Hey Man, Come in Out of the Rain!

Greetings from Carpe Vino! There is a storm a-brewin’ on Saturday, so come down to CV and get out of the rain.  We’re having our own storm of fantastic wines and fantastic discounts. So, don’t miss out on your chance to taste some of the best wines to stock up on for the weekend.  Our Tasting starts at 12noon and ends promptly at 4pm. (Please remember two person maximum per wine club membership.) Here is what we will be pouring:

Schramsberg “Mirabelle” Brut NV (California)

mirabelle_schramsbergbrut-152x362.113951$23.95/bottle or $19.99/bottle on six +

Winery Tasting Notes: 60% Chardonnay & 40% Pinot Noir
“Fresh aromas of sweet red apple, pineapple and citrus blossom, are complemented by nuances of warm caramel and fresh sourdough. The palate is crisp and lively, with exotic flavors of guava and papaya, followed by Mandarin orange and Meyer lemon. The wine finishes with a tangy acidity that lingers in the mouth.”

Jay’s Take:  “Mirabelle is Schramsburg’s multi-vintage brut sparkling.  Mirabelle Brut works well as a dry apéritif and is great with a broad range of seafood and cheeses.”




Maldonado “Los Olivos” Pinot Gris 2012 (Napa Valley)

Maldonado_Pinotgris12-152x362.114217$21.95/bottle or $19.50/bottle on six +

Winery Tasting Notes:
color: Light clover honey, accented with the brightness of lemon verbena
on the nose: Ripe pear and white nectarine, punctuated by enticing, subtle notes of spicy coriander
on the palate: Lush and mouth-filling; white peach and citrus mingled with soft floral overtones that evolve into a bright, yet rich,lingering finish.

Jay’s Take:  “This pinot gris is fantastic!  Only 420 cases produced of this stainless steel fermented beaut, and it’s under 20 bucks!”






Sette Ponti “Crognol” Super Tuscan 2011 (Italy)

Crognolo_toscana-152x362.114359$24.95/bottle or $21.99/bottle on 6+

James Suckling: 95 Points “Impressive aromas of blackberries, currants and flowers follow through to a full body with super-fine tannins and a long, long finish. Super-classy. Best ever Crognolo. Always great value.”
“Wine Spectator” Tasting Notes:  90 points “Violet, black currant and cherry aromas highlight this lush, fruity red. Harmonious and well-structured, with a long finish of spice and tobacco. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2015 through 2022.”

Jay’s Take:  “This is the quintessential pizza wine.  Grab it while you can because we only have a case and half left.”




trailer-152x362.115005Behrens “Road Les Traveled III” Red Wine NV (California)

$35.95/bottle (No Discount)

Winery Tasting Notes: 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Tempranillo, 4% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Grenache
“This is the third offering of our favorite non-vintage wine. Juicy and bright with mocha and coffee notes, cedar and blue fruits, this wine is perfect for any night of the week. It is broad and round, with flavors of black raspberries, plums and spice that lead you down a very familiar and favorite path. The RLT3 is our version of comfort food – easy drinking, straightforward and just plain fun!”

Jay’s Take:  “We just received our allocation of Behrens Family Wines.  All of their wines are seriously limited, and very small production.  Not too often you will see this one open!”





As usual, we will have a bonus bottle to delight your senses, but you must show up to find out what that is.  I will tell you it is one of our best cabernets in house for under 35 Bucks!  If you have any questions…feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience by replying to this email or calling me at 530-823-0320 x105.

Also, if you can’t make Saturday’s tasting but want to purchase some of these wines…feel free to use our online order site and enter “JayJ” in the Order Notes Section to make sure you receive the best discounts available.  Hope to see you here!



Ahi Tuna and Salmon and Swordfish, Oh My!

This week is a seafood lover’s delight at Carpe Vino with our next prix-fixe event in full swing:  join us for four courses of Hook, Line and Sinker, a Pacific Coast Odyssey, starting at 5 p.m. each night (reservations highly recommended, especially on Friday and Saturday).

