Worth the Drive: The Tasting Plate at Carpe Vino


I had a lovely moment recently while tucking into a stunning tasting plate at Carpe Vino in Auburn. As I marveled over chef Eric Alexander’s perfect cube of floral-sweet quince paste and thoughtfully composed mini-pile of pickled produce (spring onions, baby carrots, a single chunk of ruby-red rhubarb) topped by a lone asparagus tip, I was struck with intense gratitude for my job as a food reviewer. When I come face to face with an item like this tasting plate – so simple, yet so exquisite – I’m lucky enough to be able to write about it so others can come experience it for themselves. And experience it you must – from the small bowl of olives, marinated in rosemary, olive oil, lemon and orange zest and chili flakes; to the fennel and calabrese salames and Alexander’s lighter-than-air, melt-on-your tongue foie gras and chicken liver mousse.