Cellar of the Month April 2014

A traditional look draws you in to this classic cellar


Another Monday, another gorgeous cellar. Take a minute and feast your eyes on this place. Located in Westchester County, NY, this cellar accomodates 2500 bottles in classic style. Neat and orderly, it's packed and stacked with fine vintages and solid wood cases, which look especially attractive stacked as a solid block of splendor aginst the rugged look of of raw brick walls.  

Curtis Dahl is an owner of Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars & Humidors. To add some daydreaming fodder to your Monday we’ve asked him to share some enviable cellar installation pics with us and give us a little background about the collector who has amassed such an outstanding collection.

Cases and Cases

Cases are stacked out in the corner but case end panels also conceal a cellar door. Can you tell which are the real cases?

Curtis Dahl: How did your wine appreciation develop?

Answer: My wine appreciation started in 1998 when I was doing my MBA. I had the opportunity to start tasting wine on special events and I started buying a few of them, starting with the low cost ones and increasing the value of my purchases over time.

Concealed Refrigeration

The clean lines of this cellar are established by the strong horizontal elements reinforced byt he shelving, brickwork, and tabletop. The concealed framing surrounding the refrigeration unit blends in seamlessly with these elements. 

Curtis Dahl: When did you start collecting and what has changed in your collecting since then?

Answer: I started buying wine in 2002, keeping them in my small wine cooler in Manhattan when my oldest daughter Nicole was born, at that time I was was buying anything I could afford at the time.

After that, in 2006 I traveled with my wife to Tuscany where I really developed my taste for wine, particularly at a few wineries that make a nice Brunello di Montalcino. At that point, i started my Italian collection.

After that, Istarted tasting different wines from Spain, France, Chile, Argentina and especially the  US.

Centerpiece

A table, with storage below of course, serves as both a visual and functional centerpiece for the cellar. While not everyone has such a spacious cellar, a table is always a good idea. Trust me, I've unloaded hundreds of cases without one, and i miss it every single time!

Curtis Dahl: What is your favorite wine region and why?

Answer: My favorite wine region is La Rioja, why because I believe that you can find great value, you have producers like Muga, Cvne, Lopez Heredia and Artadi that I believe are under valued for the quality of the wine.

Another wine I really love is Quilceda Creek from Washington state, since 2007 when I tried my first, I have been buying them every chance I get. It is one of my favorite wines, Ibelieve what they produce is simple amazing.

Sumptuous Selection

This is a cellar filled with gems, and when you've amassed such a collection,let's face it, you want to be able to visit with it from time to time!

Curtis Dahl: Please tell me how you developed such a diverse and deep wine cellar?

Answer: I have been keeping most of my wine over the years at Zachys where I was buying the most from, and given that I had the space park them, I decided to start a collection. Starting with the Italian, then Spain, France, and the US.

The Italians

I see Vietti, Giacosa, Sandrone, plenty of Soldera, and Pggio di Sotto, and Salvioni. An enviable collection!

Curtis Dahl:Do you buy to drink or to just cellar?

Answer: I buy most of my wine to cellar trying to buy vintages that will hold for many years. I hope some day I would enjoy this cellar with my children and I hope they develop the taste for it.

Curtis Dahl:What is your favorite part of the wine cellar?

Answer: My favorite part of the wine cellar is the table I have in the middle where i can sit and just enjoy looking around and tasting wine.

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