This is the first all-seafood menu we’ve ever produced at Carpe Vino, but we believe there is something for everyone. . .even meat lovers with our “surf & turf” option of Ahi Tuna & Kobe Beef Belly (sourced in the U.S.).  And, yes, we do have vegetarian options.  To peruse the entire menu, please click here.  To read Chef Alexander’s course-by-course description of Hook, Line & Sinker that was the basis of last week’s Window on Old Town, click here.

The cost of the prix-fixe—four courses with options—is $59 per person, plus tax and tip.  This is a no-guilt experience because it’s all good for you!  To ensure your seat at the table, go to www.opentable.com or call 530-823-0320.


Butter is Back and Better than Before

The wait is finally over. . .one of the most popular chardonnays we have ever offered in Carpe Vino is now back in stock and priced so economically, you’re going to trip over yourself to place an order.  Here’s what the winery has to say about its 2013 vintage:

Winery Tasting Notes: “Delivering on its name, this wine has an ethereal creaminess on the palate, woven with smooth vanillin scented oak. Tropical flavors of pineapple and honeydew intertwine delicately on the mid palate and linger on to the finish.”

You’ll pay double the price to get the closest thing to this juice:  Rombauer Chardonnay.  Butter isn’t an exact clone, but at $14.99 a bottle when you purchase six or more (otherwise $17.99 each), you can pop one open tonight.  Click here to be transported to our online store.



Pre-Sale On Butter Chardonnay Starts TODAY!

photo.132801This short and sweet message is for all you fans of Carpe Vino’s Best-Selling Chardonnay ever…BUTTER!!!  This Wednesday we will be receiving 56 CASES of the brand new vintage so don’t waste time, hit any of the links below and reserve yours today!  As always, this wine moves fast so even though we would like to tell you it will be here for awhile…well…

2013 Butter Chardonnay (California)

$17.99/Bottle or $14.99 on 6+

Winery Tasting Notes: “Delivering on its name, this wine has an ethereal creaminess on the palate, woven with smooth vanillin scented oak. Tropical flavors of pineapple and honeydew intertwine delicately on the mid palate and linger on to the finish.”







March Madness Mayhem Is Here At Carpe Vino!

Greetings from Carpe Vino! Come on down to CV on Saturday to stock up for March Madness!  We’re having our own “March Madness” by offering some mad bracket busting discounts on some stellar wines. Tomorrow continues the exclusive Wine Club Member Tasting from 12-4pm, so we look forward to seeing you there! (Please remember two person maximum per wine club membership.) By now you all know the drill, so here is what we will be pouring:

2011 Le Vigne Di Alice Prosecco (Italy)

index.135906$24/bottle or $19.99/bottle on six +

Winery Tasting Notes:
“The style of Proseccos at Alice leans more toward the elegant and dry side (so you get a mix of apple acidity with that pear). The Alice Prosecco Extra-Dry di Conegliano and Valdobiaddine comes from the two most famous zones of Prosecco; it shows apples, pear, and the classic Acacia flower.  It’s fun and elegance provides a great way to start off impromptu get-togethers, or, to toast with at weddings. In Prosecco lingo, Brut is drier, confusingly enough, than extra-dry. The Alice Prosecco Brut ‘Doro’ di Valdobiaddine remains a very dry Prosecco, and offers the more serious and complex side of Prosecco; very precise aromatics of honey, honeysuckle, and asian pear; small beaded bubbles create a creamy perlage.”

Jay’s Take:  “One the most popular sparkling wines to come through Carpe Vino.  Perfect for brunch or to enjoy before dinner on a cool Spring evening.”



2011 Maldonado “Parr Vineyard” Chardonnay (Sonoma County)

Maldonado_son11-152x362.140430$31.95/bottle or $26.99/bottle on six +

Winery Tasting Notes:
The color, reminiscent of golden apples. Offering up aromas of vanilla, pear, candied lemon peel, maple, and a hint of barrel spice. A creamy entrance…subtle minerality, the finish is bright with spicy ripeness.

Wine Spectator Tasting Notes: 90 Points
A very complete and richly flavored effort, with ripe fig, honeydew, honeysuckle, and sublte floral scents, folding together gracefully.  Drink now. – J.L.

Jay’s Take:  “Arguably the best chardonnay in Carpe Vino for under 30 bucks. Maldonado has always delivered consistently high rated chards that deliver relative value at their respective price points.”




