The owners wanted to store around 1,000 bottles but did not want to detract from the rest of the basement, which has a very large 2nd kitchen, theater room, and sitting area. We decided to go wide and tall but only 48″ deep. Design-wise, the customer wanted to go traditional on the outside but more contemporary on the inside.
We kept the outside very proper with a rich traditional stain, 2 windows, and a glass door, but on the inside we used stainless steel for the displays and colored mosaics for the floor, topped off with a brushed aqua-paint finish. The climate controlled system is hidden behind a louvered grill and produces almost zero noise. Overall the bottle count came in at just under 1,100 bottles.
This particular custom wine cellar achieved every aspect of what the client was looking for: small footprint, transitional design, 1000-bottle storage, and the ability to blend in with the current basement. If we can help design, build and install your wine cellar dream, please contact Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars – where we always dream in red and white!
In the past few years, wine collectors have been asking us whether to build a modern or traditional wine room. The fact that the wine storage area is its own unique space allows the design team and owner to branch out and maybe blend a little of both, which is called transitional.
The definition of transitional in interior design and furniture design refers to a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, midway between old world traditional and the world of chrome and glass contemporary. One of the main design features are the clean lines with the wine racks and displays. Color in both paint colors and flooring tends to be a background player in transitional rooms. It’s less about the material than about the color – think earth tones.
Traditional can be bold with vaulted ceilings, mosaics and, dare I say, murals. Modern or contemporary is usually minimalist…clean…peaceful. Here are a few photos of each style.
If you want to be safe try a little of both in your new wine cellar, tasting room, or custom wine cabinet – and by the way LED lighting looks great in any of them! Please contact us for ideas or if you’re ready to bring your cellar dreams to life.
The interior design team for a NYC apartment approached Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars to create, design, build, and install a one-of-a-kind showpiece in its latest project. The owner wanted a centerpiece with one catch, it had to be “eyecandy,” or “artwork” for his wine display. He also needed 200 bottles at minimum for his storage.
Once we came up with the location (in his kitchen), we had to put the engineering team to work for the unique space and cooling elements associated with NYC living. Once complete we began to build out the infrastructure: vapor barrier, insulation and rough ins. The inside of the cabinet interior is brushed brass with black peg wine racks and custom stainless steel horizontal racking. The outside of the cabinet is raw carbon steel with lacquer and is equipped with a keyless Maglock with remote. The overall bottle count came in at just under 350 bottles and is by far “the favorite space of the owner”.
Unless you don’t have a problem dropping $100 and up on your next bottle of wine, you will undoubtedly want to check out this well-curated selection of 15 wines at $15 or less! No one is saying you can’t go all out and get a more expensive vintage, but there are plenty of great options that won’t offend your budget or your taste buds! Quite the opposite, in fact. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Check out the full list here.
Our second day in Napa began with a hike through the vineyards followed by a quick breakfast, then off to Atica Vineyards for a 10:00 a.m. tasting. Antica is owned by the legendary Antinori family who has been making wine for over 600 years (29 generations)! So in 1492, when Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain to discover America, the Antinori’s were already making wine for over 100 years! The property which Piero Antinori couldn’t get out of his mind when he came to America in the 60’s was finally purchased in the 80’s. Located in the Atlas Peak District, Antica’s 600 planted acres are a sight to see. Glenn Salva, the “wine estate manager,” greeted us at the tasting area with a quick snapshot of the entire property.
Words cannot describe the amazing beautiful of this property. We walked as we tasted several of their signature wines, and were invited into the home of the Antinori’s and sat at their kitchen table like family. We tasted over 10 different wines with assorted meats and cheese. It was as if our group had died and gone to heaven. Glen is as nice a man as there is in Napa… he has been working at Antica for over 30 years! Once finished with our tasting, we went to “the cave” which is over one mile long and completely climate controlled. I have never seen so many wine barrels in my life!
