“Breakfast Pack” perfect pairing for lazy days!


We all know the classic American Breakfast usually contains the essentials, hot crispy bacon, silky scrambled eggs, and herb roasted potato’s.  But, there are other essential ingredients that are a must, and Carpe Vino has them for you in our first  “Breakfast Wine” 6 pack combo deal!  For starters, move over Bloody Mary and get your tastebuds started with a killer new sparkling wine from John Anthony Truchard, called “Toast.”  Produced by John Anthony Truchard this 200 case non0vintage sparkling wine is spectacular with bright, fruit flavors and ofcourse crisp, clean bubbles that would be the perfect starter for any lazy Saturday or Sunday (or Monday-Friday) morning!  Why stop with just some toast when it so much better with “BUTTER!”

Ding, Ding, Ding….BUTTER (again made by John Anthony Truchard) just happens to be CV’s #1 selling wine in Carpe Vino this year.  It’s that classic California chard with butter and oak overtones very similar to wines such as Rombauer and Frank Family but for half the price!  Now to complete the trifecta there is just one more ingredient that would make this meal perfect,  JaM.  Yes, JaM Red Wine comprised of zin and petite sirah will definitley make your lazy day complete!

If you do purchase this fantastic “Breakfast Pack” you will be receiving all three wines at their best discounted (or 6 bottle+ promotion) price.  Now most combo packs are limited because we are featuring a wine that is limited and this deal is unfortunately no different.  Originally, we only received ONE case of the TOAST sparkling wine but that wine recently “opened up” and we grabbed all that we could…5 cases.  So that said, when the TOAST is gone…no more deal!


TBJ.1633212 Bottles of Toast NV Sparkling (California) @ $24.95/bottle

2 Bottles of Butter Chardonnay 2013 (California) @ $14.99/bottle

2 Bottles of JaM Red Wine 2012 (California) @ $14.99/bottle

ALL FOR JUST $109.96 (before tax/shipping if applicable)






Toast NV Sparkling Wine (California)  $24.99/bottle net
Winery Tasting Notes:
“Toast is a non-vintage Méthode Champenoise sparkling wine with the secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle, riddled and all. Upon disgorgement, we added a touch of Muscat in the dosage which makes Toast a perfect compliment to our California Chardonnay, Butter and our Cabernet Sauvignon, JaM. Aromas of honeydew, white peach and orange blossoms will entice you. The palate is bright, fruity and well balanced with flavors of light toast and pear with hints of tropical pineapple and honeydew. It is fresh and fruity on one level, rich and sumptuous underneath, making Toast a perfect wine for any celebration.”

2013 Butter Chardonnay (California)
$17.99/bottle or $14.99/bottle on six+
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 pallet and linger on to the finish.”

2012 JaM Red Wine (California)
$17.99/bottle or $14.99/bottle on six+
Winery Tasting Notes:
“On the palate, fruit aromas and flavors surround the senses. JaM Red Wine is filled with complex hints of black plum and ripe cherries. Pepper merging with tobacco, coffee and dark choclate flavors are abundant with every sip. A well-balanced red blend making the perfect “go-to” wine for any wine lover and compliments any dish.”

If you would like to take advantage of this stellar offer, click any of the  BUY NOW links, respond to this email, or call me directly at 530.823-0320 ext. 105.



“Totally Tomatoes” Premieres Tonight at Carpe Vino

As the Carpe Vino staff hustles to finish prepping for the start of our “Totally Tomatoes” prix-fixe event tonight at 5 p.m., some last minute thoughts about this singular fruit. . .

My world during recent weeks has been inundated with all things tomato, which is without question the vegetable I prize most highly.  Two weeks ago, I broke out my canning equipment and put up nine quarts of tomatoes (20 pounds).  I’ve been freezing bags of cherry tomatoes all summer, and very soon I plan to make tomato sauce to freeze.

Yesterday I made a batch of tomato soup. . .a lot more complicated and messy that I anticipated.  The process started with a boiling water bath to release the skins, followed by quartering and cooking five huge specimens I purchased at the Farmers’ Market in Auburn.  Then I ran the mixture through a food mill to remove the seeds, and transferred the velvety smooth richness into my Vitamix, along with a combination of celery, red pepper and onion that I had sautéed in olive oil.  I hit the ”blend” button long enough to combine everything and finally added about a quarter of a cup of heavy cream to sweetened the concoction to perfection.  It took me longer to clean up than to make the soup in the first place.  Mah-ve-los!

