Today’s Deal ~ 2011 Carne Humana Red Wine $34.95/bottle or $24.95/6+ bottles

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LAST 8 CASES AVAILABLE ON EARTH!!!

Last Friday, we launched a screaming one-of-a-kind deal on the 2011 Carne Humana Red Wine.  We scoured the annals of the wine world and hit the jackpot when we scored the last 26 cases of Carne Humana Red left on the planet.  Well, after four days, we’re down to just EIGHT cases.  Fellow wine enthusiasts, today is the day if you’re going to pull the trigger on this bodacious red blend because we won’t see this vintage again!   Not only that, once these final cases are gone, the $24.95/bottle on 6+ discount is history!

Even if you purchased some of 2011 Carne Humana Red already you might want to reload now while you can.  If you’re receiving this email for the first time, then here is all the info you’ll need on one of the best-tasting, best-selling wines around for under $25/bottle.   Similar to “Prisoner Red” (circa 2002), this no nonsense Napa Valley red blend is “on point.”  Produced by Derek Beitler (nephew of Caymus Vineyards owner/winemaker Chuck Wagner) who has taken advantage of his heritage, and produced a killer red wine made from the grapes of six different vineyards in Calistoga, St. Helena, and Rutherford.  BIG and BOLD…this wine is begging to be bought!  When you pour it into your glass you can’t help but notice its dazzling PURPLISH INKY BLACK hue.  But, the fun doesn’t end there.  Its ripe flavors of BLUEBERRIES and DARK CHERRIES with explosive notes of ROASTED COFFEE and of course the all mighty favorite, CHOCOLATE will floor you!

We’ve sold over 250 cases of this beauty over the years and for good reason…The wine is flat-out delicious! The 2011 Carne Humana Red Wine is in its PRIME NOW and is one of the SMOOTHEST best-drinking wines you’ll ever taste.  So, here is the last chance to snag your share by clicking the BUY CARNE HUMANA NOW button before it all disappears.

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Winery Tasting Notes: 40% Petit Verdot, 30% Petite Sirah, 10% Zinfandel, 10% Syrah, 5% Charbono, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon “Opaque purplish-black color. Fragrant nose of plums, blackberries, dark cherries and espresso.”

Cheers,
Jay

Dig Deep on May 3 and Support “Big Day of Giving”

BigDayofGiving.160119Auburn is a philanthropy-crazy town.  Every week we get requests to support community events, charities and non-profits that are all doing meaningful work to make this a better place to live.

My personal favorite outreach, however, is coming up next week:  the third edition of the nationwide program called “Big Day of Giving.”  It’s so simple it is beautiful: make a contribution of $25 or more to any participating non-profit. . .for simply no reason at all. . .other than for the pure joy of giving.  Hundreds of Sacramento region non-profits are participating, including virtually every charitable organization in Placer County.  Our neighbor across Court Street, the Placer Community Foundation, is coordinating locally.  Veronica Blake and her very capable crew are working hard to help reach this year’s goal of $6 million.  Here are the details they sent over to us:

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It’s almost here – May 3rd is the BIG Day of Giving! Now in its third year, the BIG Day of Giving has gained momentum and is continuing to grow. This exciting regional event is a wonderful way for donors to support the essential work of local nonprofits. The collective goals for the nonprofit sector this year are: $6M in 24 hours from 30,000 donors on May 3rd, this year’s national giving day.

How you can make a difference:

1) Spread the word. Tell your friends, post on Facebook, and tweet about it. This is an opportunity to be part of something really big! #BIGDoG2016

2) May 3rd, make a donation starting as small as $25 to the nonprofits of your choice at www.bigdayofgiving.org

3) Attend one of the events in Placer County on the BIG Day:

   • Kick Off Event – Tuesday, May 3, 10 am – 1 pm, Center Court, Westfield Galleria at Roseville
   • BIG DoG Evening Celebration – Tuesday, May 3, 4 pm – 7 pm, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn

Thank you in advance for your generosity to our community; together, we can make a BIG impact!

