Two Years in a Row, We Make OpenTable’s Top 100

Though Carpe Vino is on the distant edge of Sacramento civilization, for the second year in a row we have been named one of OpenTable’s Diner’s Choice Top 100 Restaurant Wine Lists. The recognition is based on more than five million reviews from diners who have eaten at the more than 15,000 restaurants in the OpenTable network between October 1, 2011 and September 2012.

OpenTable is an online and mobile app restaurant reservations service whose clients are mostly fine dining establishments across the country.  The list of winners, which includes Enotria in Sacramento, spans 25 states and Washington, D.C. California has the most of winners with 17, followed by Maryland with nine and Washington with eight.

“This recognition is truly a testament to the effort we put into selecting wines for Carpe Vino,” said Carpe Vino co-owner Drew Moffat.  “I think our customers really appreciate the fact that we have so many great wines under $50 and because our pricing is retail, they understand the exceptional value we offer.”

The list of winners includes some remarkable restaurants around the country, including Veritas in New York, Addison at the Grand Del Mar in San Diego and Aureole in Las Vegas.  “It’s incredible to know that Carpe Vino is in the company of some of the finest restaurants in the country. . .and it all starts with our chef, Eric Alexander.”

Earlier this year, Carpe Vino earned the coveted Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” for our restaurant wine list.  Just 3,800 restaurants worldwide have achieved this recognition.

Still to be announced:  OpenTable will soon be releasing its Diner’s Choice Top 100 Restaurant List, which included Carpe Vino in 2011.


“Winter Squash Harvest” Caps Prix-Fixe Season

November’s “Winter Squash Harvest” will be our final prix-fixe week of 2012, so if you’ve missed the opportunity to join us for one of these culinary treats, save the dates now: November 13 to 17 starting at 5 p.m., which is one week ahead of our normal schedule because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Chef Alexander has developed  the menu showcasing the beautiful farm-to-table extravaganza from the best of Placer County and beyond. Click here to preview the menu.

Format is the same: four courses, with choices, for $49 per person plus tax and tip. One of our crack staff will help you select a wine to pair with your dinner, or ask for a Kindle and find your own using our Digital Wine List.

Make sure to make reservations because our last event, “Fall in New England”, was a virtual sell-out and our biggest ever week in the restaurant. Call 530-823-0320 for reservations or do-it-yourself at www.opentable.com.


Make Your Holiday Party Reservations Now

If you’re responsible for planning your family or company holiday party this year, Carpe Vino’s Wine Mine is the perfect venue for groups up to 24 people. This historic, rustic and candle-lit structure has all the character and ambiance to serve as the backdrop for a memorable event.

Ada, our restaurant manger, will help you create the perfect menu and Drew or Gary will help you select wines. We have affordable options to match your meal and your budget.

Our goal is to create a perfect evening for you and your guests. There is no season more important than Christmastime, and we know how to create memories. Call 530-823-0320 now to reserve the Wine Mine or the entire building.


We’re Closed This Saturday for a Private Party

Speaking of creating a special evening, we’re doing just that this Saturday evening, November 3. Carpe Vino will close at 4 p.m. for a private event.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience to our customers, but we know you understand. Thanks!


Announcing Wine Club Holiday Tasting & Party Dates…

With the Christmas season approaching, we’ve locked in dates for two of our best-attended events of the year and both exclusive for our Wine Club members (now approaching 650).  If you are a member, please save the dates now before you book up; if you are not a member, there is no better time to join! (Click here for Wine Club information.)

Our annual Wine Club Holiday Tasting is set of November 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., when we’ll be showcasing wines in all price ranges for your holiday entertaining and gift-giving.  We’ll have 10 distributors pouring a total of 40 to 50 wines, including two new Napa brokers who will be appearing for the first time.   We’ll be offering palate cleansers, and, of course, this tasting is free to Wine Club members (limit two people per membership; no guests, please).

