Vini Wine Bar

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Location
611 Second Street
Across from Varsity Theater
Hours
Mon - Thu: 3:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Fri & Sat: 3:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Phone
(530) 756-5722
Website
[WWW]http://www.viniwinebar.com/
[WWW]facebook
Owner(s)
Jeff Day
Established
July 15th, 2012
Payment Method(s)
Cash, Credit Card

Vini Wine Bar is a self-serve wine bar featuring an Enomatic wine preservation system—essentially an automated wine server allowing for self-serve using prepaid cards. It serves up to 88 wines at a time, and you can also order beer. The shop has a jazz theme, including decor, recorded performances, playing on TVs... and who knows, may even plan some live shows!

As far as food, they have cheese plates, olive, charcuterie, and hummus to snack on with your wines.

It was originally expected to open in late March or April of 2011, although it got pushed back a bit. A May 23, 2012 Facebook post stated: "Elated to report the VINI Planning Commission presentation went well tonight. In large part due to the efforts of Planning Department staffer Cathy Camacho. I really appreciate the job she did leading up to and including her presentation this evening. I addressed questions/concerns from the Commission after Cathy finished. The end result? The Commission APPROVED me to open my spot in downtown Davis! Upon receiving confirmation of the approval, it's estimated to take 2-3 weeks for issuance of my ABC License. Should be looking at the middle of June for the Grand Opening."

See a Feb. 23, 2011, Sac Bee [WWW]article for more info.

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2012-07-20 12:47:16   Last week, the shingle out front said Vini would open on July 15. Did that happen? —AJThompson


2012-07-23 12:29:46   The place looks shiny and new, since, well, it is. I didn't see any food at all in there, though, so I'm wondering if any sort of light meals are going to be served to accompany the wine. —ChrisV


2012-07-29 12:07:48   ChrisV, they have cheese plates, olive, charcuterie, and hummus to snack on with your wines. —Psittacosaurus


2012-09-11 01:44:06   I'm Jeff Day, owner of VINI. Yes, we've been open since July 15, 2012 and the response has been tremendous. We went through 2,000 VINI Tasting Cards in the first 30 days of business. Guests really enjoy accessing 2 ounce self-pours of the 72 wines available via our state-of-the-art Enomatic wine serving system from Tuscany, Italy. The majority of pours range between $2.00 and $3.00. The 48 red wines are divided into twelve 4 bottle flights, while the white wines are set up in eight 3 bottle flights. Flights are arranged on a varietal, style or geographic basis. Tasting notes are provided for all 72 wines. In addition, there is a selection of wines by the glass,including sparkling and dessert, along with six premium draught beers, sparkling water, cider and juice. Stone's Catering provides cheese plates, cheese and charcuterie, olives, hummus spreads and grape bowls. Food is available during all hours of operation.

Depending on when guests arrive, VINI offers two entirely different experiences. Those arriving early will experience a more conversation friendly vibe, while the late crowd tends to be more energetic and a louder vibe. Almost cocktail party in nature. Very social. I tend to play our selection of Jazz Icon videos during the later part of the evening. Many guests have expressed how much they enjoy the feel of the space, which is very upscale, but casual in nature. Definitely geared more for the adult crowd. We utilize SIRIUS XM Real Jazz and Sinatra stations to create a Jazz themed sound. My intention is to have Jazz play a prominent role in the VINI experience. Due to the fact all of my seating can be moved, the City of Davis was concerned I could become a Jazz club. Thus, I am not allowed to have live music on the premises. My Jazz Icon video performances will have to suffice.