We’ve helped promote this event since its inception, and many of our customers have stepped up to help.  We’ll be contributing again this year, supporting a food-based non-profit.  Please join us!

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“A Decade in Dining” Prix-Fixe Bash Starts Tonight

Can you believe it?  We can’t.

Carpe Vino’s restaurant was launched 10 years ago this month. . .April, 2006.  Still on the payroll are your affable hosts, Gary and Drew Moffat; talented chefs Eric Alexander and Courtney McDonald; and server nonpareil, Paul Roosen.

Cavashots.161038To recognize our milestone in fine dining, Chef Alexander has created a very special prix-fixe program, “A Decade in Dining:  Past, Present & Future.”  In four courses and 10 dishes, he reprises some Carpe Vino classics, celebrates what’s hot now and peers into options that could be.  For the full menu with descriptions of each course, please click here.

To help jumpstart your palate, each diner joining us this week for the prix-fixe will receive a 187ml bottle of Segura Viudas Brut, a tasty little Cava sparkler from Spain.

This event runs from April 26 through May 1, and continues our predictable platform of four courses with choices for $59.95 ++ per person.  Make your reservations now by calling 530-823-0320 or go online to www.opentable.com.

Media Head’s Up:  Get a copy of Wednesday’s Auburn Journal and look for a piece scheduled for publication written by Carol Guild profiling Carpe Vino’s decade in dining.

Courtney & Eric’s Four Tines Farm opens May 8

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Courtney, Josephine, Eric and friends.

You may already be aware that our pastry chef, Courtney McDonald, and her husband and our executive chef, Eric Alexander, bought five acres out on Mt. Vernon Rd. a few years ago.  The place was a working farm, but they’ve overtime to make many improvements.  Their farm is incredibly productive: they have a large vegetable garden, orchards and they are raising lambs and pigs.  Carpe Vino benefits from having first crack at much of what they grow.  Courtney and Eric have taken farm to fork to a whole new level. . .they’ve elevated it to farm to job.

And, starting Mother’s Day (May 8), they’ll be open on Sundays through January from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. selling whatever is in season on their farm at 9140 Mt. Vernon Rd.  For their opening weekend, they’ll be offering cut flowers, rhubarb, fava beans and garden plant starts.  It won’t be long and they’ll have olallieberries (Google it), cherries, plums and summer produce.

To learn more, go to their web site at www.fourtinesfarm.com or like them on their Facebook page.  Be sure to get out to the farm early to get the best selection of what is fresh!

Today’s Deal ~ 2011 Carne Humana Red Wine $34.95/bottle or $24.95/6+ bottles

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LAST 26 CASES AVAILABLE ON EARTH!!!

Drop everything because the wine deal of the century is back!  Miraculously, the Carpe Vino wine scouts struck a deep vein and punctured the seal to finding again one of the TOP 10 best-selling wines in CV of all time: The 2011 Carne Humana Red Wine.  Yes, the same one that knocked your sox off and had you screaming for more.  Similar to “The Prisoner” (of earlier vintages), this no nonsense Napa Valley red blend is “off the hook.”  Produced by Derek Beitler (nephew of Caymus Vineyards owner/winemaker Chuck Wagner) has taken advantage of his heritage, and produced a killer red made from the grapes of six different vineyards in Calistoga, St. Helena, and Rutherford.  The Carne Humana retails for $34.95/bottle but today we’re rolling back time to 2013 and discounting this puppy to a staggering low of $24.95/bottle when purchasing 6+ bottles (beats best online price by $5/bottle!)

For those “in the know” I’m sure you’ve already clicked the BUY NOW button and ordered a case.  But, if you’ve never had this wine, you got to check out the details and take my word for it.  This wine is on point!  The flavor profile as mentioned before is reminiscent of a “Prisoner” red blend circa 2002!  BIG and BOLD…this wine is begging to be bought!  When you pour it into your glass you can’t help but notice its dazzling PURPLISH INKY BLACK hue.  But, the fun doesn’t end there.  Its ripe flavors of BLUEBERRIES and DARK CHERRIES with explosive notes of ROASTED COFFEE and of course the all mighty favorite, CHOCOLATE will floor you!