Our second stop was Pride, famous for their Merlot. The 235-acre estate blends smoothly into its mountainous surroundings and California heritage. Pride was much more commercial than any of our other tastings but was still very much worth the trip. We were taken to their small and charming tasting room where we enjoyed Syrah, Merlot, Cab franc, and Cab…the highlight was undoubtedly the merlot. We then did a quick tour of the vineyard and caves, then it was off to lunch at Goose and Gander which was outstanding, rustic and charming with a full bar and courtyard and some of the best burgers we have ever had.
The afternoon was topped of at Opus One. Once again we were treated to a private tour with a personal guide who was outstanding. She walked us through the grand vision of both Mr Mondavi and Baron Philippe and how this incredible venture came to be. Modern and sleek with a very contemporary feel, the vineyard is pristine and elegant.
Making some of the most collectible wines around the world, it was interesting to witness the diversity of the guests at the vineyard (Chinese, Italian Greek, etc). Once we completed the tour we sat down and tasted the 2011 and the 2008 in the private tasting room. The wines were tight but as we gave them more time they started to open up. I thought the 2010 which we later tasted was the best of the bunch.
After departing Opus we went home for a quick shower and we were back on the van for a ride to the best restaurant of the trip. Bottega is located on the historic Vintage Estates Property, in one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, the Groezinger Estate. The restaurant is rustic and pure Napa through and through. We sat in the private tasting room in the wine cellar and were treated to the best dinner I have ever had. From the multiple aps, we tried Octopus, short ribs, Polenta, and Gnocchi). ALL were outstanding. Dinner only got better…the short ribs and black pig were amazing. If planning a trip to Napa, please do not miss two places: #1 Bottega and #2 Farmstead.
Could a trip get any better?
The first ever Joseph & Curtis Napa tour was probably my personal best trip ever. Napa is such an amazing place with incredible restaurants and amazing wines.
The trip was conceived with a small group in mind but ended up being 10 people. We left on the Saturday red eye at 6:10 am NYC time and arrived in Napa just in time for the Kathryn Hall release party! We met our chauffeur at the airport and after a 2-hour drive were treated to an amazing afternoon at the vineyard, with plenty of food and some amazing wines.
As always, the weather was a perfect 84 degrees and the scenery couldn’t have been better. It was great to catch up with these clients whom have all become dear friends. We sat amongst the vines tasting the incredible 2012 Kathryn Hall, got caught up with the families and great restaurants and of course what everyone had been drinking over the last year or so.
After spending about four hours at KH we then hit Pulido-Walker, recommended by a friend at Zachy’s, about 15 minutes from KH; and I have to say one of the most beautiful vineyards I have ever seen. The 115-acre estate commands views of much of the Napa Valley from a hilltop at the southern edge of the Mt. Veeder Appellation.
We spent the next 2 hours with Dan who is simply known as the “estate ambassador.” After walking the grounds with Dan, you will not argue with that title. Amazing fig, olive, lime, lemon, and pretty much anything else that smells good and looks pretty surround this awesome landscape. Dan poured the 2012 Pulido Walker Cabernet Sauvignon, Melanson Vineyard.
With 2012 being a healthy crop load with moderate summer temperatures with no rain, the fruit hung unperturbed until maturity, resulting in a fantastic wine which everyone on the J&C tour purchased. I can’t imagine what this wine will taste like after several years in all of our cellars.
Once again the group enjoyed each other’s company as we headed to the Silverado resort to check in, shower up and grab dinner at the Bistro Jeanty. It’s imperative to plan out your trips especially if you have a larger party (anything over 8 in Napa), because seating is very limited. Everyone enjoyed dinner and I for one gave the restaurant 3 out of 5 stars.
Check back for Part II for my 5-star pick and learn about Antika Vineyard, Araujo, and Pride. Part III will feature Opus One, Corison, and Continuum.
Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars have designed and built many traditional wine cellars in this leafy hamlet of center hall colonials where not surprisingly the client asks for a classic wine cellar design with wood wine racks.
Recently however, we completed a wine cellar in one such classic Westfield New Jersey home, but you might be more likely to see this contemporary wine cellar in Tribeca or Miami.
