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We Dream in Red & White

Contemporary Brooklyn Wine Cellar Design

2014 December 23
by Curtis Dahl

Brooklyn has long been a trend setting area for all shapes and sizes. With the recent explosion in the Brooklyn housing market, we have seen many Manhattan residents flocking to its neighbor just over the river. And with that, many new Brooklyn residents are clamoring to fill wine storage needs they just didn’t have the room for in most NYC apartments. One recent customer who just moved into Brooklyn Heights finally fulfilled his dream – a custom wine cellar designed and built by Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars. The customer was kind enough to answer some questions about his passion for wine.

Before you read the interview, check out their amazing new all white wine cellar. Cheers!


What made you decide to build a true wine cellar?
I finally have an apartment that is big enough to house one. I’ve been collecting wine for a while now and paying a monthly fee to have it stored off site didn’t make a lot of sense. It also adds value to the home if we ever decide to sell someday.

What was the room previously?
A closet.

You moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn…how do you like it?
Absolutely love it, wish we had moved sooner. Brooklyn Heights combines the best qualities of the suburbs and the city and is a wonderful place to raise a family.

Favorite spots to eat and drink?
Having a 2yr old means I don’t get out as much as I’d like anymore but my wife and I have had a number of great meals at Veritas, especially since they redid the interior and changed the menu. Locanda Verde is also a favorite of ours, great place to sit at the bar and have an incredible meal and a glass of wine. But now that we’ve moved to Brooklyn we’ve been trying to do the majority of our date nights in the new “hood” recently. Roberta’s and Prime Meats are two of the best meals I’ve had in Brooklyn.

Please tell us about how you became interested in collecting wine. Do you remember the first bottle of wine that inspired you to collect?
1982 Chateau Lafite. I was lucky enough to have several bottles of this at a big wine dinner at Del Frisco’s in 2005 and it opened my eyes to what a wine is supposed to taste like. It was the best tasting thing I had ever put in my mouth. I still don’t really consider myself a “collector”. I buy what I like to drink and what I plan to drink someday. There is nothing better than having a great meal with friends and opening up wine that they might not otherwise get a chance to drink.

What is your favorite wine trip (if any) or region?
I’ve only been to Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Barbara. I haven’t been lucky enough to make the trip to the wine regions of France or Italy so it’s hard to think those won’t top Cali. That being said, I really enjoyed Santa Barbara. I discovered a number of small wineries making outstanding and affordable Pinot Noir (Sea Smoke and Babcock to name a few)

Favorite restaurants (3) in City?
Brutally difficult question. Limiting it to 4 is simply not possible. Per Se was the best restaurant experience I’ve ever had hands down. But I’ve only been once and I’m not sure I need to go again, you can count it if you want but I’m not. I could eat at Laconda Verde every night, I just love the food at that place. Given that this is NYC, you have to have a steak choice and even though I absolutely love Striphouse, Peter Luger’s is just a special place to me so that’s my #2. Lastly, for a fun night with awesome food and great drinks, I love Empellon Taqueria in the West Village…..side note, the spicy penne vodka at Carbone is probably the best damn food in the entire city, if i had one last meal I would want about 10 orders of that stuff.

Wine to you is _________?
Better when shared with great friends.

Where do you buy most of your wine?
Direct from the wineries.

Do you have a specific purchase you most proud of?
Not exactly a purchase, but I am most proud of jumping on the Schrader bandwagon before WS blew them up by giving them 100pt scores for a number of their Cabernets. I’ve been on their mailing list for a decade and I remember when my first allocation was $75/bottle!

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