Saturday Tasting Line-Up – Wine Stash Getting Low?

imagesjj.165025Then drop by CV and stock up on some fantastic new wines.  If you missed some of the email deals this week, then today is your lucky day.  We are featuring some of those deals, so here is the perfect opportunity replenish your supply.  There are special discounts available on all the wines and you can mix/match on six or more bottles to achieve maximum savings.  Saturday tastings start at 1 P.M. and end promptly at 4 P.M.  If you can’t make todays tasting and want to purchase some of these wines…feel free to order by clicking on the links below, replying to this email, or calling me directly at 530-823-0320 x105.  (Please remember two person maximum per wine club membership, no guests.)


2012 Schramsburg Brut Rose Sparkling (North Coast)
$24.95/bottle or $29.95/bottle on six +

2012 Andis Zinfandel (Amador)
$19.95/bottle – WC Discounts Apply

2013 Skyline Artisan Red Wine (Lodi)
$18.95/bottle or $14.95/bottle on six +

2013 Post Parade Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)
$89.95/bottle – SPECIAL WINE CLUB DISCOUNT…1 Day Only!


Todays Deal – 2013 Atamisque Malbec $29.95/bottle


(standard discounts apply)

What originally was a customer request (which we ALWAYS appreciate in finding new wines) has now become a prized Carpe Vino favorite!  The 2013 Atamisque Malbec from Argentina’s highly lauded Mendoza region is a MASSIVE find for the $$$/production level.  Mendoza (world’s 5th largest grape growing region) accounts for 65% of the country’s total production.  Their #1 varietal is malbec, a wine appreciated by aficionados for its eminent drinkability and excellent value.  We think you will enjoy it too…and here’s why!

The 2013 Atamisque Malbec is made by winemaker Philippe Caraguel.  Philippe is synonymous (in Mendoza) for producing killer malbecs which again is PROVEN with this juicy gem.  He sources fruit from two separate vineyards located in the Uco Valley with vines dating back over 80 years.  The result is a wine with super intense aromatics and flavors that bring diversity (being non-Californian) yet consistency with ripe/fruit forward nuances.

Visually, notice the deep RUBY RED hue that coats the glass ever so gracefully.  On the nose, you are enticed even more by a tractor beam of RICH BLACKBERRIES and TOBACCO that is complimented with a hint of FLORAL and SPICE.  Take a sip and be delighted by BIG JUICY BLACKBERRY and ESPRESSO flavors.  The result is a finish of concentrated tannins and a mile-long finish.

We have FIVE cases that are ready to be picked up or shipped ASAP.  So, load up by clicking the ORDER ATAMISQUE MALBEC NOW button and get yours today!

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Today’s Deal – 2012 Andis “Amador County” Zinfandel $16.95/bottle on 6+


Last month, we introduced an alluring zinfandel to the CV Wine Club faithful that was received with utmost praise.  The 2012 Andis Zinfandel is from one of the most celebrated AVA’s for zinfandel in all of California, Amador County.  Today we are offering our lowest price ever on this amazing juice that cannot be beat.   Winery price is $22.99/bottle however it can be hoarded from CV today for $16.95/bottle on six +!

The 2012 Andis Zinfandel showcases what Amador County zin’s are all about…BIG, FULL BODIED, and RICH!  According the Andis Winery, “We grow it, we make it, and we certainly drink it,” and that is clearly evident in their winemaking.  They sourced this wonderful wine from some of the most beautiful vineyards in all of Shenandoah Valley, Wilderotter, Distasio, and of course, their own Andis Estate.  However, what’s sets this baby apart from the rest is the addition of petite sirah which broadens the complexity of flavors and aromatics while deepening its gorgeous garnet hue.  Put simply this is a classic Amador zin that has been given a modern twist and the result is a wine that can be reveled in on its own or paired deliciously with a wide variety of dishes.

We have FIVE cases in stock that are ready to find a home.  So, take advantage of the lowest price anywhere and smother the BUY ANDIS ZIN NOW button today, because at this discount it won’t last long!

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Artist Traci Owns is in Da House Tonight!

Big night at the Friendly Confines. . .we’re getting ready for the second night of our prix-fixe event, “A Tart & Tangy Citrus-Palooza,” and artist Traci Owens will be in da house from 6 to 7:30. We’ve just hung a new show of her work, seven canvases in all. Traci is a delight, so come on in and say “hello” and check out her work.

If you’d like to make reservations for the Citrus dinner, call 530-823-0320 or go online to  Cost is $59.95++ per person.



