conversation with a server, I had one of those experiences that sets Wine Country apart, as she informed me that the strawberries being used for the mojitos were picked Thursday morning in Frierson, La. I don’t expect a server to know a detail like when the strawberries were picked, but it’s awesome when they do.
Food was made available in two ways: A buffet line served up a whole, roasted pig, grilled chicken and salmon, black-eyed peas, potato confit, and Wine Country’s ridiculously good collard greens. Servers wound their way through the crowd, offering up more adventurous, bite-sized experiments like Roasted Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears. A chef in a Gulf Pig Underground Dinner Club t-shirt grilled oysters on the half shell, which were also delicious, on a huge charcoal pit.
As much as I love pork, I have to admit that my favorite bite of food at this event was simply those incredible Wine Country collard greens, which are rich, sweet, and altogether unlike any I’ve tasted. I harassed a member of the event staff about what the secret ingredient could possibly be. “Orange soda,” she said, and walked away. Was she kidding?
Whether or not there’s orange soda in the greens, Wine Country Bistro is a required stop if you’re dining in Shreveport-Bossier. To keep up with news of special events like wine tastings and the annual Wine and Swine, follow them on facebook or subscribe to their e-mail newsletter.