Oh, how I love books that purport to be the "most" something, "best" something, etc., and fall flat on their face as an obvious pretentious ripoff. Most people thinking of buying this outrageously overpriced ripoff are likely seeking ideas to help them build their own cellar to a high standard. Most assuredly, they can look elsewhere, for almost none of these are appropriate for that purpose.
Almost all of these are hardly "beautiful" cellars, for one thing. Famous, yes. Historic, yes. Rustic, primitive, most certainly.
For most of these are historic underground cavern-type cellars of famous chateaux, hotels, restaurants, etc, many going back hundreds of years. Almost all are simply caves carved out of the basement stone underneath, such as limestone. Almost all the photos simply show old wines laying on their sides on stone shelves in these caves, gathering dust over the decades. Anyone seriously into wine has seen this type of old chateau cellar many times before, and a book full of them is of little value for the extremely high price.
The two 5-star endlessly-gushing reviews here are to me highly suspect. For one thing, they were both written within two weeks of each other, some two years ago. And, oh, my, one reviewer calls these 300 "stunning" photos, no less. No, they're not "stunning", they're just photos of old wine cellars. Not a single one "stunned" me, I assure you, and I do in fact get occasionally stunned by outstanding photography.
The other 5-star cheerleader chirps valuable insights such as "one sees that for some wine collectors and connoisseurs, wine can be like fine art." Gosh, that's deep. And: "seen in some photographs is the dust accumulated on the old bottles.Read more ›
Looks can be deceiving as this beautifully crafted coffee table-esque book is not quite what you think it might be. Rather than focusing on the glitzy superstar cellars of the rich and famous, this semi-retrospective look at wine cellars centers much more on real, historical, chateau-based caves and other dug-out cellars as opposed to freshly built, state-of-the-art, temperature- and humidity-controlled wine rooms. I would, therefore, say that the book, although containing some absolutely stunning pictures, is as much a decent read about the history of wine cellars around the world and, accordingly, perhaps geared a bit more to true oenophiles than those looking for a more standard coffee table book. Bravo!
Oenophiles rejoice You'll be delighted and probably find everything you've ever dreamed of in this beautifully photographed volume. Granted, precious few of us can afford the incredible wine cellars featured, but thanks to THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WINE CELLARS IN THE WORLD we can visit. I hasten to add they're not only beautiful but their selections are impeccable.
Our visits, which include 60 wine cellars in Europe, North America, Lebanon and China, are arranged chronologically beginning with the older cellars and moving forward in history until we are amazed by a virtual wine cellar.
Opening with an Introduction that holds a description of the ideal cellar and focuses on temperature, humidity, lighting, vibration, etc. we are eager for our first stop which is Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Spain. Surrounded by gorgeous mountains and founded in 1858 it is the oldest cellar featured. Many may be surprised to see the eye-popping architecture designed by the one and only Frank Gehry Using the former Marques de Riscal cellar as the basis for his design he created a phenomenal structure over it. With a titanium exterior he incorporated the Marques de Riscal's colors - pink for the wine, gold for the mesh that covers the bottles, and silver for the bottleneck capsules. This complex includes a hotel, a restaurant, a business center and a health spa, which offers vinotherapy treatments.
A bit of heaven I'd be willing to stay for a long while but it is on to Thiessen Wijnkoopers, where the oldest parts of the subterranean cellars date to the 14th century and once formed part of the city's defenses. Next? France's Chateau Margaux where one of the best wines in the world is produced. And our travels have only begun.Read more ›
Many of the nearly 60 wine cellars photographed are found in the renowned wine regions of Europe--France, Italy, and Germany. But there are also many of this appreciable number from regions which have not been known as wine-growing regions for centuries, but which nonetheless have come to be established as regions producing desirable wines for wine lovers around the world.
The book on wine cellars made up largely of photographs of them brings in both the old and the new. Among the newer areas are the United States and Canada, Lebanon, and China too. Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Monaco are among European areas brought in which have not been traditionally identified as areas associated with fine wines. And as wine cellars is the topic, the wines cellars of outstanding hotels expands the geographical area even more; though most of the hotels are in cities or regions with ties to the modern international wine trade. There are also photographs of wine cellars of private homes, one cellar containing more than 80,000 bottles in six cellars throughout the home. This variety of cellars brings a new perspective on the subject of wine to many readers. One sees that for some wine collectors and connoisseurs, wine can be like fine art.
The sequence of the wine cellars from older to newer roughly follows both the geographical spread of the development of new wine areas and interest in wine and also the development of wine cellars. Each cellar is introduced with a short essay on its origin, history, size, etc. It is the photographs especially though which highlight such developments in the field of wine and wine cellars. Catacomb-like ancient wine cellars have kegs of wine and wine bottles stacked one on top of the other in rows in recesses of tunnel-like or cavernous areas.Read more ›