Sunday’s SacBee had two stories about tomatoes.  An editorial titled, “Appreciation for the Golden State’s perfect comestible,” outlined the importance of the tomato crop not only to our agricultural economy but also highlighted the versatility of this fruit in our diets.  More than 12.5 million tons are produced in the state each year, valued at more than $1.2 billion.

Then there was a seminal piece in the “Feast” section on the pros and cons of refrigerating tomatoes.  After reading the story, I’m still torn.  No matter, I plan on continuing to enjoy this summertime treat as long as they last. . .and that may be late October or even early November.

You can take this to the bank:  Our Totally Tomatoes dinner runs just one week, tonight through September 28.  Click here to view the full menu, one that I described in 14-part harmony in last week’s Window on Old Town.  Chef Alexander has kicked up the volume once again, so don’t miss this incredible tribute to the lowly tomato.

For the uninitiated, this is a four-course event for $59 ++ per person.  There are options for each course, and accommodating vegetarians is a snap.  We’ll be sold out over the weekend, so please make reservations now by calling 530-823-0320 or go to www.opentable.com.

Our “Farm-to-Job” Duo are Media Darlings


This classic image of Courtney, Josephine, Eric and friends—
or something similar—will appear in the soon-to-be-distributed
2014 Placer County Visitor’s Guide. (Photo by Erik Bergen,
Placer County Visitors Bureau)

The journalist in me has always seen the raw value and uniqueness of a compelling story right inside our building.  Our original Executive Chefs—Eric Alexander and Courtney McDonald—have been with us since the beginning and they have evolved into a very special team that far exceeds the magic they make in Carpe Vino’s kitchen.

They take “Farm to Fork” to an entirely new level, and their story will soon be in print.

Since we opened the restaurant in 2006, Eric and Courtney have done their level best to source as much as possible from local farmers.  They embraced the concept long before there was a marketing moniker for the practice.

Courtney left the fold after a few years to pursue her interest in farming, husbandry and everything associated with creating a sustainable lifestyle.  Her efforts culminated last year when she and Eric purchased a farm outside of Auburn, and now the pair funnels a regular supply of fruits, vegetables and flowers into our kitchen.

This “farm-to-job” supply chain is something very unique in Sacramento’s highly developed regional cuisine.  And their accomplishments and lifestyle are being featured in two publications: first in the new edition of the Placer County Visitor’s Guide, scheduled for release at the end of September.  Then on October 26, a special Placer County travel supplement in the San Francisco Chronicle will feature their story of linking the land to their professional kitchen.

We’re very excited for Eric and Courtney, and at the end of the day, no one is more deserving of the recognition.


Totally Tomatoes” is New, Improved & Even Tastier

We’ve been plugging away at this business for a long time now—more than a dozen years for the wine shop and eight for the restaurant.  We’ve seen many other businesses come and go, but there’s always a buzz when a new joint opens up.  So the challenge for us is to continually evolve and refine Carpe Vino. . .to keep changing up the mix so that customers want to come back and see what is new.

Even the big guys worry about staying relevant. In a New York Times piece this weekend about the opening of an exclusive restaurant and luxury hotel in London, the owner, André Balazs, had this to say about the challenge of maintaining momentum:  “There’s always the glow of newness and there’s the longevity of attentiveness.  Keeping it good is not easy.  It has to be freshened up all the time.”

That is exactly what we have sought to do with our prix-fixe dinner series that continues next week with Totally Tomatoes, a four-course tribute to the luscious red orbs that are currently headlining at the Auburn Farmers’ Market.  Though we prefer to serve up all-new themes—such as last month’s Hot August Nights—this is not the first rodeo for our tomato-based extravaganza.

Chef Alexander has managed to amp up the tastiness in the fourth iteration of his tomato tribute with eight new and improved dishes.  At the same time, he has not changed a thing about the dessert options, which he claims are as good as it gets.

Totally Tomatoes runs from September 23 to 28 starting a 5 p.m. each evening. There are 10 dishes total, with options for each of the four courses (plus vegetarian solution). Cost is $59 per person, plus tax and tip. Reservations are highly recommended for the weekend; call 530-823-0320 or go online to www.opentable.com.

