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Old Town's Carpe Vino celebrates 10-year anniversary, earns Wine?Spectator excellence award

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As it celebrates its 10th anniversary in business, Old Town Auburn?s Carpe Vino also has earned the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine, recognition for the breadth and depth of its restaurant wine list. There are three levels of awards and less than 3,800 restaurants worldwide made the grade in 2012, co-owner Gary Moffat said in a press release. ?This couldn?t come at a better time,? said Drew Moffat, co-owner and wine director of the wine shop, wine bar and fine dining restaurant. ?We?ve always had the wine to qualify, but never a printed wine list because our inventory is so volatile.? That changed this year when Moffat created a digital wine list, using the Kindle Fire as the platform. More than 250 wines are presented, mirrored from Carpe Vino?s online wine store, with content updated automatically four times each day. ?The acknowledgement from Wine Spectator is another marker of our performance,? Moffat said. ?Along with our 2012 Top 100 Restaurant and Top 50 Wine List People?s Choice awards from OpenTable, we couldn?t be more proud of what our entire team has accomplished this year.? Carpe Vino opened its doors on Aug. 15, 2002, as a pure wine shop. It expanded in 2004 by adding more retail space and again in 2006 when the fine dining component was launched. The business operates out of four storefronts linked together in two historic structures: one dating to about 1860 that was home to the former Union Saloon and another built in 1890 with two retail storefronts. ?We?ve been very careful to grow our business incrementally over the years and we?ve listened to our customers,? Gary Moffat said. ?And perhaps that?s why we?ve been able to survive both the downturn following 9/11 and the economic turmoil of the past five years.? ?What has truly sustained us and propelled our business over the last decade is the unrelenting support and enthusiasm of our customers,? he added. ?Plus we have a fabulous crew of 15: Our chef, Eric Alexander has been here since the beginning and we have three employees with more than five years of service.? ?Starting Aug. 9, we?ll offer a daily deal online, and we have an entire lineup of activities to help recognize the people who have contributed to our success.? Drew Moffat said. Also from Aug. 7 to 16, a premium wine selection will be offered each evening for $10 per glass and all appetizers will be priced at $10. Here?s the complete schedule of events: Thursday, August 9, 6 p.m.: The first customer will be inducted into the new ?Carpe Vino Hall of Fame,? honoring that person with an engraved plaque on a dedicated stool at the wine bar. Friday, August 10, 7 p.m.: Carpe Vino will honor its Most Valuable Employee, the person who has been a key contributor to the success of the business. Sunday, August 12, noon: Hours of operation are being increased so that the shop will be open six days per week, including Sundays, from noon till 5 p.m. Tuesday, August 14, 5 p.m.: Carpe Vino is now serving dinner five nights per week, Tuesday through Saturday, and this week, Chef Alexander?s menu will focus on the ?Farms of Placer County? that have contributed to the restaurant?s culinary excellence. Wednesday, August 15, 7 p.m.: This is the actual anniversary date of opening Carpe Vino in 2002, and the milestone will be celebrated with a champagne and cupcake toast at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 16, 6:30 p.m.: Local wineries have always been central to the wine program at Carpe Vino, and this evening a wine tasting featuring Mt. Vernon Winery will showcase one of Placer County?s finest. Friday, August 17: The restaurant will close at 4 p.m. to accommodate a private party. Saturday, August 18, noon till 3 p.m.: Wine Thing! This is Carpe Vino?s signature rolled out every February. But this year, an August rendition will help celebrate the 10th anniversary. First hour is for Wine Club member only (with free admittance for two); general public is welcome for the last two hours, with $25 admission. For more information, visit www.carpevinoauburn.com or call (530) 823-0320 Carpe Vino is located at 1568 Lincoln Way in Auburn.