An interest and appreciation of fine wines often leads to a desire to collect. For the serious collector it means a special space dedicated to storing, displaying and enjoying wine. Sometimes these are true cellars buried on lower levels but more often now they’re incorporated into living spaces as features.
At the Pointhouse, a round climate controlled cellar was created as a focal point at the junction of the kitchen, dining room and media area. With a challenging diameter of only 8′, all the fittings,storage system and interior and exterior cladding required custom solutions. The collaboration between architect Frits deVries, Billy Carpenter of Vin de Garde, sculptor Richard Marmion, our builder Dave Gray, Heather and other local contractors resulted in a unique and beautiful design perfectly integrated into the spectacular setting.
The capacity is 442 bottles. Custom fir panelling and tapered pegs create the backdrop for the wine storage. The wavy sculpted wall cladding is punctuated with a glass door and illuminated by LED strip lighting tucked up under an encircling valance. More glass covers the cork floor-literally thousands of corkssous vid (estimated at 3400). Half were collected by us and friends over the preceding few years, each telling a personal story; the other half , no name corks rescued from the local winemaking shop, will eventually be replaced with the new cork collection. Contributions gratefully accepted.
I like wines with complexity, balance and length and prefer reds but there are many whites that fulfill this criteria.ie. Jackpot Viognier, Roussanne Marsanne from Road13. I favor old world tastes like tobacco and leather in my reds but am partial to the fruit forward right bank style and the GSM blends as well. I’ve got an area in the cellar specifically for aging, an area for wines to drink now as well as an area which is safe for Heather to pick a wine when I’m gone (she is quite worried about taking the “wrong” wine).
The cellar keeps the wine about 55 degrees and 80% humidity. I also keep my sealed bags of coffee beans in the cellar to keep them fresh. I seldom drink a bottle without having it rest in the cellar for a short time after purchase. It takes a while for a wine to get its legs back after sitting on a shelf and then being transported home. I also try not to buy older wines that I can’t guarantee have been stored properly.
I’ve resisted joining wine clubs as I like the hunt. Most of the original cellar bottles were purchased at discount outlets in Grande Prairie(Costco/Superstore/Joeys) as we still living in Dawson Creek while construction was underway on the Sunshine Coast. Many 90+ rated wines can be sourced from big retailers. Others were purchased at LCBs, private wine shops and directly from wineries. I use the “wine ratings” on my Wine Spectator App for the ratings, tasting notes and aging suggestions. Its amazing what great wines can be discovered at obscure stores and what appears out of the blue at LCB stores. Dawson Creek has a great supply of one of my favorites – the Thelema Shiraz. The Schild Shiraz suddenly appeared then disappeared (into my cellar) in Squamish while I was working there. The LCBs stores are happy to order special wines for you. Kitt at Park Royal was able to put together a case of quite a few of the W. S. Top 100 for me this year.
Cheers, Bob (the self proclaimed, but not licensed, Pointhouse Sommelier)