2012 Morgan “Twelve Clones” Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)

Morgan_TwelveClonesPinot12-152x362.141514$27.95/bottle or $21.95/bottle on six +

Winery Tasting Notes:
“This special wine demonstrates the power and finesse of Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands. It displays aromas of black cherry, cola, and anise. Flavors of cranberry and pomegranate are complemented by notes of dates and sweet spices. Perfectly poised fruit/acid balance make this incredibly food-versatile. It is a wonderful accompaniment to roast chicken and grilled salmon, as well as almost any duck, beef or lamb preparation.”

Jay’s Take:  “The Santa Lucia Highlands are one of California’s premier cool-climate winegrowing districts, and we are offering this beaut of a pinot from Morgan at over 20% off!”


2012 Palermo (By Orin Swift) Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

pirate-152x362.141639$37.95/bottle or $34.16/bottle on six +

Winery Tasting Notes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Cabernet Franc
“A voluminous complexion of deep garnet and cardinal can be seen in the glass profile. Profoundly aromatic, the nose is treated to a decadent perfume of currant, roasted espresso, spring flowers and toasty oak. Supple and rich in the mouth, intense flavors of wild berry fruit, plum, roasted fig, and cacao are perfect alignment. The length is fleshy and bright with a polished tannin sequence that will last for years.”

Jay’s Take:  “Probably one of my favorite cab’s to come from Orin Swift in recent memory.  As soon as it arrived, I had to take a bottle home.  While certainly great paired with food, perhaps it’s true palatability is best recognized on it’s own.”





Here is a hint on this weeks bonus bottle: 2010 Stag’s Leap District Cabernet & 94 Points Robert Parker.  Last 2 cases in stock! If you have any questions…feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience by replying to this email or calling me at 530-823-0320 x105.
Also, if you can’t make Saturday’s tasting but want to purchase some of these wines…feel free to use our online order site and enter “JayJ” in the Order Notes Section to make sure you receive the best discounts available.  Hope to see you here!




Buckle Up ‘Cause We’re Going to Chile & Argentina

I’m in the wine business—not the travel industry—but perhaps there’s time for a third-stanza segue because I can’t remember having a more rewarding experience than leading a group of thirsty, mostly Carpe Vino Wine Club members on a trip to Spain’s vast wine country last fall.  It was such a freakin’ blast that much of the flight home from Madrid I passed the time by brain-storming where to go in 2014.

Please consider joining me on my next adventure: a two-week tour of New World wineries in Chile and Argentina, starting in Santiago, summiting the Andes, hunkering down in Mendoza and finally cruising into Buenos Aries for a finale of tango, exploration and, of course, enjoying great restaurants and wine.

With discounted airfares in hand (purchased at extra cost; otherwise meet up in Santiago) we depart on September 25 and return from Buenos Aries on October 7, with a killer, post-tour option to see the Iguazu Falls (returning October 9).

Spain Was My Learning Curve

I’m prepared to reveal for the first time that last year when I was planning our trip to Spain, I was absolutely clueless about what I was doing.  I had never been on a group wine tour before, much less any kind of group tour.  And I certainly had no experience in organizing such a trek.

Having the right partners, as I so quickly learned, was the solution for overcoming my personal lack of experience in such matters.  My good fortune was to hook up with Matthew Brumley and his company, Earthbound Expeditions, based in Bainbridge, Washington.  Matthew and his team are true professionals, and they lead me out of darkness on multiple itinerary planning quagmires, escorting me to the bright light of reality.

Spain, as it revealed itself day after day, was a singular place, dense in history, culture and all things edible or quaffable.  Our trip was a deft blend of visiting important sites along side hitting an amazing array of regional wineries—small, family-owned to large corporate to co-ops that served as custom crush facilities for dozens of vineyard operators.

As I learned repeatedly, traveling as a group was the way to go.  We saved an immense amount of time—no getting lost; dropped at the front door instead of distant parking lots—and the journey in custom coaches was reliably pleasant and relaxing.  As a person who values his independence, I quickly learned to embrace the impressive value and Zen of traveling with a group of like-minded adventurers.

