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The latest in Rich People Things: a luxury condo with a “sommelier in residence.”
The Lauren, a 29-unit building opening in Bethesda next spring, announced last week that it has tapped Master Sommelier Jarad Slipp for the job, which will involve personalized consultations with residents and quarterly tastings in the property’s wine lounge.
“It’s just crazy enough that it might work,” Slipp says. “I can’t think of anyone that’s ever attempted something like this before. Certainly not in the D.C.-area. Maybe somewhere like Shanghai, but even that I doubt.”
Despite his title, Slipp won’t actually reside in-house. He’ll still maintain his full-time job as Estate Director at RdV Vineyards, a 100-acre winery in Delaplane, Virginia. (Early condo buyers get a yearlong membership to the RdV Ambassadors Program, which will include access to exclusive wines, invitations to release events, and more.)
Slipp previously worked for CityZen and other high-end restaurants in New York. He became a Master Sommelier—one of only 219 in the world—in May 2014.
“The job description, it’s kind of open-ended,” Slipp says. That’s what sold him on becoming a sommelier in residence: he has the freedom to make it what he wants because it hasn’t been done before.
“Maybe we’re doing a blind tasting 101 or comparing Chardonnays from different climates or different countries, or rosés from around the world,” he says of the tasting events.
Slipp will also help residents decide what they should be drinking, what they should be sitting on, and what they should be buying. “It might be, ‘I’ve got $100,000 to spend. What should I spend it on?'”
If that seems like a lot of money to spend on wine, consider that the property’s 7,300-square foot penthouse costs $10.5 million. All the condo owners get their own private climate-controlled wine storage units at The Lauren.
In addition, if a resident is hosting a dinner party, he or she can call Slipp for a wine recommendation.
“We’re still working that out,” Slipp says. “Certainly I don’t want calls at 3 in the morning [saying], ‘I need to find the perfect riesling.'”
Photo courtesy The Lauren