According to a recent article in Forbes, wine cellars are becoming more and more integrated into the home —often as showpiece rooms that can double as living and entertaining spaces.
Is this trend taking hold in Tampa Bay? According to Paul Wiezorek, co-owner of Cave a’ Vin, the answer is yes.
A licensed contractor and custom home builder, Wiezorek says that he and his partner, Craig Taylor, have 25 projects going on right now, and that he receives about four to eight calls a week for estimates in homes and restaurants. “The market is very busy, and high-end builders are using us for the new homes in this region.”
People are staying home more instead of going out to drink, or they’ve decided to rework their living space, or they may have squirreled away hundreds of bottles of wines in different areas in their house because they’ve outgrown their wine refrigerator. Oenophiles who travel to Napa or Sonoma and order their wines delivered once a month may not have the space to store them and wind up wondering, “What do I do with all this wine?”
Wiezorek said that 50 percent of his clients have a preconceived idea of what their wine space is going to look like and where it should be. Because he’s a custom home builder, he’s able to suggest alternatives once he visits in person. At one condo on Bayshore, for instance, he tucked the wine cellar under a staircase and behind a fabulous door.
He’s noticing a number of trends in the way homeowners are showcasing their wine collections. One is to add a special kitchen cabinet for wine with plexiglass doors and back-lighting. Or you could take it a step further and extend the kitchen with a refrigerated walk-in wine cellar with double glass doors.
It isn’t just wines that are being showcased. Humidors with liquor cabinets are also being added. Paul said 10 out of 25 of their wine cellar clients are asking for humidors. In one wine cellar, they created a humidor drawer instead of a whole case, lining it with cedar and using a humidification system called a Boveda humidor bag.
Another trend is that people are reworking spaces in their homes that aren’t being utilized — transforming a child’s bedroom, part of a formal living or dining room, or even an open study into a wine room. The wine room then becomes more than a storage area — it can now be a place to throw a party, surrounded by wine. Some clients with larger cellars are adding counters, creating an internal gathering spot where guests can decant and sip. Another Cave a’ Vin client had a high-top table and two stools set up in their wine room, perfect for intimate tête-à-têtes over a glass of cabernet.
Because Wiezorek is a licensed contractor, he can pull permits and assure clients that the cellars will be custom-built by quality people, from electricians to refrigeration, who are licensed and insured. Craig Taylor brings years of experience from around the world, building upscale wine cellars and humidors for a discerning clientele.
Now that it’s so common for people to work from home offices, what could be better at the end of the workday than to walk out of the office, stroll across the family room and meet in the wine cellar for happy hour?
Cave a’ Vin, Tampa, 813-841-3330, caveavin.us.
And if you need to stock that cellar, consider these fine wine purveyors:
• Vintage Wine Cellars. Virtual wine tastings every Friday at 7 p.m. Buy the wine and cheese ahead of time and watch at home. 3629 Henderson Blvd, Tampa, 813-879-2931, vintagewinecellars.net.
• Fine Wines & Spirits Warehouse. A temperature-controlled wine cellar with approximately10,000 bottles, including Premium Cellar Selections — over 150 wines rated 90+ points. 4023 W. Gandy Blvd. Tampa, 813-837-8941, finewineandesotericspirits.com.
The above story is in the Fall 2020 issue of duPont Registry Tampa Bay. Hard copies are due to be showing up in fine mailboxes near you any day now, but meanwhile, enjoy the digital edition.