Our Favorite Room: Wine Cellars
THE HIDDEN CELLAR
Where It Began: As an afterthought. Steve Barsch, the architect who designed the remodel of this historic home in Denver, had nearly finished his plans when the homeowners decided to use a bit of leftover space in the basement for a wine room. “It’s this little, hidden room you enter through an old wooden door,” interior designer Beth Armijo says. “You can’t tell it’s there.”
Perfect Touches: The materials. The terracotta dividers that hold the bottles were imported from France, and the shelves and flooring are made of old barn-wood from the East Coast. “There’s nothing new about this room,” Armijo says. “I love how it feels and smells old, thanks to the wood—like you’re walking into an Old-World wine room.”
Design Tips: Keep it simple. You don’t need a lot of space to build a wine room in your basement. (The walkway in this cellar is about 4.5 feet wide by 11 feet long.) “Plus, the materials aren’t very expensive,” Armijo says. Want the aged look of old wine racks? Call your favorite wine shop to ask if they can help you track down unique storage options.
Design Details: Armijo Design Group, armijodesigngroup.com; Steve Barsch Design, (303) 534-1121
MAN CAVE MEETS ART GALLERY
Where It Began: As part of a remodel. Boulder-based interior designer Tami Wakeman calls her husband “a food and wine guy,” and the couple wanted space in their home for wine storage. “Basically, my husband wanted to accommodate as many bottles of wine as he could purchase,” Wakeman laughs. “But we narrowed the design down so it can hold about 900 bottles.”
Her husband would have been happy with a simple storage space, but Wakeman added her own touches: shelves where she displays decanters, old bottles and antique corkscrew openers; and wall space to showcase art by Thomas Arvid, famous for his photo-realistic paintings of wine and wine-related themes. “Our wine room has become a little bit of a gallery,” Wakeman says.
Perfect Touch: The countertops. “I love that they’re made from old wine barrels,” Wakeman says. “Some even have stains on them from the wine, which just makes them even more beautiful and interesting.”
Design Tip: Mix materials. A wine room is an excellent place to blend reclaimed materials (like the wine-barrel countertops) with new ones, like the basketweave marble tile from Ann Sacks.
Wakeman also points out that a wine room can be a good showcase for food- and wine-inspired souvenirs. For their honeymoon, she and her husband traveled through Europe, stopping at restaurants owned by world-renowned chef Alain Ducasse. One restaurant had a small shop, where Wakeman noticed a framed collection of corks from famous French wineries. So she saved the corks from wine she and her husband enjoyed on their honeymoon and framed them similarly. “So many of our memories are sensory, so a wine cellar is an excellent space to preserve and celebrate good times in our lives,” she says.
Design Details: Apex by Vinotemp, apexwinecellars.com, and Tami Wakeman, Blanc Canvas Interiors, (303) 440-9166
WINE SHOPS TO LOVE
Boulder Wine Merchant
Run by two master sommeliers, this shop is the go-to place if you need a special vintage. If they don’t have it, they’ll track it down for you. Boulderwine.com
Davino Wine & Spirits, Denver
We go to Davino for its wide selection in all price ranges. Not sure what you’re looking for? No problem. The staff listens to what you like—and don’t like—and makes recommendations that are sure to please. Don’t miss the back wall, where you’ll find an excellent selection of spirits. Divinowine.com
Fisher’s Liquor Barn, Grand Junction
So it doesn’t have the charm of a smaller shop, but family-owned Fisher’s is the spot on the Western Slope for wine selection and personable service. Not surprisingly, their selection of Western Colorado wines is unmatched. Fisherliquorbarn.com
Mondo Vino, Denver
This wine shop in the Highlands neighborhood has gotten plenty of kudos, and we think the accolades are well deserved. The staff is helpful and friendly, and they do an excellent job guiding wine-lovers of all knowledge levels through the buying process. As an added bonus, the selection of specialty beer is top-notch. Mondovino.net
Of Grape & Grain, Aspen
Good for high-end wines, this shop is the place to go if you’re looking for wine for a special occasion.
Tony’s Wine, Centennial (next to the original Tony’s Market)
We always like when the person who tastes and buys the wine is available to customers, and if you walk into Tony’s Wine, you’ll have a great chance of talking to the gentleman who does both. You can swear by his recommendations for vintages and pairings. Tonysmarket.com
Star Liquors, Durango
Selection, service, price points—everything about this place is fabulous. Don’t let the fact that it’s a few minutes out of the way deter you; your experience will be well worth the extra travel time. Starliquorsdurango.com
West End Wine Shop, Boulder
At this tiny wine shop, the selection is well chosen. The owner knows his stuff—and his customers—and we think you’ll find him exceptionally helpful. Westendwineshop.com
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