A Cellar Grows in Brooklyn

Peering into the mind of the collector.


We’re back with another cellar of the month. Perhaps unwittingly I’ve taken an editorial turn over the past few months. In addition to writing about wines and wine regions, I’m finding it increasingly interesting reading about the people that make this industry work. Now that of course means winemakers, sommeliers, and writers, but the story is not complete without you, the consumer.

We’ve been featuring the cellar installations of Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars & Humidors. over the past several months and while our original intent was to show you the great diversity of cellar installations, and live vicariously through their owners, the Q&A that accompanies each story also tells a fascinating story. Each of us has our own path through the world of wine, and to a certain extent we tend to think that our path is much like those of our friends but the truth, as so often is the case, is much more complex.
Our levels of passion vary, our disposable income, discretionary time, and interests all form a unique matrix, our wine DNA if you will. Each unique, though many closely related. I guess there is also a voyeuristic effect here as we look into someone else’s life from a distance, free to critique their journey of discovery, while perhaps cribbing notes for our own. I would love to know what you think about these sorts of interviews and where you might want them to go, who we should be talking to and what sorts of questions you’d like to see asked and answered.

While we’re waiting for your input take a look at this sleek modern cellar, installed in a townhouse in Brooklyn NY and get a peek into the life of its owner. The questions presented here were originally asked by Curtis Dahl of Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars

1. Please tell us where your passion for wine developed

* I started getting into wine while studying abroad my junior year in Florence in 1995. It was my first real exposure to wine outside of your typical table wine-caliber red at Thanksgiving dinner. I fell in love with the Sangiovese varietal - the bold Chianti Classicos and Brunellos Tuscany is so well known for, and even had an opportunity to sample some of the fine Super Tuscans of Bolgheri. I was hooked - it seemed like I was the only guy drinking a glass of red at frat parties when I came back from Italy to the US for my senior year.

2. Favorite regions?

* My wife and I got married in Sonoma in 2009 so that region certainly holds a special place in our heart. Beyond California, we love the varietals from Rhone - Syrah and Grenache for reds; Marsanne and Roussanne for whites. So in France, Chauteaneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas in southern Rhone are a couple of our favorites, along with the Barossa Valley in Australia and Franschoek in South Africa.

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  • Snooth User: vankula1
    38998 24

    Curtis just curious why you would build a cellar with so much exposure to light knowing its one of the top two enemies of wine? I realize youll turn the light off but isnt this exposed to the rest of the light through those glass windows?

    Jun 23, 2014 at 8:54 PM

  • Snooth User: doon
    79766 14

    I bought a modest home with an old mechanic grease pit under the garage floor. 4.5' x 12' and 5.2' deep. Cleaned it out and racked up one side wall with my wine collection. Temps range from 59 F in winter to 66 F in summer with extremely slow fluctuations between. Sorry, no glass displays or air con here folks, just a 3 inch thick layer of timber over top of a very dark pit set in concrete. Theres no light issues here, just lovely bottles of wine developing in a Kiwi style cellar providing ideal conditions at a price most could afford. Viv la Nouvelle Zélande!

    Jun 25, 2014 at 9:15 AM

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