Here’s an in-depth description of each course:

First Course (choice of one)

Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Terrine (with whipped burrata, pine nut, purslane, saba):  This is an immensely colorful and tasty dish.  Chef selects a range of heirloom tomato varieties, flavors and colors, that are deseeded and cut into “petals.”  These are layered in a terrine with yellow and red varieties of watermelon.  He sets tomato juice in gelatin and pours over the layers to bind everything together.  With the mold removed, purslane is arranged on top (this is a citrus flavored, leafy green weed from Eric and Courtney’s farm) with pine nuts, served with whipped burrata (a creamy cow’s milk cheese–Italian style but sourced in California) and saba, a grape must reduction produced in Italy. . .think old balsamic drizzled on the plate.

Tomato Risotto (with black truffle, rock shrimp, pancetta, tomato emulsion):  Chef starts with Arborio rice (short grain rice, that cooks into a creamy, chewy delight) cooked in tomato water and stock (no white wine!).  Then he folds in chopped, roasted tomatoes.  Topped with the triumphant trilogy of black truffle, rock shrimp and pancetta, finished with a creamy tomato froth.

Fried Green Tomatoes (tomato jam, shaved country ham, pimiento cheese fondue):  Here’s a seasonally featured dish at Carpe Vino that celebrates the classic best of southern regional cuisine.   Green tomatoes are coated with an egg wash, and then dipped in a mixture of seasoned bread crumbs and corn meal before being pan fried.  The “fondue” is warm sauce created from our house pimento cheese, served with a unique tomato jam.  And here’s something very special:  Chef is using Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Ham, smoked with hickory wood and aged 10 months.  Benton’s has been making country ham since 1947 in Madisonville, TN.

Second Course (choice of one)

Slow-Roasted Shady Lady Tomato Soup (thyme brown butter, grilled cheese croutons):  This is Chef’s take on everyone’s favorite. . .tomato soup with grilled cheese.  He starts with red beefsteak tomatoes, peeled and seasoned with thyme, garlic and olive oil before slowing roasting. The tomatoes are blended with cream, stock, salt and pepper, creating a rich, warming soup.  Grilled cheese sandwiches are sliced into crouton-shaped squares and floated in the soup.  Thyme is cooked in butter until it is brown and nutty. . .then drizzled on top.

Toy Box Tomato Salad  (Breakfast radish, sunflower, pickled onion, fromage blanc): The “toy box” reference is because of a virtual cornucopia of tomatoes—a riot of colors, shapes and sizes—are used as the platform for this dish. Chef prepares a “pesto” from radish tops and sunflowers (no pine nuts or basil) and completes the dish with shaved French breakfast radishes, sunflower greens and fromage blanc, a soft and creamy fresh white cheese made from cow’s milk.

Main Course (choice of one)

Seared Yellowfin Tuna (Green zebra tomato, butter bean salad, tonnato sauce):  The tuna is pan-seared and the tomatoes are from Eric and Courtney’s garden.  Butter beans are combined with caper berries and celery to form a salad.  The tonnato is an Italian sauce created by blending tuna, capers, olive oil and lemon juice.

Braised Duroc Pork Cheeks (San Marzano tomato sugo, mascarpone polenta, farm egg, horseradish gremolata):  “Duroc” is the breed, and the pork cheeks were sourced from Beeler’s Pork in Le Mars, Iowa (Ice Cream Capital of the World).  Chef makes a tomato “sugo” (a rustic, hearty sauce) and braises the cheeks for up to four hours.  The dish starts with a platform of polenta enriched with mascarpone (an Italian cream cheese) for the pork cheeks, topped with a poached egg and gremolata, a condiment made from chopped herbs, lemon zest and horseradish, the perfect addition to provide freshness and cut the richness of the dish.  BTW, San Marzano is a region in Italy prized for succulent tomatoes.

Herb-Roasted Niman Ranch Lamb Sirloin (preserved tomato, artichoke, fennel puree, tomato leaf salsa verde):  Niman Ranch lamb is cubed and then marinated in garlic, rosemary, parsley, thyme and olive oil. . .then skewered and pan roasted.  The cheeks rest on a base of fennel puree, topped with a salsa verde with a twist.  Chef picks, washes and blanches tomato leaves (not poisonous!) and then purees them with fresh herbs, garlic, chili flakes and olive oil.  Served with preserved tomato and seared artichoke.

Dessert Course (choice of one)

Basil Panna Cotta (tomato marmalade, aged balsamic):  This dish starts with cream infused with basil that is set in gelatin.  Tomato marmalade is a jam made from grated tomatoes cooked with sugar.  The dish is garnished with aged balsamic.  Very sweet, very tasty and a finishing ode to tomatoes.