Today’s Deal – 2013 Silvio Nardi Rosso di Montalcino $13.95/bottle on 6+


If you don’t want to wait several years to enjoy a nice glass of Brunello then try this 2013 Rosso di Montalcino!  Made by the distinguished leader in Brunello production, Emilia Nardi of Tenute Silvio Nardi located in Tuscany, this bold yet refined wine is something special.  Ready to enjoy straight out of the bottle this is the perfect value driven wine that packs brassy flavors while still being very approachable.  Most retailers are offering this gem for above $19.95/bottle but CV’s discount drops it down to a blistering $13.95/bottle on six +!

The 2013 Silvio Nardi Rosso di Montalcino or RDM for short, is comprised of 100% sangiovese grapes that were hand harvested from the venerable Casale del Bosco estate.  It is called Rosso because it is only sees oak for about 12 months, whereas true Brunellos see at minimum 2 years in oak followed by 4 years of bottle aging.  The impetus for winemakers in producing these amazing Rossos is so that they can produce delicious wines while their fine Brunellos age.  The result is a typically lighter, fresher, and more approachable wine that is a fraction of the cost.

The 2013 Silvio Nardi RDM is best enjoyed paired with red meats or hearty pasta dishes.  It captivates your attention with aromas of BLACK CHERRIES, TOBACCO, and hints of MOLASSES.  Your palate is greeted with BIG, RICH TANNINS that are nicely aided by the FINESSE and DEPTH that the sangiovese grape has to offer.  Plus, for under 14 bucks, this baby packs some muscle!

We have TEN cases available for pick-up or immediate shipping but that’s it!  This is last call on the vintage and last call on this discount!  You know the drill…scan the details below and click until your hearts content on the BUY SILVIO NARDI RDM NOW button today!


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Winery Tasting Notes:

“Shows ripe, wild cherry fruit aromas and flavors with leather and spice. Medium-bodied and fruit-forward with a velvety texture and ripe tannins.”


No Conundrum Here. . .This Juice is Stellar!


While I’ve happily relinquished my sales responsibilities to a younger and hungrier crew, sometimes it’s hard to sit on my hands when I encounter a wine that has it all.   Like a Dalmatian in the firehouse when the alarm goes off, I’m ready to jump on a hook & ladder. . .or at least I start salivating.

So when I tasted the recently released 2013 Conundrum 25th Anniversary Red–succinctly presented to our customers in a “Daily Deal” from our Jay Johnston–I had to suppress my Pavlovian response to crank out a “Gary’s Deal of the Day” (my gone but not forgotten “pitch” emails) to tout this awesome juice.

In little more than a week, we’ve had to reorder this wine twice because those savvy folks on our list jumped on Jay’s deal of $17.99 each with a purchase of six or more.  It’s $25 at the winery and ours is the lowest price I’ve seen anywhere.  On Sunday, I stopped by the shop to pick up a bottle for my own enjoyment and there wasn’t a drop left in the building.  So, I rudely texted Jay and asked him to bring in 10 more cases stat; it arrives Wednesday.

Talk about reimagining a successful brand, the Wagner Family repackaged this perpetual winner with a new bottle style, classy twist-off top (absolutely not an oxymoron) and a bold 25th Anniversary label that simply pops.  Nice. . .but it’s what’s in the bottle, n’cest pas?  (Hey, I just spent three weeks in France!)

Well as much as I appreciated the product presentation, the wine stopped me dead in my palate . . .mainly because the blend of zinfandel and petite sirah exploded delightfully on my tongue.  I could easily extol the virtues ad infinitum but Click Here for Jay’s original message or simply mash the “Buy Now” button.




Word up from Big Daddy, Conundrum is the real deal.  Getcha some!


Join Us Thursday to Meet Artist Traci Owens

We’ve got soaring ceilings and expansive walls in the Friendly Confines that are simply perfect for displaying large-format art.  Over the last couple of years, we’ve been fortunate to host an Auburn artist whose work is perfect for the space:  jumbo canvases required to express the quirky images and explosive colors that Traci Owens sees in her head.  Hard to imagine what goes on in there!

We’ve just hung a new exhibit of Traci’s work in the Carpe Vino wine bar, and you can meet her Thursday evening from 6 to 7:30.  Traci is prolific and has an amazing following of fans. . .you could be one, because all of her work is for sale.

Reservations are not necessary; just stop by and enjoy her work…which is even better when you have a glass of wine in your hand.


Squeeze On In: “Citrus-Palooza” Starts Tonight!