The Plan for South America

I am on a personal quest to visit the important wine regions of planet earth, and the focus of this year’s trip has been high on my list, despite the “bottom of the world” mentality associated with Argentina and Chile—these places seem so far away that an intrinsic mystery shrouds the region.  Add in the fervent political and economic turmoil and intrigue that characterize both countries, and it makes some people a bit squeamish.

For me, it makes getting on a plane even more compelling.

For this trip, we’re taking a page from the Spain playbook (with a little bit of knowledge, now I’m dangerous):  the central objective is to visit wineries, and as we learned in Rioja, Navarra, Ribera del Duero and Pirorat, there are vast differences in the great estates and people who operate them.  If you don’t get juiced each time you turn up the driveway of a winery you’ve never visited, perhaps you should go to Epcot this year instead of joining us.

As Spain travelers will attest (see testimonials below), we also made a beeline for must-see cultural attractions.  We’ll do the same in Argentina and Chile, though admittedly there are few places with the overwhelming number of choices that Spain offered (especially cathedrals).

And then there is the food. We will nosh our way clear across the continent and wash down everything from Gaucho fare to fine cuisine with the finest Malbecs and very friendly Torrontes. This is a place for those who live to eat and eat to live.

For a day-by-day itinerary including details about where we will be going and staying, click here to be transported to the Earthbound Expeditions web site.  Keep in mind, however, that because our departure will not be for more than six months, some details of the trip may change. . .but the quality of every element will be maintained. . .I guarantee!

mendozaargentina.202432How to Sign Up

All of the costs and options associated with the trip are clearly outlined in detail on the Earthbound Expeditions website.  There are no surprises, so you can be certain of the amount you will spend…not counting, of course, the purchases you decide to make in-country.

My goal is for this this to be a compact group of travelers, so we’re shooting for 24 participants (single travelers are, of course, welcome. . .but there is a single supplement so try and find a buddy!).  We had 20 people on our trip to Spain, and it turned out to be a very compatible group.

Once we hit our number, I’ll schedule a get-together in the Wine Mine at Carpe Vino for the group and we’ll sample a host of wines from the region as well as enjoy appetizers.  If there is enough interest, I can also arrange for Tango lessons for the group so that we’re ready to rumble when we hit Buenos Aries.

My recommendation is that if you are interested, better not wait to make a decision because this trip will sell out.  If you have any questions, I’m available any time.  Call me at 530-308-2698.

Still Not Sure?

You have my personal guarantee that this is going to be a world-class adventure.  Our visits to wineries will be greased so that when we arrive, our hosts will be expecting us. . .we won’t be just another tour bus.  And after a dozen years in the wine and restaurant business, you can be certain of one thing:  I know how to party!



SONY DSCP.S. What the Shills are Saying

It sounds like a cliché, and perhaps it is:  “We departed as fellow travelers; we returned home as friends.” That was my experience after my trip to Spain. Here is how my new friends describe their experiences:

Homer and I want to say thanks to Gary and Earthbound Expeditions for putting together the trip to Spain.  Lots of superlative adjective could be used to extol the trip but I’ll simply say the planning was perfect, food and wines were beyond our expectations.  And then there were wineries, and museums and Picasso and the Guggenheim….  We’d go again in a heartbeat!  Loretta & Homer Rector

The “Great Wine Estates of Spain” trip put together by Gary Moffat and Earthbound Expeditions far exceeded our expectations!  It was a perfect blend of wine, culinary adventures, history, and local culture.  Our guide, Cesar, was extremely knowledgeable, personable, and just plain fun – he showed and taught us so much more than we ever could have seen or learned on our own.  And if all of that wasn’t enough, our fellow travelers were amazing.  We’ve made new and lasting friendships.  Thank you Gary, Cesar, and Earthbound!!   Sherri & John Fernandez

Have been to most of the wine growing regions of the world including South America, South Africa, Australia,  France, Portugal, Napa and surrounding counties etc., but never had been to Spain’s wine country. Went with Gary and Earthbound and had a fabulous time. Could not have asked for more.  Cesar, our guide was excellent and Gary made all the difference in the world. He chose a variety of local wineries to visit that represented both large and small. Would highly recommend the South America trip.  Will & Blanche Sutter

