Bested by BevMo & Total Wine, We Place Third

It was a long shot at best, but we gave it our best shot in the KCRA A*List, a people’s choice competition to name the Sacramento region’s best wine shop (and more than 150 other categories). Though we managed to climb into second place for a time, Carpe Vino eventually came in third behind Total Wine & More and BevMo, both corporate box liquor stores.

We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for Carpe Vino, especially those of you who viewed our “Wineston Churchill” endorsement. We thought we might be able to pull this off because of Carpe Vino’s huge following, but at the end of the day the national brands proved to be too much.

Altogether, there were 41 entries in the category, including a few wineries and some broader businesses (such as Corti Brothers, a specialty food shop with a highly regarded wine inventory). It’s unlikely we’ll participate in the future unless the organizers level the playing field by limiting the category to pure wine shops.

Other businesses in Old Town that distinguished themselves in the competition were Old Town Pizza, first place pizza; Awful Annie’s, first place breakfast; and the Auburn Alehouse, second place brewery. Naggiar Vineyard, a friend of Carpe Vino in Grass Valley, won best winery for the third year in a row.

Carpe Vino Ranks Among Top National Wine Lists

Carpe Vino may be a 32-seat restaurant located on the distant edge of Sacramento, but its wine program is the equal of much larger establishments located in major cities across the country. The Old Town Auburn-based fine dining restaurant earned a spot among the Top 50 Restaurant Wine Lists by OpenTable, a leading reservations service representing some 12,000 establishments nationwide.

OpenTable’s “Diners’ Choice Awards” for this year are based on more than 10 million reviews penned by the online reservations firm’s clients from October 2010 to September 2011. Restaurants that made the list are located in 21 states.

“Recognition from OpenTable comes as a complete surprise,” said Drew Moffat, who is co-owner of Carpe Vino with his father, Gary. “We’re a modest operation in a small foothill town, so to be honored with major restaurants in metropolitan areas is truly remarkable.”

Of the eleven California restaurants on the list, Carpe Vino ranked fifth, but in terms of overall customer satisfaction, it tied for first (4.8 on a 5-point scale) with Addison at The Grand Del Mar, a five-diamond, five-star resort in San Diego. Others on the list include Enotria in Sacramento, Bin 38 in San Francisco and Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café, which attained instant fame after being selected as a major filming location for the movie, Sideways.

“We’re in our tenth year of business and we’ve worked hard to build not only a stellar wine program, but also a complete package of wonderful cuisine and impeccable service in a unique, classic west environment,” said Gary Moffat. “The sophisticated diners who rely on OpenTable recognize what we’ve accomplished and they’ve been very kind in their assessments of Carpe Vino.”

“Since we started out as a pure wine shop, we have the advantage of using our entire retail stock as our list and we feature affordable, unique wines,” Drew said. “And, our only mark-up over retail in the restaurant is a $5 service charge, which encourages our customers to select even nicer wines to pair with their meals.”

Carpe Vino was launched in 2002 and added a fine dining component in 2006. The business has expanded three times, consuming four storefronts in Old Town Auburn. It operates a very successful online sales program, serving wine lovers all over the country. In addition, its monthly wine club has grown to nearly 500 members, a rabid community of fans who visit frequently.

“During a time of economic turmoil, we’ve gone against the grain because our revenues continue to grow steadily,” Drew said. “Last year was our best ever, and through the first three quarters of 2011 we’re up double digits.”

San Francisco-based OpenTable is a leading provider of free, real-time online restaurant reservations for diners and reservation and guest management solutions for restaurants. OpenTable has more than 20,000 restaurant customers, and, since its inception in 1998, has seated more than 200 million diners around the world.

Carpe Vino is currently the only Auburn restaurant in the OpenTable network. The hybrid wine shop, wine bar, fine-dining restaurant is located at 1568 Lincoln Way in Auburn. The phone number is 530-530-823-0320.

More information
Carpe Vino (Find Us) 1568 Lincoln Way Auburn, CA 95603
Phone Number: 530-823-0320
Get Directions to Carpe Vino
Retail/Wine Bar Hours Tuesday - Saturday
Noon - 10:00 p.m.
Closed: Sunday and Monday
Dining Hours Tuesday - Saturday
5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Closed: Sunday and Monday
Make A Reservation Guests must be 21 years of age or older.
Reservations are suggested for preferred seating, especially on weekends.