Just back from a culinary tour of Chicago with Drew, Chef Alexander is rested and ready (actually, he’s exhausted) to launch our next prix-fixe event, “A Tart & Tangy Citrus-Palooza,” four courses–with choices and vegetarian options–that are sure to delight and transform your lips into a permanent pucker.  The program rolls out tonight, Tuesday, running from February 23 to 28.  Cost is $59.95 per person plus tax and tip.  Click here to view my menu descriptions from the last email.

The joint is booking up nicely Thursday through Saturday; choice options await your quick action for other evenings.  Don’t delay, because we can’t manufacture more seats.  For reservations, call 530-823-0320 or go online to

2013 Conundrum Red Wine $17.99/bottle on 6+


One of the most celebrated family’s in all of Napa Valley has got to be the illustrious Wagner Family. From a stout lineage that has brought us wines such as Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon and Belle Glos Pinot Noir, the dynasty continues to show off its mettle by introducing their second vintage of the racy yet refined 2013 Conudrum Red Wine.  True to its name, we can only speculate what this “enigma in bottle” contains, but what we do know is that this beast of a wine will smack you in the mouth with flavor that is down-right delicious and addicting.  Normal winery retail price is $25/bottle but purchase the 2013 Conundrum Red from CV today and amass it for $17.99/bottle on six +!

If you are tired of paying premium for a distinctively bold and flavor rich wine then look no further then Conundrum Red.  It is a smooth sipper that will have you begging for more.  With its DEEP GARNET hue you are immediately drawn to the glass with a nose of DRIED BERRIES, hints of SPICEY CHOCOLATE, and wait for it…BACON!!  You can’t help but see what’s next!  On the palate, you are captivated by the FRUIT FORWARD silky notes of BLACKBERRIES, BLACK PLUMS, and VANILLA that are complimented by balanced tannins making the finish LONG and SMOOTH.

The 2013 Conundrum Red is a wine meant to be enjoyed today, on pizza night, BBQ night, or just relaxing by the fire.  So, don’t wait too long and put me on speed dial or email me back ASAP, because for the money this wine hits the spot!

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Winery Tasting Notes:

“We believe in being both serious and playful, and this wine fits the bill. A rich, dark red, it offers aromas of ripe berries and plums, warmed by a hint of cocoa. Dried fruit and the taste of chocolate-covered cherries come through on the palate, while a wisp of smokiness makes this wine – created from dark red varietals including Zinfandel and Petite Sirah – the perfect complement to grilled meats and full-flavored dishes. Tannins are rounded out by the ripeness of the berries for a texturous but smooth mouth feel. The finish makes us think of lingering at the end of a long evening and still not wanting to go home, with layers of rich flavor that teasingly trail off.”




Pucker Up! “Citrus-Palooza” is Next Prix Fixe Event

Right now is the sweet spot of the citrus season in Placer County.  The Auburn Farmers’ Market is laden with lemons, orange, kumquats and tons more. . .though Mandarins are on the way out.  So Chef Alexander is jumping on the opportunity to create another tantalizing menu for one week only, “A Tart & Tangy Citrus-Palooza,” from February 23 to 28.  Cost is $59.95++ per person; call 530-823-0320 or go to for reservations. . .that are an absolute must on weekends.

As our custom over the last four years, I sat down with Chef for a blow-by-blow review of each of the four courses that comprise this feast (with choices and vegetarian options).  There are some very complex preparations and oddball citrus in the line up (cara cara orange, for example), which lead to a protracted and challenging conversation.  No worries, I’m happy to do whatever I can to help simplify decision making for our beloved customers.

Here you go. . .start salivating:

First Course (choice of one):

Dungeness “Crab Cake” (Brioche, Blood Orange, Avocado, Radish, Cilantro Shoots):    This is actually a “faux” crab cake because there is no mayonnaise used in preparing the salad.  Chef starts by removing the brioche crust and then rolls it out thinly before cutting into round pieces to fit the shape of a ring mold.  He prepares the salad with chunks of crab tossed with melted butter, egg yolk, bread crumbs and citrus zest (no mayo!).  Plated with avocado aioli (pureed avocado and house made mayonnaise), blood orange segments, thinly shaved radish and micro cilantro shoots.

Grilled Monterey Squid (Buddha’s Head Citron, Green Papaya, Key Lime, Thai Basil, Peanut):  The squid is seasoned and seared on a hot grill, cut into slices and then combined with shredded green papaya, Thai basil, shaved Buddha’s head citron (no juice is used from this very odd citrus, just the rind. . .marking the first appearance of this ingredient at Carpe Vino).  This mixture is tossed in a dressing made from Key limes and fish sauce and then plated.

