This would be a good time for a visit Chess. I have numerous wino type friends and they all want to get together in the near future to try some of the wines all of us brought back. It’s sort of a ritual of ours. We all go searching for a great bottle, then wait till we can all get together and try them. It’s a great way to spend time with friends, and also share some good wine with folks who appreciate wine. Several are down right excellent chefs too…. So if you get the itch, just shoot me a note and I’ll set up a tasting night, or two, or three. We have the spare bedroom all outfitted with a new bedroom set and towels in the bathroom. I’ll put you to work designing my little cellar (that was going to be a small kitchenette)
I will endeavor to get my PM box more empty by tomorrow so we can chat. I likely have enough Air Miles to fly there and back twice.
There is another possible trip to northern Manitoba for Christmas though and i'm burning vacation time for it. A second trip may have to wait a few months at least, but i think this could setup to be one really fun journey!
As for the cellar design, i can't take all the credit. The wife helped and our interior designer gave us several versions of basement outlays to help the idea process.
I also checked out variations at many websites, magazines and of course, some cellars makers.These folks
are actually based in Winnipeg but just before installing our racking, they came back from the US (NY if i recall) where they installed a 10,000 bottle cellar for some truly rich bastard.
A few shots of the cellar completed (i would put them inline but i never resized the buggers so the pics are huge): Link 1 Link 2 Link 3Link 4
I don’t know what the shipping rules are to / from Canada and US, but you might want to call the St Helena Wine Center. They are VERY helpful and know there stuff when it comes to California wines. They do not charge a ‘handling’ fee and only what it costs them to ship. They have an outstanding selection and are always out trying wines. I’ve already got my cases from them ($80 per case, second day UPS air). http://www.shwc.com/
I will check out the site, but usually 'importing' wines into the country just doesn't happen. They have to be sent by a relative as a 'gift' and there are limits on quantities. I try to get my friends and relatives who live down there to bring bottles back with them. Unfortunately they are not as keen on carting around 14+ bottles in a cooler in the airports as i am.