We’ve sold over 250 cases of this beauty over the years and then like all wines…it was gone!  Somehow, someway, magic happened and 26 cases of the 2011 Carne Humana Red Wine found their way to Carpe Vino TODAY.  This wine is in its PRIME NOW and is one of the SMOOTHEST best-drinking wines you’ll ever taste.  So, amass as much as you can by clicking the BUY CARNE HUMANA NOW button before it all disappears.

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Winery Tasting Notes: 40% Petit Verdot, 30% Petite Sirah, 10% Zinfandel, 10% Syrah, 5% Charbono, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon “Opaque purplish-black color. Fragrant nose of plums, blackberries, dark cherries and espresso.”

Cheers,
Jay

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This Menu Encapsulates Our “Decade in Dining”

To recognize our milestone in fine dining, Chef Alexander has created a very special prix-fixe program, “A Decade in Dining:  Past, Present & Future.”  In four courses and 10 dishes, he reprises some Carpe Vino classics, celebrates what’s hot now and peers into options that could be.

This event runs from April 26 through May 1, and continues our predictable platform of four courses with choices for $59.95 ++ per person.  Make your reservations now by calling 530-823-0320 or go online to www.opentable.com.

First Course (choice of one):

New Potato and Spring Onion Pierogi (Past) Braised Rabbit, Fava Beans, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Sour Cream:  This dish is inspired by the deep, deep past. . .direct from Chef Alexander’s early cooking roots at home in Binghamton, NY.  Chef’s heritage is Lithuanian. . .his great grandfather was a member of the Czar’s army. . .and he remembers eating pierogis during Christmas from a Lithuanian Orthodox church.  His favorite pierogi was stuffed with potato, onion and cheese, and that’s what he has created for this menu.  He stuffs pillows of pierogi dough with mashed potatoes, spring onion and fresh famer’s cheese then poaches in water before browning in butter on one side.  Separately, he slow cooks whole rabbits with bacon, celery, carrots and veal stock.  He removes the rabbit and pulls the meat before tossing with the cooking liquid to create a “ragu,” which is plated as a first layer, followed by the pierogi, fava beans and greens and a dollop of sour cream.  The dish is garnished with pickled mustard seeds.

Roasted Dixon Lamb Meatballs (Present) Nantes Carrot Hummus, Sheep Yogurt, Pistachio Dukkah, Carrot-Top Chermoula:  Lamb meatballs are a huge Carpe Vino favorite and have been featured frequently on Chef Alexander’s menu.  For this dish, Chef is tapping into his classic flavors of the Middle East, with a smack of spice.  He combines ground lamb, onions, mint, garlic, parsley and spices and forms into meatballs and roasts.  These are served over a hummus blended from simmered spring carrots, chick peas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic.  Finished with a drizzle of sheep’s milk yogurt on top.  Garnished with “pistachio dukkah” (ground nuts, sesame seeds, cumin and coriander) and a dizzle of carrot-top chermoula (akin to a salsa verde made from carrot tops, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, chili flakes, cumin and coriander).

Foie Gras “Bing Cherry” (Future) CV Garden Greens, Grilled Levain:  This dish represents a reinvention of a popular, classic and now legal dish at Carpe Vino–foie ras.  Chef creates a mousse and forms into a sphere-shaped mold.  This is frozen and then dipped in a mixture of cherry purée and gelatin.  This cherry shape deserves a stem to complete the faux goodness.  The “bing cherry” thaws and is served with greens from the Carpe Vino garden and grilled levain.

