Time to Make Valentine’s Day Reservations

Seems as though the pressure is always on.  Even though all of the holiday celebrating is finally in the rear view mirror, another crucial event is looming:  Valentine’s Day.  This is a biggie that, quite frankly, the gents too-often screw up because they wait too long to make reservations.  And that’s a world-class, irreversible faux pas.

So guys, may we suggest you pick up your smartphone and start dialing?  Chef Alexander is finalizing his five-course, prix-fixe menu as this item is being typed, and we’ll be posting it this week (he’s a busy boy right now, eh?).  The timing, however, is locked already locked in.

Creating a perfect storm, Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, so we’re planning to make it a three-day prix-fix program, for the entire weekend, February 13, 14 and 15.  The reasons are ample:  Saturday reservations will fill up quickly, so those who delay won’t be able to secure preferred times.  Some couples don’t have the energy to battle the crowds, so they opt for less crowded options.  And some young people are limited to the time that they can find a babysitter (thank the Lord those days are over!).

We’re accepting phone reservations only, so please call 530-823-0320 (OpenTable access will be disabled).  And please understand that we cannot guarantee times or table preferences (gents, start dialing now!).

There are two pricing structures:  February 13 and 14 are $95++ per person; on Sunday the cost is $79++.  Wine is not included.

Soup’s On Saturday at Auburn Farmers’ Market

foothillFarmersLogo.143332For those of you who understand the gem that Auburn has in its every-Saturday Foothill Farmers’ Market—sponsored by PlacerGrown at the Juror’s Parking lot just above Old Town on Auburn-Folsom Rd.—here’s another reason to get there this weekend (January 17):  Carpe Vino staff will present a cooking demonstration featuring Chef Alexander’s incredibly tasty pumpkin soup.

Sous Chef Ben Durham will be representing Carpe Vino, though Chef Alexander will be popping by while he’s sourcing produce for the restaurant.  And, of course, our Pastry Chef Courtney McDonald—who doubles as the Farmers’ Market manager—will also be hovering on Saturday.

Ben will be using Musque de Provence pumpkin sourced from Pilz Produce at the Market as the base ingredient for the soup.  He’ll break it down for visitors and explain the process, step-by-step.  Recipes will be available to anyone interested as well.  And, of course, everyone will get a taste. . .as long as the supply lasts.  The demonstration starts at 10 a.m. under the PlacerGrown canopy near the entrance to the Market.  Buy winter squash at the market and mention this email to the folks at the PlacerGROWN market booth and you will be entered to win a Carpe Vino gift card for $100!

Carpe Vino has relied on farmers in Placer County and beyond for much of the produce used in our kitchen.  We’re fortunate to have such an unprecedented resource right at our front door.  We look forward to seeing you Saturday morning!


Ladies & Gentlemen, Start Your Palates Please

We Pair a Prix-Fixe Menu with Racing Legend Scott Pruett’s Wine

We’re throwing a monkey wrench into our prix-fixe formula to kick off the 2015 series by designing a menu around wines from a single winery—Pruett Vineyards—including just released vintages and two that earned 90+ from Wine Spectator magazine.  Please join us January 27 to 31 for “An Evening with Scott Pruett,” a prix-fixe event with wines paired to each of the four courses for $79.95 plus tax and gratuity.  Call 530-823-0320 or got to www.opentable.com to make reservations.

Scott and Judy Pruett are long-time friends of Carpe Vino, and they will be greeting our guests on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.  We’ve been associated with them as they launched and then developed Pruett Vineyard into one of the most promising new wineries not only in the Sierra Foothills, but in all of California.   Scott’s full time gig is racing cars, and his frenetic schedule keeps him on the road—literally—for much of the year, so we’ve formed a close working relationship to help market his wines.

This will be our second winemaker dinner with the Pruetts, and this collaboration is truly championship caliber, from the racing pit to the checkered flag.  Chef Alexander is still wrenching on the menu, but we’ve got the wines dialed in.  For this event, each course will be served with a three-ounce pour, with additional glasses or bottles available for purchase (for dining in or for your cellar):  NR=New Release

–2013 Pruett Vineyard Vin Gris of Syrah (Sierra Foothills) $19/bottle, $7.50/glass, NR
–2012 Pruett Vineyard “Aston Vineyard” Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) $48/bottle, $18/glass
–2012 Pruett Vineyard “CSP” Syrah (Sierra Foothills) $35.95/bottle, $14/glass, NR, 93 Points Wine Spectator
–2012 Pruett Vineyard “Lucky Lauren Red” Red Wine (Sierra Foothills) $28/bottle, $12/glass, NR, 90 Points Wine Spectator

Late last year, Wine Spector rated four Pruett wines over 90 points, including the 2012 Championship Cuvee, 96 points, the highest rating ever awarded to a wine vinted in the Sierra Foothills.  While that wine is sold out, we have one case of the 2012 Taylor’s Reserve, 95 points Wine Spectator, available for sale starting on Thursday evening.  Only one bottle per person/couple, first come, first served; Scott will sign your purchase, if you wish.

Chef Alexander will have the menu ready to post on Thursday, so stay tuned.  We’ll have a course-by-course description in next week’s Window on Old Town.

Please note that this event is five nights instead of the usual six…we’ll be home watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 1.

Click here to see the full menu.


It’s Baaacck: “Wine Thing” Super Sale is Set for 1/24

Mark your calendars- Wine Thing is less than two weeks away!

Mark your calendar for Carpe Vino’s signature wine sale—Wine Thing—set for Saturday, January 24, from noon till 3 p.m.  This is a Wine Club exclusive event that members start queuing up for well before we open the doors.  There’s one simple reason:  it’s freakin’ awesome!

What’s not to love?  First, there are deep, deep discounts ranging up to 24% when you purchase two cases (24 bottles), mix & match.  Second, we’ll have upwards of 75 selections open for tasting, ranging in price from $15 to $100.  Third. . .it’s a free event for Carpe Vino Wine Club members only.

It’s not complicated:  Get to the Friendly Confines early, check in, grab a glass and crib sheet and start tasting.  No pushing or shoving please, this is a class joint.

We’ll have tasting stations staffed with our top brokers and distributors who all have one thing in mind:  bring out their best juice, because that’s what sells!

We suggest you download the list ahead of time (posted online a few days before Wine Thing) to pre-qualify what you’d like to taste.  With this rough guide, you’ll get through your top choices before your palate flames out.  If you need suggestions, just ask our staff.

For you newbies, here’s how the discounts work:  you receive a 5% discount on purchases of up to five bottles, with a 1% discount on each additional bottle up to 24 (that’s two cases), mix & match.  Some wines already on offer at special pricing will not be discounted further, but they will count toward building your two cases.  Discounts max at 24%, but the more you buy, the more you save (do the math!).

No reservations are required; just show up.  And remember: Wine Thing is a tasting, not a competition.  We want everyone to get home safely.

Not a Wine Club member?  Duh. . .don’t you think it’s time to join our growing clan of 1,200 members?  They’re the ones with the purple tongues.



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.