Carpe Vino in Auburn: The best of food & wine

DO YOU NEED EXCEPTIONAL BUT affordable wines to pick up on the way to the high Sierra for a winter getaway? Visit Carpe Vino in Old Town Auburn. Better yet, stop for dinner, a foodie’s delight, with fresh, local ingredients. But be sure to reserve a table. (Guests must be 21 years of age or older).

If you’re a local food and wine lover, make Carpe Vino a destination. You’ll be back—to the restaurant, wine bar or wine shop (brick-and-morter or online). And, you might want to join their excellent wine club.

Now in its 11th year, Carpe Vino blends the best of food and wine. “First and foremost, we’re still a wine shop, but the restaurant has created an entirely new dimension,” says Owner Gary Moffat. “We’re a hybrid.”

The passion and expertise of Moffat and his son, Drew—along with Chef Eric Alexander and staff members—is apparent when you visit Carpe Vino, making the experience memorable. They have created a Carpe Vino “community.”

Last year was a banner year for Carpe Vino. Along with only two other restaurants in Northern California—The French Laundry and The Kitchen—Carpe Vino was named to OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice Top 100 Restaurants for 2012. It also won a 2012 Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence.” Wine club membership grew 50 percent to 750.

Carpe Vino calls itself “your source for hard-to-find, short run, boutique and cult wines.” We like the affordable selections, with “deals of the week.” One example, $15 Ed’s Red, scored 89 points from Wine Spectator.

Want to dine at Carpe Vino? Dinner is served Tues.-Sat., 5-9 p.m. There’s a wine bar menu, dinner menu and prix fixe menu. Winemaker dinners featuring local wines are offered too.

Dinner entrees might include bluenose sea bass with parsnip puree, brussels sprouts, apple, butternut squash and brown butter; a Hampshire pork chop with creamed savoy cabbage, bacon, brandied prunes and celery-walnut relish; or orecchi- ette pasta with spiced duck ragu, marjoram and parmigiano reggiano. “We proudly shop at the local Placer County farmers markets,” the menu reads.

1568 Lincoln Way, Auburn

(Photo credit: Keith Sutter)

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