Second Course (choice of one):

Chilled English Pea Soup (Past) Goat Cheese Bavarois, Radish, Mint, Walnut Oil:  This was the very first soup on the Carpe Vino menu in April, 2006.  Simple but vibrant and colorful, cooked English peas are pureed with scallions, mint and vegetable stock.  This elegant soup is finished with Goat Cheese Bavarois made from goat cheese blended with whipped cream and gelatin.  Garnished with shaved radishes, mint and walnut oil.

Shaved Snow Pea “Salade Lyonnaise” (Present) Frisee, Applewood Bacon, Cured Egg Yolk, Violet Mustard:  There is some complicated prep involved with this salad.  Eggs from the Chef’s farm are separated, then yolks are cured in salt and sugar, rinsed, dried and then shaved almost like Parmesan cheese.  Then he sources violet mustard, made from mustard seeds aged in grape must (a byproduct of winemaking) and then aged in red wine.  Chef starts with a smear of the violet mustard on the plate followed by the salad:  frisee lettuce (bitter greens) tossed with snow peas that have been cut lengthwise and julienned (still raw for a nice crunch), crispy applewood bacon that has been diced and house-made bacon vinaigrette dressing.  Shavings of cured egg yolk finish the dish.

Main Course (choice of one):

Angus Beef Filet Mignon (Past) Creamy Hash Brown Potatoes, Glazed Spring Vegetables, Cabernet Sauvignon (eight dollar supplement):  This dish is reprised from one of Carpe Vino’s earliest regular restaurant menus, but it hasn’t been seen in quite some time.  It’s a straightforward presentation:  prime cut of meat, cooked to the temperature you prefer.  Served with grated potatoes cooked with cream in the oven. . .Chef’s very own hash browns.  Served with baby carrots and Delta asparagus glazed with butter and finished with a reduction of cabernet sauvignon and veal stock.  Do yourself a favor and order this cooked no more than medium rare!

Coconut Braised Pork Cheeks (Present) Crispy Verbena-Scented Rice, Pea Shoots, Lychee, Peanut, Red Curry:  Chef Alexander is a global kinda guy, and this dish is inspired by the flavors of Thailand.  He sources all-natural, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free pork cheeks that are slow-braised for three hours in coconut milk, red curry paste, ginger, lemongrass and kaffir lime juice.  Then he makes jasmine rice scented with lemon verbena from the Carpe Vino garden.  The rice is crisped in the bottom of a “dolsot” (a stone bowl with a lid commonly used in Korean restaurants) placed on a burner.  The dolsot is layered with the pork cheeks, pea shoots, lychee fruit, cilantro, Thai herbs and toasted peanuts.  The dolsot is brought to the table with a small pot of red curry sauce; remove the lid, pour in the sauce, mix and enjoy.

Passmore Ranch Sturgeon Confit (Future) Buckwheat Porridge, Delta Asparagus, Trumpet Mushrooms, Pickled Ramp Gribiche:  This dish is a prelude to how the world needs to eat, and it is inspired by a book titled The Third Plate, written by Dan Barber that promotes the use of more vegetables, grains and use of cover crops like buckwheat.  It is based on using sustainably raised sturgeon, sourced from Passmore Ranch outside of Sacramento.  Buckwheat is slow-cooked with dashi stock (the base for miso soup made from seaweed and bonito flakes) until nice and creamy. . .almost like a risotto. . .combined with Delta asparagus (it’s that time!), trumpet mushrooms and ramp leaves (from wild leek).  The sturgeon is placed in a bag with salt-water brine and cooked sous vide to perfection.  The porridge is plated first and the sturgeon is arranged on top, finished with gribiche, a sauce made from hard-cooked eggs; extra virgin olive oil; chopped, pickled ramp, capers and herbs.

Dessert Course (choice of one):

Chocolate-Cabernet Torte (Past) Crème Anglasie, Cacao Nib-Brioche Crumble:  Dial up 2006 on Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine (dig deep, Mr. Peabody & Sherman cartoon fans) and you’ll be transported to one of Chef Courtney McDonald’s first desserts served in the Friendly Confines.  She creates a chocolate and cabernet reduction flourless torte that is place on crème anglaise (French for “English cream”), a custard sauce made from egg yolk, vanilla, sugar and heavy cream.  Garnished with crunchy bits made with cacao nibs.