We met with the client and he said he wanted something contemporary, even a bit industrial looking with very clean lines and a design that would allow him to see his entire wine collection (which is predominantly French & Italian) at a glance.
We designed a glass and stainless steel facade with custom made metal wine racks inside that consist of raw carbon steel and stainless steel. The rods that cradle both 750ml & magnums are ‘terraced’ so that you can see all bottles from front to back.
Because of the massive weight of all the steel, we had to bring everything in in pieces and actually weld the steel wine racks on site! The client got a bit nervous when we fired the welding torch up, but we assured him no damage would occur to surrounding areas.
Once the welding sparks died down and smoke cleared, the result was a 16′ long one of a kind contemporary wine cellar with refrigeration and custom humidification systems. LED lighting bars are recessed into the ceiling for a very sleek and clean look.
Guests at this Westfield home will be quite surprised at what they find inside.
Watch a quick clip of sparks flying during installation…
This East Quogue New York custom wine cellar was a modern design which features an incredible back-lit floor with stainless steel interior walls, custom metal wine racks, and custom led lighting. This is the perfect wine room for a Hamptons dinner party, or for that matter anywhere else! For those that like to entertain this is the wine room for you. Imagine that special Rosé bottle illuminated with just a hint of led lighting? Seamless glass allows for an incredible view of both the sexiness of the wine room and of course that trophy collection!
Please contact one of our design specialists. Joseph & Curtis can design everything from wine racks, cooling needs, doors, windows, and paint finishes.
Modern design meets traditional mahogany racking with a slight touch of stainless steel. This 800-bottle wine room located in Long Island, NY is what we call transitional. The entrance is seamless glass around the entire perimeter which allows a gorgeous sight line into the wine cellar. Mahogany racks with stainless steel horizontal displays allow the owner the ease of storing each wine and the ability to show off the best bottles. The cellar also features a glass ceiling which allows the main floor an amazing downward view as guests enter the home.
Please contact Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars so we may have the honor of designing the wine cellar of your dreams.
Modern design has become one of the hottest trends in interior styling over the last few years; the current wine storage trend is no different. Steel, brass, lucite, and glass are only a few of the materials we are asked to use when building wine cellars/cabinets.
Our recent project in Yardley PA included a little of each. The 800+ bottle wine cellar features custom metal peg wine racks, stainless steel doors, led lighting, glass, and stainless steel interior. This is the focal point of the homeowner’s basement and was designed to be just that. With its sleek modern design, it screams sexy and smooth…the perfect place to sit and chill…and oh, ya enjoy some vino.
Please contact J&C so we can build the modern wine storage of your dreams!
Many customers come to us with multiple choices where to put the wine storage area…others have one spot. Under the stair case seems to come up over and over whether it be because its almost “dead space” or everywhere else is accounted for. We are currently working on several under the staircase wine cellars in New Jersey, Jacksonville Florida, Amelia Island Florida, and Miami.
Here is our latest creation which happened to be in Westfield,NJ. This under the staircase beauty happens to be awarded to the first page of Houzz for its sleek design and the ability to store over 400 bottles (no small feat considering there are over 24,000 wine cellar photos on Houzz). This design was meant to last a lifetime.
A transitional piece which has the contemporary aspects of glass and metal, as well as the lasting traditional millwork which matches other elements in the finished basement.
The owner even asked if we could bring stone into the space which we did with the right wall. As we always say at Joseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars “custom is always better” and because of that we were able to include an additional wine rack on the left side of the staircase for additional storage. Montauk black slate was chosen as the floor as well as LED lighting to make the space ultra sexy!
Please contact us and let our design team create a magnificent space for your wine cellar or wine cabinet needs.
Joseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal / Barron’s for a segment on wine storage. We chose a custom wine cabinet that was built in a Soho NYC apartment. The modern wine cellar or cabinet holds just over 800 bottles and is situated in the center of the apartment. The modern wine cabinet has full glass on both the front and back side as well as custom led lighting. Please take a look at the video and contact us if we can help design, fabricate, consult, or install your wine storage needs.