Last fall Kathy and I accompanied 20 members of the Carpe Vino Wine Club on a wine tour of Spain arranged by Gary.  We want to let any and all know we considered it the trip of a lifetime.  Gary did his homework on the wineries, and we had the opportunity to witness first hand, from vineyard to tasting room, Spain’s great wineries. But as good as the wine was the exploring of Spain’s ancient and modern architecture along with the fabulous cuisine proved to be even better. The entire adventure was a highlight reel thanks to Gary and our guide, Cesar, who was there every step of the way from Madrid to Barcelona.  We’re awaiting for the next great wine adventure….we’ll be there.  Ken Giebel and Kathleen Carpenter

Our recent trip to Spain, fall of 2014, with host Gary Moffat of Carpe Vino, was a truly memorable experience. The tour was well-planned with amazing food, wine and sight-seeing.  Every day was a new adventure in wine and food tasting.  The education we received on wine making and growing in all the different regions of Spain was invaluable.  We have a new appreciation for the complexities involved in wine making.  We would be remiss if we did not mention our 20 traveling companions.  We came together as strangers, and left as friends.  Thanks to Gary and Earthbound for a great time.  Karen and Frank Rinella


Hook, Line & Sinker is a Tale of the Sea

For our next prix-fixe extravaganza, we’re taking advantage of our good fortune to be so near the Pacific coast with a seafood-centric theme from March 25 to 30:  Hook Line & Sinker, A Pacific Coast Odyssey.

Salmon, cod, ahi tuna, swordfish, yellowtail, Monterey squid, shellfish bisque—if it can float or swim, it’s on the next menu.  This is a total celebration of the bounty of the sea, but meat lovers fret not because you are top of mind:  we have a “surf-and-turf” option, “Ahi Tuna and Kobe Beef Belly” served with sunchoke puree, smoked shallot, maitake mushroom and bordelaise.
Prix-fixe basics are:  four courses with choices (plus vegetarian option) for $59 plus tax and tip ($5 supplement for “Surf & Turf”).  To make reservations now, however, go to www.opentable.com or call the restaurant at 530-823-0320.

Here’s a course-by-course introduction to the dinner, written by Chef Alexander himself.  Enjoy!

First Course (choice of one):

Beet-Cured Yellowtail:  The yellowtail or amberjack as it is also called, is line-caught and sourced from southern California.  It is lightly cured in a mix of grated beets, salt, sugar, and vodka. The beets give the flesh a beautiful magenta color, and the finished product is similar to a salmon gravlax.  It is then sliced and plated with baby roasted beets, blanched delta asparagus, tangelo segments (sourced locally from Pilz orchards), a sprinkle of fennel pollen and crème fraiche.

Stuffed Monterey Squid “A La Plancha”:  Sourced from Monterey, the calamari is stuffed with a Spanish-inspired mix of diced chorizo, bread crumbs, parsley, almonds, garlic and olive oil.  “A La Plancha” refers to the Spanish cooking style of searing ingredients on a hot flat top cooking vessel popular in that country, and that’s how squid is prepared for this dish.  It will rest on a puree of Spanish roasted piquillo peppers with a garnish of wild arugula leaves tossed in olive oil.

Crispy Salt Cod Fritters:  This line-caught, Pacific true cod from Washington is salted similar to the “bacalao” method popular in Portugal, Spain, and France. The salt cod is poached in milk with garlic and fresh thyme; then mixed with pureed potatoes, olive oil, garlic confit; and lightly whipped. Once cool, the mixture is formed into balls, dropped into batter, and fried crisp. The fritters are served with preserved tomatoes (roma tomatoes that have been slow roasted with garlic and thyme and covered with olive oil), a pea shoot salad and an aioli made with garlic and saffron.

Second Course (choice of one):

Shellfish Bisque:  This soup is a celebration of two of the most popular west coast shellfish: Dungeness crab and white shrimp from Mexico. To concentrate the flavors, a rich broth is made with chopped whole Dungeness crabs, shrimp shells and heads, mirepoix of vegetables, fresh herbs and white wine.  After simmering, straining, and reducing the broth, it will be enriched with tomato, cream, and butter. Adding to the decadence, the dish is garnished with a Chantilly (lightly whipped cream) flavored with cognac, king of brandies and chives.