Basil Semifreddo (Present) Strawberry Gelee, Poached Rhubarb, Rose Water Meringue:  “Semifreddo” means “half frozen,” and this dish starts with what amounts to a half-frozen mousse made from basil-infused cream enriched with egg yolk, sugar and whipped cream folded in making it nice and light.  Served on a plate with strawberry gelee (a thick sauce) and poached rhubarb topped with crunchy rose water meringue made from whipped egg whites.  A sweet, satisfying way to end the perfect prix-fixe.

Ten Years Later, We’re Still Going Strong

Ten years ago, George W. was president, Arnold was governor and we had a crazy idea to open a restaurant as the next logical step in the evolution of Carpe Vino.  It took a year to segue from a modest bar food program to a full-on kitchen and service staff. . .we took baby steps just to make sure.  When we finally opened, I was scared to death that it was the dumbest move of my life (just one of a litany of blunders).

Yet, when your gut tells you what the numbers don’t, you dive in, work hard and don’t look back.

After a decade, though, it is clearly time to peer through rose-colored glasses and celebrate what has happened, thanks to the dedication of a core group of stalwarts and an ever-changing cadre of fine-dining pros who have alighted temporarily in the Friendly Confines and then moved on. It’s the nature of the business, and we’ve had some great ones on the payroll. . .many of whom I miss dearly.

And, of course, there has been and ever-changing tableau of customers, though many have been coming back since the beginning.  Inevitably, life gets in the way and people move on for whatever reason. . .opportunities elsewhere, retirement and, sadly, even divorce and death.

Whatever we have accomplished here can be traced back essentially to two people:  Eric Alexander, our executive chef who has been with us from the very beginning; and my son, Drew, who has been our key business driver and innovator.  For a restaurant to thrive like ours has, it starts with excellence in the kitchen and ends with competent management.  When you add an exceptional place and a talented staff, magic results.

If we had a staff Hall of Fame, it would feature Courtney McDonald who toiled alone in our makeshift kitchen as we ramped up in 2005 and continues to serve as our pastry chef.  And, of course, there is Paul Roosen, the last member of our opening service crew who will celebrate his marriage to Molly with a reception at Carpe Vino in June.

Happy Anniversary,

gary, Drew & the CV Crew

April 15th is Tax Rebate Deja vu All Over Again

uncleSamCash.084357There are three sure things in this life:  Death, taxes and a great deal at Carpe Vino during our annual April 15th Tax Day event.  Even though Uncle Sam may have hammered you this year, you can put it all behind you by joining us this Friday for a federally back and insured rebate plan:

Come on into Carpe Vino, and all day April 15th, (for one-day only until 10 p.m.), we’re taking savings to another level when you spend a Benjamin in Carpe Vino. . .we’ll issue you a gift card for $20.  And for every complete increment of $100 spent (BEFORE TAX/SHIPPING), we’ll add another $20 to the card.  All gift cards earned will be mailed to recipients early the following week.

Makes no difference if you purchase retail wine, or wine and food at the bar or in the restaurant, it all counts towards the “rebate” gift card that you can use on a future visit to Carpe Vino.  And you don’t need to show up to qualify—we’d love to take your phone or online order and mail you a gift card for qualifying purchases.
 So, to make it crystal clear, spend $100 (BEFORE TAX/SHIPPING) and earn a $20 gift card; spend $200 (BEFORE TAX/SHIPPING) and earn a $40 gift card; spend $300 (BEFORE TAX/SHIPPING) and earn a $60 gift card—you get the picture.  Keep in mind, though, if you spend $179, you get a $20 gift card.

So plan on dropping by for Chicago Hot Dogs on Friday and invest at least a Benjamin at Carpe Vino. . .it’s the tasty and frugal choice that would make Benjamin Franklin smile.  (P.S.  The “death and taxes” reference is credited to Ben himself.)

