Once you become a serious wine connoisseur and collector, you will need a place to store your collection, in addition to your home cooler. Wines meant for aging need a home, and a business address is desirable so you can receive shipments from wineries.
For several years, I’ve had a wine locker at the Wine Cellar Club in Irvine. Housed in two warehouse buildings on Murphy Avenue near Diamond Jamboree, the facility offers temperature and humidity controlled storage (57 degrees and 65 percent humidity) and more. It has been in operation since 1992.
A full-time staff is on duty from Monday through Saturday to receive your wines delivered by UPS, Fed-Ex, and others. The staff, headed by Felicia Cochran, is responsive and capable. There’s a secure state-of-the-art alarm, video, armed patrol service, and fire sprinklers. Both individual private lockers holding 6 to 96 cases, and walk-in cellars holding 360 cases and more are available. Custom wine storage racks for 375 ml, 750 ml, and 1.5L bottles can be rented with your locker.
A members’ lounge has a 50-inch television, and there is a full kitchen, card room, billiard room, wine library, Wi-Fi, wine-tasting rooms and more. And clients with lockers can reserve rooms for private wine-tasting.
Special sommelier-led wine-tasting events are also held on site. Beginning Feb. 3, Orange County sommelier Joey Kleinhaus, CSW, CS, and several guest experts will teach a four-part weekly wine-appreciation course. Attendees will taste and discuss a total of 48 wines covering all the major grape varieties and winegrowing regions of the world. They’ll also receive a reference notebook of class materials and a copy of Karen MacNeil’s global wine guide, “The Wine Bible.” The cost is $479 (Wine Cellar Club members receive a discounted price of $429). For details, email joey@WineElite.org.
The Wine Cellar Club is at 17162 and 17141 Murphy Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. Saturday. Lockers can be accessed at other times by special arrangement. For more information, phone 949-252-1828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Better yet, stop by and check out the facility. Tell them the Prince of Pinot (that’s me) sent you.