Recap: Smoke & Grapes at the Charlotte Wine & Food Festival featuring Jon G’s Barbecue

Monk: This past Sunday, the closing event of Charlotte Wine & Food was a “Smoke & Grapes” event with Jon G’s Barbecue from Peachland paired with some beautiful wines from Andis Wines from the Sierra Foothills of California. Mrs. Monk and I were fortunate enough to be invited to it by friends of the blog Ariail and Andrew Barker.

After a cocktail hour with their Cheerwine hot link and an amazing beef rib croissant (wine pairing: 2021 Andis Sauvignon Blanc and 2019 Andis Cabernet Franc), we were treated to a three course meal of a good bit of their menu (all paired with some beautiful reds from Andis, of course). The first course was of course brisket served along with slaw, jalapeño cheddar grits, and beans. The brisket was a Jon G’s brisket, enough said. Wine pairing: 2020 Painted Fields Curse of Knowledge (Bordeaux Blend)

Second course was their ribs served with mac and cheese, Mexican street corn, and their amazing brisket fried rice. Mrs. Monk was most excited about three brisket fried rice but the spares were as good as ever. Wine pairing: 2019 Painted Fields Old Vine Zinfandel

The dessert course (not pictured) was an Oreo dirt pudding and Nutter Butter Pie and finished off the filling meal simply but nicely. Wine pairing: 2019 Andis Petite Sirah

For folks who haven’t previously had the pleasure, this was a nice way to try Garren and Kelli’s self-described “comfort food” without having to wait in line at Peachland or a food truck service. Speaking of waiting in line, one of the prized live auction items was a Golden Ticket to skip the line at the Peachland Store. It went for $900, if I’m not mistaken. I should also mention that a percentage of proceeds went to a handful of charities in Charlotte that help underprivileged kids.

For those of us fortunate enough to have have it previously, the consistency of all of the food should be noted. Everything tasted just as it always does, which is exceptional.

All in all, a fantastic event featuring great wines from a family-owned winery as well the amazing barbecue of a family-owned barbecue restaurant.

Linkdown: 4/20/22

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Monk: After Rodney Scott and Adrian Miller made some long overdue contributions to black barbecue books last year, we have a couple of new entries in 2022. Matt Horn of the acclaimed Horn Barbecue in Oakland released his new barbecue book (with Adrian Miller giving the foreword) on April 12. In addition to the recipes of what he calls “West Coast Barbecue,” Horn recounts his barbecue journey and how it echoes “the glorious lineage of African American barbecue in the US.”

Coincidentally, Kevin Bludso also released his barbecue book on April 12. Bludso similarly recaps his journey, which has taken him from Compton, CA to the small Texas town of Corsicana.

Rodney Scott’s cookbook last year was the first in decades from a black pitmaster, and we have two more this year from an old veteran and an up-and-coming Michelin-starred chef. Let’s keep it going.

Native News

The Kings of Q Barbecue Festival, named in honor of Latham “Bum” Dennis of Bum’s Restaurant and the late Pete Jones of Skylight Inn, returns next month to Ayden after 2 years off

Longleaf Swine is targeting an August opening for their long-awaited brick and mortar in Raleigh

The Pedalin’ Pig in Banner Elk is featured by Spectrum News

Jon G’s is back at Triple C today

Brisket and Bubbles from The NC F&B Podcast is back June 4 in Raleigh

Non-Native News

Matt Horn gets a writeup in the New York Times

You Grill Girl! is Austin’s first female focused grilling event

Brantley Creek BBQ & Co gives Odessa, TX a legit barbecue destination joint

Bryan Curtis of The Press Box recaps a visit to Goldee’s in Ft. Worth in the first 10 minutes of this episode. “Dude, it was amazing.”

Charlotte Barbecue News from the First Quarter of 2022

Monk: The Charlotte barbecue scene, along with the entire restaurant industry, remains in flux. Longtime Belmont staple Buddy’s BBQ closed in February after 25 years. A second location of Noble Smoke opened in Optimist Hall. The Carolina Barbecue Festival was announced for May and has a chance to put Charlotte on the map. However, no barbecue boom appears on the horizon for Charlotte anytime soon. Here’s a roundup of news from the past 3 months.

January

1/2 Big Tiny’s BBQ expands its hours in the new year

1/3 By popular demand the pizza collab by Jon G’s Barbecue and Salud continued into January

1/4 Noble Smoke is the only barbecue restaurant on Charlotte Magazine’s annual list of the 50 best restaurants in Charlotte

1/10 RayNathan’s celebrates 3 years open

1/20 Garren of Jon G’s Barbecue profiled on the Ministers of Smoke Instagram page

1/21 A fun story from Charlotte Magazine on how Chapel Hill-born fashion designer Alexander Julian got paid in barbecue for designing the original Charlotte Hornets jerseys

February

2/7 Buddy’s BBQ in Belmont closed after 25 years

2/9 Cornelius-based Barvecue has raised $600 million thus far

2/9 The latest barbecue list from Only In Your State includes Jon G’s Barbecue

2/23 Lewis Donald of Sweet Lew’s BBQ announces the Carolina Barbecue Festival to be held May 22 at Camp North End in Charlotte

2/27 Congrats to Garren and Kelly from Jon G’s, who 2 years ago on this date closed on the former Barbee’s Barbecue location, which they would open in June 2020 just a few months into the pandemic

March

3/12 Actor Eric Wareheim made it all the way from LA to Jon G’s Barbecue for a Barbecue Saturday

3/14 Noble Smoke‘s second location at Optimist Hall opens; it was originally scheduled to open on 3/2

3/22 Noble Smoke is involved in a bit of controversy when a miscommunication between its landlord and a neighboring business kicks off a brouhaha

3/24 Noble Smoke and Jim Noble’s official response. As of this writing I have not seen whether an agreement has been reached.

Linkdown: 4/6/22

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Going into Monday night’s NCAA Championship game, Governor Roy Cooper made a bet with Kansas Governor Laura Kelly as governors tend to do in these types of situations. The wager? Kansas City steaks vs Wilber’s BBQ. You may be aware that UNC lost to Kansas 69 to 72 after leading by 15 at the half, surrendering the largest lead in NCAA championship game history. You absolutely hate to see it.

John Tanner blames UNC’s NCAA Championship loss Monday night on said barbecue bet. Wilber’s gave Kansas players too much motivation!

Meanwhile, a few days earlier, the Duke-UNC Final Four matchup on Saturday night inspired a barbecue bet of its own between Durham County and Orange County sheriffs. No word or photos have surfaced yet of Durham County sheriffs ordering barbecue in UNC gear, but I look forward to that update.

Native News

The latest from the parking lot dispute between Noble Smoke and The Good Life

Sweet Old Bill’s and Biscuit Brisket & Beer are food options when visiting High Point

Seoul Food Meat Co has opened a fast casual Korean wing concept in SouthPark: Bit by Seoul

Non-Native News

Tales from the Pits gives the lowdown on the “rib cut” from Hite’s BBQ in West Columbia

Last week’s Smoke Sheet featured a story from Bryan Suddith on whole hog and Rodney Scott’s BBQ

The State Line Celebration at Carowinds will run on select dates April 9-May 8 and will feature both NC and SC barbecue

Duke’s Barbecue of Beaufort is one of four options to get barbecue in Beaufort County, SC

Houston’s newest barbecue restaurant J-Bar-M BBQ impresses

Ever wonder why barbecue joints are covered in stickers?