Finally, here's restaurant survey news that deserves a toast. OpenTable, the online reservation site, recently polled its users and shared the findings of its "Top 50 Wine Lists in the U.S."
Two Sacramento-area restaurants made the cut: Carpe Vino of Auburn and Sacramento's Enotria.
Enotria is the long-running wine bar and restaurant at 1431 Del Paso Blvd., which debuted a $1.5 million remodel in February. Its cellar offers about 400 wines, from California classics, to Burgundy and adventurous picks from around the wine world. Learn more at www.enotria.com or at (916) 922-6792.
"I'd say that getting such an overly positive response surprises us, but we see that on a daily basis," said Michael Coyne Jr., Enotria's general manager. "We are very happy to be considered nationally one of highest ranked wine lists."
What's also surprising is how poorly Northern California - especially San Francisco and Napa wine country - fared overall. Completely absent in this survey are such veritable temples of wine as San Francisco's Fifth Floor, Cyrus in Sonoma and the storied French Laundry in Napa.
Then again, Cyrus and French Laundry aren't the kind of places where you just pop in after work for a flight of sauvignon blanc.
Gary Moffat, co-owner of Carpe Vino, credited the affordability of his wines for helping to make the list.
"Our wine list is accessible from a financial point of view," Moffat said. "We don't do restaurant mark-ups. All our prices are retail plus $5 to open the bottle in our restaurant. If you're in our wine club, we waive the charge. If you ran the numbers on the amount of wine we sell, it would blow you away."
Carpe Vino, at 1568 Lincoln Way in Auburn, is online at www. carpevinoauburn.com. Or, call (530) 823-0320 for information.
Back at Enotria, you'll find a new wine director in Matthew Lewis. He replaces Jeremiah Morehouse, who left Enotria in September for San Francisco's SPQR, known for its extensive Italian wine program (though it also didn't make OpenTable's top wine list survey).
Lewis is a certified Level II sommelier with previous stints at the Firehouse and Slocum House. Enotria continues its Thursday night tastings, which cost $10 and can feature up to six wines. Special wine dinners are also held monthly.