Little Gem Lettuce Salad:  Little gems are like a miniature romaine heart, small and crisp. The lettuce is cut in wedges, dressed in green goddess dressing (creamy dressing made with avocado and a puree of fresh herbs), shaved radishes, cucumber, and baby carrot. Topping the salad are Oregon bay shrimp. . .starting to appear in March, these sweet little morsels are a true harbinger of spring.

Main Course (choice of one):

Ahi Tuna “Surf and Turf”:  Line-caught from the Pacific islands, in some ways, the dark red flesh and meaty texture of a seared piece is tuna is like a great steak. To play off these similarities, the ahi receives ultimate beef treatment:  portion of the seared fish is served next to a tender slab of Kobe beef belly slow cooked for hours in red wine and veal stock. Uniting the two to is a silky puree of sunchokes, house-smoked shallots, maitake mushrooms and a sauce made from the beef braising liquid and finished with bone marrow.  (Note: $5 supplement for this dish.)

Swordfish Loin:  Sourced off the coast of California, this swordfish is caught by long line or harpoon.  After pan roasting, it will sit atop a stew of Manila clams (harvested in Point Reyes) mixed with sliced spring onions, new potatoes, green garlic, white wine and cream. To cut the richness, a spoon of salsa verde (chopped parsley, chive, cilantro, capers, lemon, and olive oil) will complete the dish.

Skuna Bay Salmon:  Sustainably farmed in the Vancouver Islands in British Columbia, the salmon is wrapped in a veil of thinly sliced bacon. Once crisped and roasted, the fish will be plated with glazed rainbow carrots (baby carrots of different sizes and colors), gnocchi, and wilted fava greens (harvested personally by Chef Alexander and Chef McDonald at their farm near Auburn). The sauce is a vinaigrette made from reduced carrot juice, orange, and olive oil.

Dessert Course (choice of one):

Dark Chocolate Terrine:  For this simple dessert starts with an ultra rich, dense chocolate mousse layered with toasted pistachios in a terrine mold.  Once set, the mousse is unmolded and sliced.  The terrine is garnished with a liberal drizzling of olio novo (meaning “new oil”, fresh olive oil that is between a few weeks and up to a couple months out of the olive press).  Next comes a sprinkling of coarse, locally harvested sea salt.  For those who yet to have tried it, chocolate+great olive oil+sea salt is amazing.

Roasted Nori Panna Cotta:  Nori is the same variety of seaweed most commonly used in sushi preparations. For this dessert, the seaweed is lightly toasted and infused with cream mixed with honey and sugar.  Combined with gelatin, the custard is poured into molds, chilled and set.  The dessert is finished with a drizzle of orange blossom honey and a thin tuile cookie made from sesame.



Get Your Pitcha on the Cover of the Rolling Stone

I haven’t presented a Gary’s Deal of the Week in a long time, mostly because we have so many capable staffers pitching wine to our beloved customers.  So perhaps I should change these offers to Gary’s Wine Deal Every Now and Then. . .

Whatever, this week I have something incredibly special for you, a very limited wine that was a part of our $75 Wine Clubs in March, the 2009 Derenoncourt Cabernet Sauvignon (Lake County).  This is a first for us, but when we were able to score the Derenoncourt for the Wine Club, we secured an additional amount to offer more widely.

DerenoncourtHere’s the deal:  This wine was pictured on the cover of Wine Spectator magazine in February, and it scored 90 points.  We are the only retailer in Northern California to selling this juice, and only 880 cases were produced.  The single bottle price is $45, but purchase a three-bottle case (sorry, it’s not wooden) and the price goes down to $40 each.

Here’s how I described the wine to our Club members:

But the thrill we’ve never known

Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture

On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

When a wine makes the cover of Wine Spectator magazine, it’s parallel to a rocker making the cover of Rolling Stone.  And it doesn’t happen very often. . .over the past year or so, only three wines have had their big moment. . .including the 90-point ’09 Derenoncourt Cab from Lake County. It was front and center on the February 28, 2014 cover alongside the headline, “Editors” Picks—Wines to Discover in 2014.