We recently hosted a group of 30 people for a UCD function and it went extremely well. We will be making the space available for large groups on Monday evenings. I'm hopeful Donal Smith's wine appreciation classes will begin on Monday's in November. I'd also like to mention our weekend hours recently changed from opening at Noon to opening at 3 PM. We may stay open until Midnight on Thursday once school begins later this month. The positive feedback from guests has been very gratifying. I'm pleased so many guests have enjoyed their time at VINI and continue bringing friends to join them. We're very excited about our first winery event on September 19, featuring Scribe Winery. It's going to be a fun night to meet Adam and Andrew Mariani and taste some of their amazing wines and enjoy food from Preserve (Winters). The Mariani brothers hail from Winters. I suggest checking the VINI WINE BAR Facebook page for updates and information on what's going on at VINI. —jeffday
Lame the city "feared you would be come a jazz club" and thus you can't do live shows, it's nice to grow up in a town that encourages the local music scene... Daubert Congrats on finally getting soft / grand dates set people have been waiting with baited breath


2012-09-12 01:58:06   Wanted to mention we retail all of our 80 wines @ VINI. I've changed some of the initial wines we were pouring on July 15, but the next major rotation of wines won't occur for another 2-3 weeks. How often we change wines will be based on how quickly inventory moves. Some wines sold out multiple times in the first 30 days, others took about that long to sell out once. Most of the inventory will be sold through two cycles. With 80 wines available, there are plenty of options to choose from. Also wanted to make sure people are aware our staff, including me, spend plenty of time interacting with guests. Although the self-pour aspect is what makes using the Enomatic system so much fun, we don't ignore our guests once they load a card. We provide table service for food and anything else our guests need, including wine by the glass, draught beer or sparkling beverages. We're definitely not just a 'self-serve' wine bar. We want to provide the best personal experience we can for all of our guests. Thus far, our feedback from guests has been extremely positive. Also, we have one TV at the bar which only shows the Jazz Icon videos. We have no cable TV. So, unlike most establishments, you won't feel like you're at a sports bar. —jeffday


2012-10-14 13:55:12   I've only had experience with one other enomatic wine bar down in Southern California, so I was really excited to hear about this place opening in Davis. Now that I've been here a couple times I can confidently say that this is a great, great place and something that really adds flavor to the Downtown Davis experience. Even better, the machine gives you 2 oz. pours (the other one I've been to only gave 1 oz. pours) so you really get a significant amount for tasting.

The selection is by far my favorite part of this—red wine dominates (yay!), but your friends who are more into whites or ros├ęs, or beers for the non-winos, won't feel left out. The staff is always very courteous and prompt, and fairly knowledgeable if you ask about what kinds of preferences you have. They've always steered me into the right direction when I've told them what I was looking for.

Lastly, regarding the people "worried" about there not being comments here... without posting a "Let me Google that for you" link (I was definitely tempted), keep in mind that Yelp already has quite a few reviews about Vini.

Side note: can anyone with wiki-editing savvyness group some of the above comments into a "Pre-Opening" page? I think it's pretty distracting and irrelevant now that Vini is open. —lunelectronique


2012-11-19 15:16:04   I visited recently. I'm not well-versed in wine, but the atmosphere is very charming to me, inducive of good conversation. I feel the prices are reasonable (~$6 for a total glass, which I think is average). But because the self-serve cards give 2oz samples at a time, you have a huge variety to choose from, with short descriptions of all of them, which is great for people like me who aren't sure what they like yet. Really excited to try again, and highly recommend this place. —HannahToru


2014-01-22 22:37:14   I just went here a few days ago and LOVED it! Wonderful friendly staff, yummy candy at the bar and awesome wine!! The whole concept is really neat, and I highly recommend getting a tasting card so you can try a little bit of everything. Not much of a beer person but I am told that they also have good beer on tap! Hoping to go back soon! —ChristenDee


2014-07-04 20:46:13   Hello Davis! It's been quite some time since I visited this page, so I thought it was a good idea to check in. If you haven't made it in during the two years we've been open, I invite you to see what you've been missing. I hope to make this work in Davis for the long term and ultimately the community will determine the viability of that. Cheers to our regulars, including students, that have supported us the past two years. Thank you, Jeff —jeffday

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