Tomato Tarte Tatin  (olive oil ice cream):  This is a tomato take on a classic. The bottom of a ramekin is coated with caramel, and then layered with roasted tomato and a puff pastry. . .baked and then inverted to create a beautiful mosaic that is served with house made ice cream on top, a delightful concoction of olive oil, cream, sugar and eggs.

Don’t delay. . .make your reservations now!



Ciao Bella to this Gorgeous Zinfandel!

Hello Beautiful is right!  Just arrived to Carpe Vino is the fantastic 2012 Bella “Sonoma County” Zinfandel.  Bella Vineyards is a small family operated winery located in the heart of the Dry Creek Valley AVA.  Specializing in small production and winery only wines, Bella wines are a definite must have.  The Sonoma County Zin we have available in store today, is extremely limited. Comprised of the same fruit as their Estate wines from Lily Hill and Big River Ranch Vineyards that can retail for well over 40 bucks, this “beauty” delivers at half the price!  If your not convinced based on that, then perhaps knowing their past vintages of wines have received high acclaim of several 90+ point scores from Wine Advocate.  However, the best reason to snag some of this elegant zin, is the taste.  With bright red fruits up front and a great finish that ends in soft chocolate, this zin is incredible! Due to this amamzing zin’s limited availabilty, you would be hard pressed not to click the “BUY NOW” button today!

2012 Bella Vineyards “Sonoma County” Zinfandel

Bella_zin-152x362.13494819.99/bottle or $17.99/bottle on six +

Blend: 75% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 9% Syrah
Vineyards: Lily Hill – Zinfandel / Big River Ranch – Petite Sirah, Syrah
Alcohol: 14.9%
Case Production: Strictly Limited
Winemaker: Michael Dashe
Cellar Recommendation: Enjoy this wine through 2019

Tasting Notes:
“The 2012 Sonoma County zinfandel entices with a floral bouquet of violets and rose petals.  The palate continues with anise and pretty red fruit, a silky texture and smooth, soft finish.  This wine is approachable and fun, yet structure and deep.”





As always, thank you for your time and I hope we will be putting wine aside for you today!


Get 25% Off on Armida Maple Vineyards Zinfandel

Folks it’s not time yet to let those BBQ’s cool.  Oh no, we have fantastic Zinfandel in stock today that will have you firin’ up the BBQ tonight!  From the winemakers that brought you PoiZin Zinfandel, “the wine to die for,” comes “the wine you can’t live without,” the 2012 Armida Maple Vineyards Zinfandel.  Sourced from perhaps one of the prime spots in all of Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley, this single vineyard zin ticks all the boxes on why you should buy this wine.  Paired with smoked BBQ baby back ribs and a bottle of the Armida Maple Vineyards Zin, is a good situation to find yourself in at the end of the day.  If that doesn’t intrigue you, then perhaps the 90 point score from Wine Spectator will.  Plus, with the discount we have for you today, this is a win zin situation for everyone.  To place an order, you can reply to this email or simply click the “BUY NOW” button.  Here are the details:

PRT_AD12ZNMP2_SMALL_20130216_123709.1633482012 Armida “Maple Vineyards” Zinfandel

$39.95/bottle or $29.95/bottle on six +

Grape Varieties: 91% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah

Winery Notes:
“The Maple Vineyard sits up on a bench above the east side of Dry Creek Valley, and is farmed utilizing old world techniques by Tom and Tina Maple. These old Zinfandel vines (85+ years) are dry farmed resulting in wines of great depth and concentration. The beautiful Zinfandel clusters are sorted a minimum of three times to ensure that only the highest quality fruit is being used for this unique single-vineyard wine. Half of the wine was fermented in an open-top tank to soften the tannin structure. Only free-run wine was gently transferred to French and American oak barrels to age for 16 months. The nearly perfect 2012 vintage resulted in a beautiful marriage of the pomegranate acidity with the classic Dry Creek Valley dark plum flavors and aromas.”

Wine Spectator Notes: 90 POINTS
“Dark and briary, with black raspberry and cracked pepper aromas that lead to rich, structured baked cherry, licorice and toasted herb flavors. Builds depth on the finish. Drink now through 2020. 1,800 cases made.” –TF



All orders will be processed in the order received, and as always, thank you for your time and consideration!


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.