Where to begin…how about a two-story fantasy wine cellar with a glass floor, an ultra modern upstairs and a traditional Tuscan villa cellar on the downstairs level with a tasting room. Oh, and by the way, there is a spiral staircase to transport you between the two cellars!
The upstairs consists of chrome metal wine racks which lay horizontally and provide the entire first floor with a dramatic view into the wine room. Four walls of glass make the cellar the focal point of the entire villa. Once inside the house, it’s impossible to miss the complete wine-scape into the Tuscan “play room.”
Total bottle capacity is over 4,000 bottles and boasts two climate control systems on each level. The tasting room has a potbelly electric stove and makes you feel as if you just landed in Tuscany! This is every wine collectors dream. The upstairs wine cellar design is clean, modern and sexy; and the downstairs’ rustic design is warm and cozy. How could you go wrong?
Con il vino L trovare L’amore! Cheers!
Julien Miquel, founder at Social Vignerons, was recently awarded the #7 wine influencer – with over 151k followers on Twitter and 5k+ on Facebook you do not want to get on his bad side :)! Julien (a former winemaker of 7 years) works tirelessly to bring the reader his expertise in wine, beer, and spirits. His passion is second to none, as well as his knowledge from working across 5 different countries. Let’s catch up with Julien and see what he has been up to.
Please tell us about growing up in France and when you developed your passion for wine
As you know, wine in France is everywhere and part of everyone’s life while growing up there: family celebrations, surrounding landscapes, complement to many traditional foods. So there’s always a fair bit of wine talks to any meal. You get educated to wine as a teenager generally, and I was no exception.
But I really started looking at wine as a job at University as I was studying Biology, plant physiology and microbiology. Wine ticked all boxes for a career combining my passion for science with working outdoor, contact with nature, be both precise and creative. So I moved from Toulouse where not much wine is made, to study at the Bordeaux Faculte d’Oenologie.
At what age did you get into actually making wine?
Made my first wines just before I turned 20 back in 1999. They were experimental wines, in very small batches which is great to understand the winemaking process. I was helping the local vignerons (wine growers) of Fronton (a wine region in South West France) understand the influence of vine training system and the type of yeasts they used on their wines.
After this, I made wine in France in Bordeaux: Chateau Margaux and Chateau de Rochemorin (Pessac-Leognan).
Besides France where else in the world did winemaking take you?
In California with Chateau St Jean in Sonoma County: an eye-opening experience within this top Californian producer. Cheers to all the 2002 St Jean vintage crew, a fabulous and memorable harvest. As I wanted to understand fine winemaking around the world, I went and made wine in Tuscany, Spain (Ribera del Duero and Toro), Australia (on Kangaroo Island and Margaret River) and New Zealand where I’m based now.
How awesome is New Zealand and what are the differences vs France (both people and grapes)?
New Zealand is simply stunning. Everywhere you look (except maybe the suburbs of Auckland where I live !!) there is a spectacular scenery. Coming from a country where History plays such an important part in people’s life and mind like France, it is quite incredible to think that the first few humans arrived here some 700 years ago only. Europeans hardly got here before the 18th century.
There’s quite a few differences obviously between the two countries. To find an analogy between wine and people there, let’s say that New Zealand wines are rather exuberant while the people is more reserved and don’t let their feelings come out easily. In France, one could say it’s the other way around: fine wines are restrained, while people are easily cheerful and open-hearted (especially around wine).
Tell us about your work with Wine Searcher.
Wine-Searcher has assembled in over 15 years the biggest database of wines in the world. Virtually all wines produced in the world are there. With a team of international wine experts I’ve been managing for 5 years (from many nationalities, Germans, Italian, South Americans, British, US and so on), we’ve developed the wine knowledge content for the website. We’ve assembled huge amount of information about each wine, and a wealth of written content including wine regions (more than 3700 listed) and grape varieties (about 1000 wine grapes and blends). We’ve worked with most of the main wine publications around the world like The Wine Enthusiast or Decanter. Now mobile applications are becoming increasingly important and are a big area of development and focus for us. So I’ve seen a lot of the online wine world over the years.
