Cellar Stalkers: A Peak Into Seattle’s Private Wine Stashes

Creeping our way into some of Seattle’s finest wine pantries.

Some aficionados collect baseball rookie cards, others gather Beatles memorabilia and there’s even those who compile rubber stamps into a ball. Somewhere between these other zealous lies the wine collector. Spirited and trusting, bottle buffs dive head first into the industry’s elite selections. Their purchases range from critically acclaimed Washington wines to decades-old vino from Bordeaux.

Holstering such a collection requires a place to put it, which is where these four Seattle collectors shine their brightest. Maintaining a quality cellar comes down to temperature control, organization and of course, an expertly chosen collection.

Photo: Terry, SODO

Bottle Enthusiast: Terry, SODO

Approximate Capacity: 3000 bottles

Most Prized Bottle: Chateau Latour 2005 Les Fortes de Latour (Red Bordeaux blend) 3-liter, valued around $500

Concept Behind Cellar Creation: Terry’s college wine fascination from studying abroad led to an international collection, courtesy of an exclusive wine shop hook-up.

Cellar Etiquette: “It’s categorized by country, except the end by the door where there’s the ‘drink wall.’ That’s where I pull from first to keep it fresh.”

Photo: Tom, West Seattle

Bottle Enthusiast: Tom, West Seattle

Approximate Capacity: 2000 bottles

Most Prized Bottle: Multiple year vertical of Cayuse Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon, each bottle valued at $150+

Concept Behind Cellar Creation: Bartender gone collector, Tom got the idea of showing off the labels from Seattle Wine Storage’s shelving, which makes the wine easier to locate amongst the beautiful wooden rows.

Cellar Etiquette: “Anything is fair game. When friends are over, they can open whatever they want 99% of the time, as long as it’s ready to drink.”

Photo: Gary, Belltown

Bottle Enthusiast: Gary, Belltown

Approximate Capacity: 2000 bottles

Most Prized Bottle: Chateau Petrus Pomerol (Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend), depending on the vintage, one bottle is valued between $2000-$4000.

Concept Behind Cellar Creation: The showpiece of his house, Gary designed his cellar as a break between the dining and living rooms where it thrives as the central focus.

Cellar Etiquette: “I’m pretty easy going, just let me know what you want to drink and we’ll do it.”

Photo: Rob & Cassandra, Mukilteo

Bottle Enthusiast: Rob & Cassandra, Mukilteo

Approximate Capacity: 1500 bottles

Most Prized Bottle: 1961 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Red Bordeaux blend), one bottle valued at $1600.

Concept Behind Cellar Creation: After visiting Italy numerous times, the couple wanted to meld old country style of Tuscany with the very American concept of a ‘mancave.’

Cellar Etiquette: “We have everything we need down there, all the tasting glasses and wine keys. We play dice, music and have an intercom system if we’re needed upstairs.”