We got behind this wine a few years ago when the 2007 vintage was released, again scoring 90 points from Wine Spectator (the 2006 vintage earned 92 points; there was no 2008 release).  Here’s the cool part. . .as far as we know, we’re the only source for this wine in Northern California. Google it for yourself.

French Winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt’s California project has been a huge hit; he produced seven wines for the current vintage, and two are sold out already (most wine is sold through the winery’s web site).  Pricing ranges up to $175 per bottle; only two wines are under $100 ($90 and the Red Hills cab at $45).
We’re fortunate to get this juice, so please enjoy!

Winery Tasting Notes:  “Our popular entry-level Cabernet from the volcanic soil near Clear Lake is back after a one-vintage hiatus, and in 2009 this wine is hitting new heights of depth and complexity. Harvested at optimum ripeness before the October rains, the grapes’ remarkable concentration and ample acidity gave a wine that strikes the perfect balance between brightness and richness. An enticing nose of fresh plum, caramel sauce and vanilla give way to buoyant yet dense flavors of candied cherries, ground black pepper, and cinnamon, overlaid with lively tannins and a dark minerality. A joy to drink.”

Wine Spectator Review, 90 Points:  “This offers plenty of muscle to the flavors of red and dark berry, red and black licorice, and cedary earth and oak. Notably dense and concentrated for a Lake County Cabernet. Drink now through 2023.”  –James Laube

Alcohol Level:  15.5%
Cases Produced:  880
Winemaker Name:  Stéphane Derenoncourt

This is wine is akin to being one of the Ohio Rockefellers.  Same pedigree, same name, same resemblance. . .just a little different than the New York bluebloods. For the wide margin in price, it is an awesome opportunity to enjoy wine from one of the most celebrated winemakers on the planet. Derenoncourt has brought a new luster to the Red Hills and his cab delivers huge flavors that will stand up to any steak you throw at it.

I haven’t asked you to do this in a long time, so I hope you remember: take your index finger and mash the “Buy Now” button and we’ll get you your three bottles just as soon as we get off the phone with UPS!  Enjoy!




“Hook, Line & Sinker” is Next Prix-Fixe Event

fishing_51395.115814Auburn’s location of roughly 140 miles from Bodega Bay puts us in a great spot to source some of the freshest, tastiest ocean species on the planet.  And with a top San Francisco-based fish purveyor at our beck and call, we can get fish off boats from Alaska to Southern California within 24 hours of hitting their home docks.  For the first time in our prix-fixe series, we’re taking advantage of this good fortune with a seafood-centric theme from March 25th to March 30th:  Hook Line & Sinker, A Pacific Coast Odyssey.

Salmon, cod, ahi tuna, swordfish, yellowtail, Monterey squid, shellfish bisque—if it can float or swim, it may be on the next menu—which will be available to view tomorrow at noon.  This is a total celebration of the bounty of the sea, but meat lovers fret not because you are top of mind:  we have a “surf-and-turf” option, “Ahi Tuna and Kobe Beef Belly” served with sunchoke puree, smoked shallot, maitake mushroom and bordelaise.

Next week we’ll present a course-by-course overview of the menu after a conversation with Chef Eric Alexander.  Prix-fixe basics are:  four courses with choices (plus vegetarian option) for $59 plus tax and tip ($5 supplement for “Surf & Turf”).  To make reservations now, however, go to www.opentable.com or call the restaurant at 530-823-0320.

5 Wines Open This Saturday Only…Come Check It Out!

Greetings Wine Fans! The weather forecast for this Saturday looks promising, and Carpe Vino has another solid line-up of excellent juice, that will surely titillate the taste buds.  Our Saturday Tastings are from 12-4pm for Wine Club Members (please remember two person maximum per wine club membership). You all know the drill by now, so here is what we will be pouring:

En Tirage Extra Brut Sparkling Wine 1992 (Russian River Valley)

EnTirage-152x362.082844$49.95/bottle or $44.95/bottle on six +

Winery Tasting Notes: “The 1992 En Tirage Extra Brut sparkling wine is truly unique for having just recently been disgorged after 17 years of aging in the cellar. Remaining all this time in contact with the yeast has preserved its fresh, lively, fruity character. In addition, the extended aging in the bottle has given it a lush, creamy flavor and an amazingly long finish. Only this combination of recent disgorgement and prolonged bottle aging can offer you such a miraculous balance between the effervescence of youth and the subtle nuances of maturity. 5g/l of dosage, earning it the Extra Brut classification.”