Social Vignerons is a personal website I develop on my spare time. It’s about sharing passion and knowledge around wine with the world’s wine community. Wine drinkers should know better what’s in their glass, and the people involved in making their beverages: their origin, their philosophy, their passion. So I aim at creating link and meaning between makers and consumers.
I review wines, beers and spirits to share my experiences. The site also includes educational and fun infographics, wine & food matches, Interviews, or even ‘Wineporn’ posts (on the foodporn model, but for wine). Constantly looking at ways to serve the community better. So it’s a work in progress.
I would like to work closely with producers to help them explain their wines, online and on social media. Feel free to get in touch.
Why is it so important for wine enthusiasts to properly store their wine?
Any wine enthusiast is a wine investor, whether they collect expensive bottles or not. Simply because they spend money on it. They invest money into the pleasure wine adds to their life. Storage allows to maximize ROI.
Bad storage conditions deteriorate the wines. Heat, light, temperature variations destroy the qualities (flavor, texture, color) that have been put into the wine with a great deal of effort by the vines, the growers and the winemakers. So bad storage is less tasting pleasure, and is less respectful of what Earth and people have put into our hands.
Good storage on the other hand increases the aging potential, so you can keep the wine for longer and still find pleasure. It also increases the wine’s complexity. Finally, it honors the land and the people that made the wine, by preserving its quality through time. Like books or photography, wine is a witness of History.
What are 3 of your top picks (any wine) – with at least one white please?
Chateau Cos d’Estournel, Saint-Estephe:
In Bordeaux, I’ve always been a big fan of Chateau Cos d’Estournel. A dense and rich style for Bordeaux as Saint-Estephe wines often are. But it also has a lot of finesse in the flavors and the texture like the bests Medoc wines. A bit more affordable than First Growths yet with amazing value and pleasure. 2005 should be great over the next 10 years. For a less prestigious (and less expensive) vintage, 2001 is perfect to drink now.
Vega Sicilia Pintia, Toro:
I worked in Toro, Spain for a couple of years. It’s a region further downriver from the Ribera del Duero, but still making Tempranillo wines, in a richer style. An upcoming region and one to watch. I was winemaker of one of the top wines of the appellation called Campo Eliseo (with Michel Rolland). A great wine that I’d recommend. But I was also much impressed in Toro with the wine Vega Sicilia makes there called ‘Pintia’. It’s a rather retrained style for that region, complex and subtle. A great introduction to Toro wines. If you like them and want to go for more concentration, you can later move on to Numanthia made by Moet-Hennessy there (100 RP points for 2004 for their Termanthia).
Pavillon Blanc de Chateau Margaux:
Probably the most surprisingly white wine I have come across in my career, and I helped making it in 2003. Chateau Margaux makes their white wine out of 100% Sauvignon Blanc, fermented in 100% new oak barrels. Pure Sauvignon Blanc is rather uncommon for Bordeaux, and it is generally not aged in new barrels much, because SB tends to be overpowered by oak flavors, or even worth: oxidized! But there the fruit is so concentrated and balanced, and the barrels used at Chateau Margaux are of such unbelievable quality, that the Pavillon Blanc comes out perfectly balanced. It’s the perfect combination between freshness of fruit flavors, with the richness and spiciness of barrel maturation. It can age easily for tens years and more, only to develop more and more complexity, spices, nutty flavors.
Joseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars offer many services above and beyond just building wine cellars; from helping people cellar and inventory their wine, purchase wines at incredible pricing both rare and everyday wines, as well as setting up getaways at vineyards across the world.
Please contact us if we can help plan your next stay….and by the way here are our Top 6 vineyards to visit in Napa:
- Casa Piena – Gail and Carmen Policy – read more in our Q&A.
- Quintessa – Valeria and Agustin Huneeus’ dream of the Quintessential Wine Estate.
