Cayman’s first members only Wine Club, operated by Grand Old House, is designed to not only give oenophiles and gourmands an opportunity to learn more about fine wines and foods, but also to give them access to exclusive products and an opportunity to meet and socialise with others who share their passion.
The Wine Club opened at the end of May this year and offers a variety of benefits to members, depending on the level of participation they choose.
Wine Club events
A series of events will be held each month to inform and introduce members to new and different wines and other products. These will include seminars, with tastings and discussions, themed multi-course menus with wine pairings, blind tastings and Happy Hours to introduce new wines. Wine Club members will be informed of upcoming events by email newsletter, with priority given to those with more exclusive membership levels.
Because Grand Old House sources their wines directly from some wineries and otherwise through local suppliers, they are able to offer members some wines and liquors that are not otherwise available on island. They can also pass on significant savings to their members. Certain liquors and specialty food items will also be introduced through the Wine Club.
Members can choose to purchase products through the Wine Club and email newsletters will inform them of the goods available.
Every Monday Grand Old House extends a 50 per cent discount on the wine list to Wine Club members. On Tuesday, corkage fees for members is waived.
From now until the end of the year, individuals may join the Wine Club for a fee of just $50. This ensures they receive updates on upcoming events, wines and other products available for sale and are eligible for the Monday and Tuesday discounts mentioned above.
Grand Old House membership
For an additional monthly fee of $50, members at this level receive:
– Two bottles of exclusive wines, chosen based on your preferences. This ensures each member receives wines they will enjoy, while allowing them to also explore new wines with similar profiles. Each month, members’ feedback will allow the sommelier to fine tune his selections. These wines are available exclusively through the club
10 per cent discount on all Wine Club events
10 per cent discount on purchase of exclusive products, including wines, liquors and more
10 per cent discount on wine list prices
Club Level membership
For a monthly fee of $125, Club Level members will receive:
Four bottles of exclusive wines, hand picked according to personal preferences
20 per cent discount on monthly Wine Club events
20 per cent discount on additional wine purchases
Priority access to hand selected rare and boutique wines, Wine Club events, in-house wine lockers and more.
Wine Club members also have the option to rent a personalised wine locker for a monthly fee. Their wine collection can then be stored in climate-controlled rooms in customised lockers, engraved with the owner’s name.
Each locker holds up to 24 bottles. Members can opt to enjoy this wine while dining at Grand Old House, for a small corkage fee.
The club will be run by Luciano Deriso, who joined Grand Old House as sommelier in April. Prior to that he worked at Ragazzi, the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and Agua.
Having been born into a wine-making family in Italy, Luciano first began to taste wine around age 7 or 8.
“It’s different when you grow up around wine,” he says. “The fact it’s alcoholic is not an issue. It’s part of the culture. We know how to use it, appreciate it and enjoy it with the food that we have.”
After graduating with a certificate in hotel management, Luciano made his way to England and secured a job at the Savoy, a luxury hotel in London. There, working under knowledgeable sommeliers, his interest in the world of wine really took off.
He went on to study at the Court of Master Sommeliers in the United States, where he passed the first two levels offered by the internationally recognised programme.
After a stint in Bermuda, he arrived in Cayman six years ago, and this is where he now intends to stay.
Luciano is studying for his level 3 exams in August. If he passes those, he will be the first Advanced Sommelier in Cayman.
If he keeps on quaffing wine at his current rate, he says, he hopes to qualify as a Master Sommelier in the next two to three years.