Wine cellars continue to one-up each other with their impressive collections. Whether they are hosts to a rare cheval blanc or boast a 10,000-plus collection, the competition is stiff. But there is one thing that can set a wine cellar a part from the rest: the atmosphere. If you’re an oenophile, we suggest you take a tour of these wine cellars that never fail to impress us:
Aureole at Las Vegas. Wine cellars don’t get much cooler than this: 42 feet high, inspired by the movie Mission Impossible and serviced by a pair of “wine angels.” This glass-and-steel cellar (or in this case, tower) serves as the centerpiece for the Four-Star Las Vegas restaurant, housing 10,000 of the restaurant’s 50,000 bottles of wine. Armed with intercoms and wine bottle holsters, the angels (who are clad in black Calvin Klein catsuits) are strapped in harnesses so they can glide up and down the mechanical lines of the tower to retrieve diner’s bottles. It’s a sight to see, and the angels work fast — it takes just 10 seconds to be lifted from the ground floor to the top of the tower.
Blantyre. It’s not as flashy as Aureole’s soaring tower; but what it lacks in flash, it makes up for in old-school sophistication. If you’re staying at the Five-Star Boston-area hotel, you might not stumble upon the cellar on your own, so be sure to ask for a tour. A staff member will guide you down to the impressive cellar, where you’ll find nearly 15,000 selections from around the world (including a $48,000 bottle of Château Petrus). The wine director can offer you some tasting recommendations, and you can then soak in the atmosphere in the cellar’s classic sitting area, which is complete with red leather chairs, a chandelier and the lingering scent of cigars.
Caudelie Vinothérapie Spa. That’s right, this wine cellar is in a spa. In fact, Caudelie Vinotherapie is the only spa in New York with a full-time sommelier. He oversees the cherry wood wine cellar, which sits in the French Paradox Wine Lounge (the spa’s relaxation room) and houses 664 bottles. Spa guests can sit in the luxurious room to unwind and sample original vintages from the spa owners’ family property in Bordeaux, France. (Be sure to check out the cellar floor — it’s coated in pebbles, which is a nod to the signature cellars of Bordeaux.) The cellar even holds a piece of the historic hotel’s past: It’s placed in one of the original exterior bay windows of the Plaza, a spot that has been untouched by recent renovations.