Our annual Wine Club Holiday Party is set for Sunday, December 9, from 5 to 7 p.m.  Some big changes this year:  The party will be held at the Blue Goose Events Center, 3550 Taylor Rd. in Loomis, a facility that has plenty of room, a commercial kitchen, bars and a stage for live entertainment.  This year, we’ll be bringing in a band and there will be an admission charge:  each person must bring in a non-perishable food item (two per couple) that will be donated to our local food pantry.  Each guest will receive a raffle ticket for each food item donated, so bring more and your chances of winning a very cool prize are enhanced.

Another change this year: You must R.S.V.P. to Jana Kosmata by December 5. We had more than 300 people attend last year, and we fully expect to eclipse that number this year, so we need to know how many people to expect.

What hasn’t changed are the basics:  this is a free event (two people per membership, absolutely no guests); we provide fabulous food and wine for two hours.  We show you the love like no other Wine Club in the world. . .or at least in this part of the world.

Again, if you are not a Wine Club member, there is no better time to join or to give a membership as a gift. Click here for details.


After a Decade, We Debut Carpe Vino’s New Logo

Ten years is long enough, at least that is the conclusion Drew and I came to after the ground-up overhaul our web site was completed recently.  We decided it was time to retire our original Carpe Vino logo and replace it with something more appropriate for the next decade.

The reason is simple.  When we launched Carpe Vino in 2002, we were positioned as a local wine shop and a purveyor of wine produced in the Sierra foothills.  Our original logo served us well, but we wanted to create something bolder that was more representative of our service to a national marketplace made possible because early on we recognized and embraced the power and reach of the Internet.

What sparked our thinking was the design for our five-year pins that were created by Linda Pearce, co-owner of our neighbor in Old Town, Sierra Moon.  She created a stylized “CV” as the focal point of the pin design that was also used in cuff links I ordered for Drew and me to commemorate our 10 years of working together.

We sat down with our long-time designer, Michele Tuggle of Auburn, and came up with some ideas that she executed beautifully on paper.  The result is a much bolder presentation with a more contemporary look.  We dropped “Old Town Auburn” used with our original logo with the intent of positioning Carpe Vino as much more than a local wine shop, but as a national purveyor of wine and as a destination for fine dining in northern California.

The wax seal evokes the classic wax dipped bottles often associated with premium wines.  The “Carpe Vino” logotype is bolder, strong and, frankly, more masculine. . .the result of two dudes running the joint.

We hope our customers appreciate this change.  It’s just another component of growing the business!

New LED Retrofit Leads to a Greener Carpe Vino

Through a cooperative program with the Sierra Business Council and Pacific Gas & Electric, retrofitting nearly 100 halogen and incandescent light bulbs with LED equivalents has transformed Carpe Vino into a Green Machine. We’ve just completed a project that replaced 40-, 50- and 60-watt bulbs with 7-, 8-, 9- and 12.5-watt LEDs that produce the same brightness and a similar color of light at a dramatically lower cost and consume substantially less power.

From an ecological perspective, this dramatically reduces our carbon footprint and, at the same time, provides substantial relief with one of our largest costs: electricity. Thanks to this change, our PG&E bill could be reduced by as much as 40% and the LED lights won’t need to be replaced for many years.

The one downside is the upfront costs are substantial because LED bulbs are pricey. But the SBC and PG&E significantly discounted the bulbs and labor for installation, so the decision to participate was truly a no-brainer.

There is another upside and the motivator for PG&E: with a broad adoption of LED retrofits among commercial users, power demand can be reduced, relieving the pressure to build more generating capacity. And that’s another huge cost savings.

We are delighted to be a part of this program, and we’d recommend other small businesses look into the potential of participating because it is truly a win-win game changer.

More information
Carpe Vino (Find Us) 1568 Lincoln Way Auburn, CA 95603
Phone Number: 530-823-0320
Get Directions to Carpe Vino
Bar & Restaurant Hours Tuesday - Saturday
4:00pm - 10:00 p.m.
Closed: Sunday and Monday
Dining Room 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.