Somm Insider: Vol. 9 ~ Vinum 55
Vinum 55 exists to make everything about wine special. Wine enthusiasts across the valley crave memorable experiences with every bottle they purchase. Wine is so different from any other beverage because it yearns for conversation and affirmation from people all over the world. It’s almost like it is a living liquid that earnestly hopes to be a part of your life. Vinum 55 eloquently provides meaningful services to its members while making sure the wine is being treated with respect and care.
The founders of Vinum 55 wanted someone with a vision to take their idea to unforeseen heights and it appears they have done just that in hiring Director of Operations, Raini Keyser. “I could see all of the possibilities of what Vinum 55 could do for the wine community,” she says. “[And] it was surreal. It happened to match what the founders wanted and I feel very lucky. My job does not feel like work.”
Their concierge service, led by a team of in-house Sommeliers, includes everything from wine delivery and retrieval, keeping inventory of your wines, handling your member events, and personalizing your tastings with esteemed winemakers. Vinum 55 has connections with expert winemakers nationally and internationally, so members have exclusive opportunities to taste wines and receive education from some of the most distinguished people in the food and wine industry. This allows them to purchase rare wines at special pricing for their elite club. “Our members don’t just love wine,” says Raini. “They travel to wine countries both near and far. They love the story of wine, the places it comes from, and the people who make it.”
The Lounge is available to members to host public or private events, serve their wines, or taste each other’s wines. Decanters and stemware are furnished to accommodate their members and their guests.
One of the most essential services they offer is their Cellar. Wine collectors can rest easy knowing their wines are kept in a temperature-controlled storage unit with 24/7 security. You also have the option of shipping your wines from abroad directly to your unit with assurance that your wines will be safely accounted for upon your return. When asked what the next step is for Vinum 55, Raini proudly proclaimed, “The sky is the limit for the future of Vinum 55. We love our clients and showing other wine lovers what is available to them.”
Darla Hoffmann, passed both her Sommelier Level 1 and Certified Level 2 exams with the highest score in her class, earning the esteemed “Walter Clore Scholarship”. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine and Hospitality Beverage under the Society of Wine Educators, and a member of The Wine Century Club. She works in the tasting room of Scottsdale’s LDV Wine Gallery, has written for City Sun Times, MYnewsMesa, and The Society of Wine Educators’ website. Darla is the sole proprietor of About Wine, which focuses on wine education and marketing through means of tastings, classes, and promotions. She conducts customized classes at various restaurants and events in Phoenix, such as Wine 101: ‘The Grape Expedition’ series, and Italian Varietals: Wines of Bordeaux, Spain & Portugal. For more info, visit: www.aboutwineinaz.com.