Today’s Deal ~ The Road Les Traveled IV California Red Wine by Behrens Family Winery $36/bottle

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It is has been said that sometimes doing things differently from others can often yield better results.   That saying clearly epitomizes the concept of what winemaker Les Behrens of Behrens Family Winery was going for in the all new Road Les Traveled IV Red Wine. There are no crazy discounts or crazy gimmicks, because there simply is not much to be had.  The Road Les Traveled IV or RLT4 for short, is a culmination of different vintages and vineyards from other award winning wines, so nothing goes to waist.  Essentially, it is all the left over fruit from other higher end wines that can retail as high as $150/bottle.  So, to have this high a quality of wine under $40/bottle is a good way to get introduced to a winemaker who is clearly at the top of his game.

Les Behrens began his career as restauranteur.  Tired of having bad wine he focused his attention on building a superb wine list and wine cellar which resulted in the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine.   With the prodding of his winemaker friends, he segued into the winemaking world under the name Behrens & Hitchcock; his inaugural crush in 1993 produced only 175 cases!  Continuing with that tradition today under the Behrens Family Winery moniker, he still only produces small batches of hand-crafted wines.  Today, Behrens Family Wines are only available to select restaurants, and we are one of the fortunate ones to receive a healthy allocation.

Every year I am always fascinated with the Road Les Traveled and again I was pleasantly reminded just how great this wine is.  From its opulent bouquet of MOCHA and DARK BERRIES to its BRIGHT flavors of TART BING CHERRIES and BLACK PLUMS, your senses are in for an EXCURSION of their life!  Topped off by a GENEROUS finish that is second to none, your taste buds will wish the ROAD TRIP never ended!

SEVEN CASES are in stock today.  With how well this wine is tasting right out of the bottle, it’s too early to determine if we’ll get more.  So, put the key in the ignition and start cranking the BUY RLT4 NOW button ASAP.

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Winery Tasting Notes:53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Tempranillo, 7% Petite Sirah, 7% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc Road Trip!! We are always excited when it is time to roll out our favorite non-vintage wine. The RLT4 is dense, red/purple/black and loaded. Currant, cedar and blackberry notes jump from the glass, followed by flavors of bright cherry, menthol, sweet oak and dried herbs. Chocolate cherry cordial, cigar ash and charcuterie add intrigue to the broad finish. Everything one needs to hit the road and satisfy that Wanderlust!

Cheers,
Jay

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Chicago Hot Dogs Roll Into Old Town Tonight!

It’s on, finally.

Chicago Hot Dogs are back at Carpe Vino, starting at 5 p.m. tonight.  Each year we celebrate the season home opener of the Chicago Cubs by serving up a small-ball staple in the Windy City:  Chicago’s very own epicurean hot dogs for which we recreate the precise style you would expect to purchase in the Mom & Pop stands on the perimeter of Wrigley Field, up and down Clark and Addison.

Without qualification, this is our most popular–and most populist–promotion of the entire year.  Over the past seven years or so, we have developed a rabid following of Hot Dog purists who don’t take kindly to being told, “Sorry, we’re sold out.”

That’s because they’re Jonesing for this:  It all starts with essential raw materials imported from the City of Big Shoulders:  poppy seed buns, steamed before serving; all-beef Vienna brand hot dogs; neon green relish; sport peppers; dill pickle spear; tomato, onion and yellow mustard (French’s is traditional).  The secret ingredient is celery salt (plus Chef Alexander’s expertise); the poppy seed bun is essential.  Ask for ketchup and you earn a Pete Rose-style lifetime ban from Carpe Vino.

Served with kettle chips, these iconic tube steaks are priced at $8 each or two for $14 (absolutely worth it).  Available in the bar only from 5-8pm.  First come, first served.  Please do not request that we reserve dogs for you!

As a special innovation this year, we’ve brought in a hot dog cart from which to serve our delicacies.  Better come early and queue up!

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.