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The Wine She’s Been Dying To Try

on September 19, 2017 - 3:32pm

From left, Mike Lippiatt, Laura Crucet, Karen Easton and Tony Fox. Courtesy photo


By Mandy Marksteiner
Los Alamos

On the weekends, Karen Easton works at Kokoman Fine Wine and Liquors. She does it because she loves wine. As a wine connoisseur, she enjoys her time serving during the wine tastings and dusting the wine bottles.

Wine nerd Karen Easton

A few months ago, Easton was attending a wine tasting event where distributors brought all their wines and let people sample them. In the corner was a wine representative who wasn’t getting a lot of attention. They had a low-key display of a few bottles of wine. Easton was drawn to that table.

She sat down and said, “I have been dusting your $80 bottle of wine for months and I just have to try it.”

The wine rep uncorked the bottle of merlot and poured her a glass of the merlot.

“Merlot isn’t my favorite,” Easton said, “but this glass of wine was exquisite. It was like a work of art. I knew I had to call Laura (Crucet) right away.”

You see, Easton is one of the people that makes the wine dinners at the Pig + Fig Café so special and unique. Before every dinner the Pig + Fig Café’s owner and chef, Laura Crucet, gets together with a group of “wine nerds.” This group of wine collectors and enthusiasts taste the wines and see what foods they will go together with best.

When Crucet tried the Hourglass wines, she immediately started planning a wine dinner to feature the wines. It will be 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26. Tickets are $125 per person. You can get reservations by emailing

Hourglass has two vineyards in Napa Valley. Ned Smith, the founder of Hourglass, moved to Napa Valley in 1965 and became a real estate agent, connecting many iconic wine makers with their estates. In 1976, Smith found the perfect piece of land for his own family business. It was a six-acre property in the Maycamas mountains. The curve of hillside formed a perfect hourglass.  

Crucet has hosted more than 65 wine dinners, and they sell out very quickly. One sold out in about 15 minutes and all have sold out in less than two hours. The best way to ensure to a reservation is to visit the website at and sign up for the newsletter.

The Pig + Fig Café is at 35 Rover Blvd, Suite G, in White Rock. 505.672.2742.