The thought of having your own wine cellar at arms-reach seems so relaxing, but then the thought of how to make this happen can feel overwhelming. Now with ease, you can have a wine cellar within your home without the hassle of building it yourself, thanks to Sotheby’s “instant cellars.”
Sotheby began offering “instant cellars” to New York and Hong Kong back in June. While the cost isn’t pretty to look at, this is the easiest and fastest way to enjoy a private vino collection. The cost for this luxurious addition is between $5,000 and $25,000.
The process after purchasing is a breeze. With a few emails and clicks, one of four wine collections curated by Sotheby’s team of experts arrives right at your home within 24 hours. The French-favored wines include Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne from excellent vintages. Gilbert says, “They provide a range of styles, regions and price points, and are suitable for a variety of occasions.” Sotheby’s has even added optional fingerprint security and chilled elevators.
Before jumping on this purchase though, give some hard thought to where you’re going to store the collection and how you’ll keep track of the 50 to 168 bottles. The ideal environment is a cool, humid environment at 55 degrees with 75 percent humidity. When purchasing your cellar, you’ll also receive a consultation with a member of the advisory team. This is your opportunity to ask questions about your cellar and how to maintain it. The advisory team is skilled in expert selection and understanding the history behind every bottle.
The idea was born when the international auction house expanded services to include a full-service integrated wine business, including online services and retail shops in Manhattan and Hong Kong. “The obvious next step was the collection management and advisory service we launched in June,” says Sotheby’s Head of Wine Jamie Ritchie. “We put in the time and the clients do the enjoyable part.”
From the retail shop came the idea for the cellars. “We realized there was a need,” says Vice President and Senior Wine Adviser Julia Gilbert. She recalls one customer who wanted a cellar as a graduation gift and asked the shop if they could assemble one. Another customer requested the shop make a basic wine cellar of bottles to ship it his temporary apartment to entertain guests while he was living in the West Coast for a six-month project.
The first level of instant cellars sells at $5,000 and is recommended for newbies. It offers two bottles each of 25 different wines with an interesting combination of familiar and not-so-obvious labels. They include a 2006 La Conseillante, a 1995 Chateau Haut-Bailly and a 2005 Chateau Langoa-Barton.
The intermediate option is the $10,000 cellar containing 72 bottles. There are 36 labels within the cellar with some duplicated from the first level. Wines included in this cellar include a 2008 Roederer Brut Champagne, a gorgeous 2014 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne and the great 2005 Vieux Chateau Certan.
Their third cellar is $25,000, offering three bottles each of 56 wines. To pick your selection of white Burgundies is like a self-guided seminar. The reds included are 13 Bordeaux from vintages ranging from 2000 to 2010.