Jay’s Take: “An exciting brut sparkling never opened before for a Saturday tasting.  Don’t miss this gem before its gone!”




Morgan Winery “Highlands” Chardonnay 2011 (Santa Lucia Highlands)

Morgan_HighlandChard11-152x362.083330$21.95/bottle or $18.95/bottle on six +

Winery Tasting Notes: “This focused, elegant Chardonnay?s aromas feature tangerine, nectarine & almond. On the palate, the rich flavors are complemented by a light touch of toasty oak and refreshing citrus with bright acidity. Incredibly food-friendly, the 2011 Highland Chardonnay is a perfect match with cream-sauced pastas, roast chicken and pork, and seafood.”

Jay’s Take: “One of the best chardonnay’s for under 20 bucks! The perfect wine for any occasion”






Experience Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (Napa Valley)

Experience-152x362.085701$19.99/bottle or $17.99/bottle on six +

Winery Tasting Notes: “Experince is a partnership between Enrico Bertoz (Arbe Garbe and Revival) and Travis and Catherine Vale who own Refuge wines. They lease and farm huge amounts of land in Napa Valley, Russian River, Sonoma Coast, Mendocino and elsewhere. Experience 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet is a cuvee of three different lots from vineyards that span Calistoga to St. Helena. These wines really stood out, especially given the difficulties of the vintage. With 5% Petite Sirah added for structure and strength, complemented by 3% Merlot for suppleness, we believe the wine to represent the balance between Mother Nature and our expression of the vintage.”

Jay’s Take: “Come see one of the newest arrivals to Carpe Vino’s cabernet selection.  A Napa Valley Cabernet for under 18 bucks!”




Mettler “Epicenter” Zin 2010 (Lodi)

Mettler_epicenter10-152x362.090107$19.99/bottle or $16.99/bottle on six +

Winery Tasting Notes: “The Mettler 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel is a wine that is full of personality and shows it off with an expressive array of bright aromas and flavors. Enticing scents of plum, strawberry and vanilla are followed by a wisp of anise. Bold, yet bright and complex flavors of plums, black cherries, dark berries and tobacco are balanced by a hint of smooth dark chocolate that enrobes the palate in richness. The velvety tannins are kept bright and juicy by a pleasing seam of acidity while the flavors build depth and concentration on the finish. This wine packs a lot of flavor, yet manages to hold a measure of finesse and grace. A variety cuisines, from hearty stews to grilled favorites, will stand up nicely to this tasty Zinfandel.”

Jay’s Take: “Gold Medal Winner 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition – If you haven’t had the Mettler Zin yet, you are missing out!”





As you know by now, we will have one bonus bottle open that you surely won’t want to miss.  Hint: A 93 Point Wine Spectator Rated Red Blend.  Please arrive early, as the tasting promptly ends at 4pm.  If you have any questions…feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience by replying to this email or calling me at 530-823-0320 x105.

Also, if you can’t make Saturday’s tasting but want to purchase these wines…feel free to use our online order site and enter “JayJ” in the Order Notes Section to make sure you receive the best discounts available.  Hope to see you here!

Last Call On Carpe Vino’s “Best Selling” Red Wine

If-You-See-Kay-_bottleI am definitely sending this email much later in the day then I would normally like but it’s for a very good reason…so please keep reading.  About 20 minutes ago I was informed that Carpe Vino’s BEST SELLING 2010 “IF YOU SEE KAY” Red Wine is getting ready to switch vintages.  Not knowing what the next vintage will bring, I made sure to snag as many cases (20 total) as I possibly could so all of you that are fans of the 2010 can pick up a little bit more for your personal stash.  I might even be snaggin some for mine!

So there isn’t really much to say that you don’t already know so lets get down to the nitty-gritty.  Feel free to place your orders and reserve your wine today by clicking the BUY NOW button below!

2010 “IF YOU SEE KAY” Red Wine (Italy) $19.99/bottle or $18.99/bottle on 6+





All orders will be processed as received!



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.