Burrata Cheese (Cara Cara Orange, Ruby Grapefruit, Chicories, Pistachio Butter):  Burrata is a classic, fresh Italian cheese with a mozzarella curd shell and a rich creamy center.  Chef constructs this dish with a base of pureed pistachio and extra virgin olive oil topped with a Burrata portion, ruby red grapefruit sections (from Eric’s farm) and cara cara orange segments (a red flesh navel orange).  The dish is completed with chicories (a bitter green) piled on top.

Second Course (choice of one):

Purée of White Coco Bean Soup (Meyer Lemon, Fennel Pollen):  As Carpe Vino regulars have come to appreciate, Chef Alexander’s soups are absolutely killer.  Expect no less from this entry, made with fresh white coco beans from Provence.  This is a simple preparation with complex flavors.  Chef soaks and cooks the beans and purees with garlic, EVOO, stock and cream.  He garnishes with thin shavings of Meyer lemon combined with EVOO infused with Meyer lemon.  The mixture is dusted with dried fennel pollen.

Winter Citrus Salad (Beet Hummus, Spring Onion, Zaatar, Bergamot Scented Labneh):  For what appears to be a straight forward salad, there is a ton going on in this Middle Eastern-inspired dish that starts with roasted red beets pureed with chickpeas, garlic, tahini and lemon juice to create a hummus that is layered on the plate.  Chef arranges a “mélange” of citrus on top (basically everything on the menu in other dishes) and plates with bergamot (a citrus-scented oil) blended with labneh–yogurt that has been drained and thicken, then formed into balls which are rolled in “zaatar,” a mixture of dried herbs, sumac and sesame seeds.

Main Course (choice of one):

Seared Hawaiian Onaga (Shrimp Gyoza, Hakurei Turnip, Yuzu Kosho, Citrus Leaf Dashi):  A quick look at the ingredients and the Japanese inspiration is crystal clear.  Chef starts with portions of Hawaiian Onaga (also known as long tail red snapper), a white fish he pan roasts and serves on a bed of shrimp gyoza, house-made dumplings made from ground shrimp, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, scallions and soy sauce stuffed into wonton wrappers.  Served in a bowl with dumplings and baby turnips on the bottom with yuzu (a variety of Japanese citrus from Pine Hill Orchard) kosho on top (a spicy Japanese condiment made with yuzu rind and jalapeno).  “Dashi,” a flavorful broth made from kombu seaweed, bonito flakes (dried, salted, smoked fish) and fresh citrus leaves, is poured over the top.

Egg Rigatoni and Duck Confit Ragu (Caramelized Fennel, Olive, Pangrattato, Sauce A L’Orange):  The core of this dish consists of three parts:  a dried rigatoni pasta made from eggs; duck confit–cured and slow-cooked in duck fat; and sauce a l’orange, a French sauce made with reduced orange juice, Gran Marnier and veal stock.  Chef combines a portion of cooked pasta with, caramelized fennel, black olive and duck confit ragu that he heats in the sauce a l’orange.  The pasta is plated and then topped with pangrattato, bread crumbs that have been tossed in EVOO, browned and then combined with herbs and orange zest.

Roast Porchetta of Pork Ribs (Applewood Bacon, Parsnip, Brussels Sprouts, Kumquat Mostarda):  Boneless baby back ribs are tied together, wrapped in applewood bacon and then roasted.  Cut into slices, medallions are plated on a bed of parsnip purée, Brussels sprout leaves and fried parsnip chips.  Kumquat halves are poached in white wine, sugar, spices, mustard seeds and mustard seed powdered that is reduced to create a condiment capable of cutting the richness of the pork with a sweet and savory kick.

Dessert Course (choice of one):

Buckwheat Chocolate Torte (Minneola Tangelo-Cardamom Ice Cream, Mandarin Marmalade):  Pastry Chef Courtney McDonald has created two choices for a final stanza, the first of which is a flourless torte made from buckwheat (relax gluten intolerant. . .it’s a grass) that lends a nutty flavor.  Beyond buckwheat, this dense, rich torte is comprised of chocolate, eggs and sugar.  House-made ice cream is infused with Minneola-tangelo zest and juice along with a hint of cardamom.

Bearss Lime Cream Pie (Toasted Coconut, Candied Lime):  Chef McDonald starts with a crust made from graham crackers, topped with lime curd (lime juice, sugar and egg yolks cooked until set).  The pie is topped with whipped cream infused with coconut and coconut milk.  The dish is finished with toasted coconut and candied lime zest.  “Bearss” is spelled correctly and refers to the variety of local lime Chef has selected.

Hope to see you in the Friendly Confines for another magnificent prix-fixe!


gary, Drew & the Carpe Vino crew

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.