This private cellar has a unique design that radiates a fantastic feeling of space. The wine bottles are arranged on glass shelves in a polar array of 300 degrees. On the outside, the cellar is a curious illuminated cylinder. The cellar exemplifies Focus Wine Cellar’s ability to combine style with technical perfectionism.
On the theme of “luxury” for this issue, nothing comes to mind more than some of the most luxurious cellars I’ve had the pleasure of visiting over the years. If you’re looking to extend your reputation as a bon vivant into your wine life, allow me to offer a few inside tips.
More and more we’re seeing cellars created with materials and designs vastly different from traditional wood pigeon holes, as beautiful as these can be. Ask your designer/cellar builder to consider glass shelves with LED illumination, wire brackets to hold each bottle and other modern styles. For inspiration take a look at Focus Wine Cellar’s website. Based out of Istanbul, Turkey of all places, their depth of design is unlike almost anything I’ve seen before.
An integral part of your cellar plan must also be lighting. With LED technology today there is a lot that can be done with lighting that will also not generate any detrimental heat. I’ve seen many cellars that could look twice as beautiful if only the builder had focused on proper illumination. One of the best companies we’ve seen with a strong focus on lighting is Exceptional Cellars from Toronto who construct incredible projects all over the world.
Many clients have asked our opinion on a multi-purpose cellar for both storing and entertaining. The tasting or dining table in the middle of the cellar might look amazing but few people enjoy sitting at 13°C for an extended period of time. Fortunately the technology exists to create a “cooling wall” that flows down the backs of the bottles, keeping them at the proper temperature while allowing the center of the room to remain warm. This is the dominion of very sophisticated cellar builders however, so do your research.
The last word on luxury must be stemware. If you’re going to invest in a beautiful cellar and great wine, do not skimp on the proper stemware. Ranging anywhere from $20 to over $150 per stem, this is a sizeable investment but well worth it. And one size does not fit all. Riedel actually puts on clinics to show the difference in how wine is expressed depending on the vessel. Find one in your area and attend this fascinating afternoon. Then be prepared to clean out some cupboard space for all your new crystal.
If you’re privileged enough to have access to the world’s greatest wines, don’t forget that a luxurious experience is more than what is in the bottle.