- Rudd Oakville Estate – Leslie, his wife, Susan, and daughter, Samantha have worked tirelessly to adhere to a credence of continuous improvement since they purchased the winery in 1996.
- Chappallet – Pritchard Hill’s rugged terroir has become legendary for producing wines with great intensity and depth
- Corison Winery – Cathy Corison has forged a life of wine that has spanned more than three decades.
- Robert Sinskey Vineyards – An organic winery known for its reds, with a tasting room and tours where wines are paired with foods.
This transitionally designed wine room is both sleek and elegant…in a word…timeless. The owners came to Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars and basically handed us the keys to the house and said “go to work!” They gave us complete freedom to design the wine cellar with “anything” that came to mind. While function and craftsmanship may be the starting point in all designs, it’s the details that make the difference. They refine the look and give it a distinctive personality.
With clean, straight lines, plenty of polish and very little clutter, modern design is more popular now than ever.
The wine room houses close to 3000 bottles and has a private “members only” gated wine vault section within the wine room. All of the metal was designed and produced by J&C’s master blacksmith. Ledge stone was added to break up the room, create elements for lighting (sconces) and allow the finished wine racks to pop. The ceiling has a distressed paint finish…and the floor is clean and suggests less is definitely more! The idea is not to hide all of the amazing details in the wine room with a busy floor pattern.
An ultra-quiet ductless split used for the climate control was hidden behind a custom louvered panel. Exterior grade wrought iron door and window allow for the guests at the bar to feel as if they are actually in the wine room. J&C are in the design phase for a custom tasting table which will be the final element to the magnificent wine room located in Warren, NJ.
So, our thoughts on the importance of design…keep it simple so the details in the wine cellar take center stage!
Please contact us if we can help facilitate your wine storage needs.
Every client presents a unique and personal set of requirements and with our collective vision we create the perfect wine storage need for their lifestyle. We are truly blessed to have the best customers in the world, and a great team to work with. There is always a way to make dreams happen, it might not be easy, but if you never give up there is no chance at failure. Joseph and Curtis strive to make every customer experience the best it can be.
You can read more about the award in the Houzz press release.
We recently completed a wine cellar in Oyster Bay, Long Island. The wine room had an overall footprint of 17′ wide yet only 6′ deep. holds over 1500 bottles, a custom drawer style humidor, an ultra-quiet ductless split cooling system, and floor to ceiling glass. The glass is recessed into distressed natural beams which you can find throughout the basement. This wine cellar design is “transitional” and flows with the pool table, ping pong table, and adult lounge. The homeowners cut the basement in 1/2 with one side being for adults and the other side being for the children….if you ask me it may be the closing thing to Utopia!
Please contact us if we can help design your custom wine feature and tasting areas….our award winning design team awaits your call! Cheers!
As we all know, NYC apartments have limited space to say the least! Our latest project involved a newly renovated home which was extremely confined, but the owner was adamant that a wine feature was essential ….and not just any wine fridge would do! The owner wanted a custom piece with sleek and sexy lines and led lighting. He joked that under the staircase (“which I am sure is impossible”) is about the only unaccounted for area. Joe took that as a challenge and the engineering team at J&C went to work!
I would like to say this creation was a piece of cake…but it wasn’t. We had to engineer temperature control heat loads (glass), exhaust, remove condensation, design the wine rack, implement vapor barriers, and seal. The engineering itself was quite an accomplishment, but then we had to build to fit on an elevator, and still look like a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Our custom wine cabinets are true “statement pieces” that any apartment or home would be proud to share…oh and by the way this particular cabinet can store over 300 bottles!
Before we begin any project, J&C will sit with the owner, designer, and architect to understand exactly what they are trying to achieve (not just with the wine element but with the entire space), It is not about making a wine rack for a wall or choosing certain fixtures, but about understanding the real issue: the use of the space and the desired atmosphere.
Please give us a call to better understand how J&C can design, and help create knockout works of art, custom-made wine furniture.
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?
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!