I love BBQ! I’ve attended the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, I know the differences between North Carolina and South Carolina styles, I lived in Texas for a few years, and even though I never worked at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, I have the menu committed to memory. So the new film Uncorked on Netflix, which covers wine but also features smoky meat treats, had me curious. My only regret is that I didn’t order BBQ while watching it.
The story takes place in Memphis and centers around a young black man, Elijah, who is on track to take over the family BBQ restaurant but has aspirations of his own. It follows him on his difficult journey to enter into the elite sommelier world.
The film inspires persistence. Reflecting upon my own past, it deeply resonated with me. I grew up on a bayou in South Louisiana. I certainly didn’t know then that there were jobs in the world where people offered beverage advice. The movie conjured up memories of me just eleven years ago terrified to verbalize my tasting notes in a ballroom of my wine peers (and my ex-husband) at the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory Course & Examination. It took me back to the following year, when I walked to the Court of Master Sommeliers Certified Sommelier Exam in the snow in Santa Fe, NM, wearing a suit and hiking boots strapped with Yaktrax for traction and holding pepper spray in my hand because a mountain lion was on the loose downtown. I had had major abdominal surgery two months before and hardly had enough strength to hold up my tray of eight glasses of bubbly during the service part of the exam. I don’t know how I managed to pass.
While watching, I thought about all the times that I’ve had to re-sit the WSET Diploma Unit 3 Theory Exam, and how I’m still continuing to do so. Like Elijah in the film, I won’t give up!
Dlynn Proctor, associate producer, makes a guest appearance as himself in Uncorked. He’s best known as one of the sommeliers in the 2012 documentary Somm, but I first met him in NYC at the Best Sommelier in America 2011. I had recently moved to NY and must have been the only person who actually purchased a ticket to sit in the audience despite not having a spouse/significant other/sibling/spawn in the competition. I was there to see the game. It was day two and down to only a few competitors. Those who had been knocked out were seated behind the staging area and on display. Understandably there were a lot of unhappy faces, but not Dlynn. He stood out, sharply dressed with a smile beaming from ear to ear and taking pictures of the action. He loved the wine world and it showed.
As a bonus, I’ve also been a Niecy Nash fan for decades enjoying her comic work in Clean House and Reno 911!. She proved her versatile range by playing the strong yet keeping-the-peace mom in this dramatic role.
If you’re a wine and BBQ lover like me, and someone who appreciates stories of struggle persistence, I recommend cracking open a bottle of wine and watching Uncorked after sending the little ones to bed (due to adult situations and edgy lyrics in the original soundtrack.) It makes for a great date night. Just don’t watch it on an empty stomach.
Here’s a list of suggestions for BBQ take-out for you:
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (6 NY locations. My go-to is Harlem.)
Delivers using DoorDash and Grubhub. Everything is made from scratch. I highly recommend choosing the Slow-smoked pulled pork shoulder, beef brisket, and ribs for the Combination Plate and their coleslaw made a coleslaw fan out of this coleslaw hater.
Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque (4 NY locations)
Currently offering 15% off all pick up or delivery orders placed through their website or app with the code MIGHTY15 at checkout. I usually get the 22 hour smoked brisket and their Broccoli Salad is unique.
Hill Country Barbeque Market (1 NY location)
I feel like I’m back in Austin even though it’s actually NYC. Cue up some tunes by Austin singer-songwriter Wendy Colonna and you could swear that you were there. The Longhorn Cheddar Mac & Cheese and Sweet Potato Bourbon Mash are very comforting, and you can even one-stop-shop now with a roll of T. P. tacked on for $0.75.
The Salt Lick BBQ (only in Texas)
Back when we were still flying around if I had to have a layover I’d try to schedule it in Austin or Dallas so I could assure I’d have an awesome meal. Their ancestors were from the Carolinas, but the recipes got “Texa-fied” and spicier through the years. Read up on their process “What makes The Salt Lick so unique?” under Store FAQ. They are delivering via FedEx to the lower 48.
Rudy’s “Country Store” Bar-B-Q (South & SW locations only)
Ah Rudy’s! Back when I lived in Austin their self-appointed motto was “Worst BBQ in Texas” which was hilarious because it’s freaking delicious too. I haven’t had the chance to eat it since 2005 but I remember the cream corn is definitely something not to miss. The Creamed Corn is included in the Weekender Package and since it feeds 25-30 you will have plenty of leftovers to feast on for weeks. Shipping through FedEx.
Stubb’s (TX only)
This is legendary. Seriously. Stubb was inducted to the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2019. Back in my 20s I found myself in Stubb’s yard setting up an activity tent for a shampoo company during SXSW one morning. This is how I was privy to a private sound check concert by the New York Dolls. The restaurant is currently closed at this time, but the sauces are still available and gluten-free.
Chorizo de San Manuel (Texas)
Don’t care for BBQ? I’m amazed you’re still reading this, but I have you covered too. How about Mexican style natural pork chorizo? My husband serves at a steakhouse in NYC and when his restaurant was still open he was sent some of these in the mail as part of his tip. Like spice? Order the Pork Chorizo. Muy delicioso.
Aimée Lasseigne New
NYC Brand Ambassador