Another short Q & A with my good friend Curtis Dahl, owner of wine cellar builders Joseph & Curtis.
So I see you have a new wine cellar! Care to tell me a little bit about it…?
My main floor cellar was a conversion from an office to an “adult playroom.” It sits between my family and living room. It’s pretty visible from the entire 1st floor which is pretty cool. Anytime we have visitors over its the first thing they usually want to see, it also a great place for the adults to sit and chat (and of course taste wine)
Is this the only wine cellar in your house?
This is the 2nd wine cellar in my home. We preach values in the Dahl residence! The first wine cellar kinda launched J&C waaaaaaay back. It is a rustic cellar with stone and slate, and its in my basement. Both cellars have decent storage..total comes to about 4k bottles (which I have nowhere near YET).
How long did this project (pictured) take?
The project took about a month as we worked around the clock and it was a two day install. Everything was built in our warehouse including the door, cabinets, and of course wine racks.
It features our J&C ductless split cooling system with the ultra quiet blower and outside compressor.
What’s your cellar made of?
The cellar; both the outside facade, wine racks, door and cabinets, are made of Sapele Mahogany with a clear finish.
This cellar doesn’t look to be very deep.
The cellar is about 32″ deep (which helps me stay skinny) and the wine racks are 13″.
The great part about this type of cellar is we were able to create a tasting room just outside of the wine room because of the small footprint of the cellar. The tasting room features a table, countertop, coffer ceiling, with a distressed plaster finish.
Any particular challenges you had to overcome?
The challenges are always with refrigeration…in a residential wine cellar you have to make sure the blower coil is quiet or you’ll have to scream over each other to try and talk over it!
How many bottles does your cellar hold?
Depends on whether I use 750ml or 1.5…some of the racks we built for this wine room will hold both standard 750 and magnum storage…so 1,000-1250.
What are your particular “star”/most expensive wines in your cellar?
As you can imagine I go to a lot of tastings and get to try some pretty amazing wines. I also interview a lot of winemakers and people in the industry and I always pick their brains. I have a very open palate and will try almost anything.
What’s the main type(s) of wine you have in your cellar?
Wines that I enjoy…I just love to taste. I have a mix of everything, Italian, Cali, French, German, Spain, etc. Here are some of my favorites:
Favorite producers: Casa Piena, Kistler, Pahlmeyer, La Sirena, Charles Smith, Quilceda Creek, Gaja, Giuseppe Quintarelli, Bodegas y Viñedos Maurodos, Bodega Chacra
Favorite bottles: Château Margaux 1994; Gaja Sperss 2001; Quilceda Creek 1998; Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red 1996; Fontodi Flaccianello 2004; Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo 1999; Franciscan Oakville Estate Magnificat 1995; Bodegas Vega Sicilia 2004