When we got home, I set to work assembling all of it. It's creeping close to midnight, Dan's asleep, and I'm finally mostly finished; it took a lot longer than I expected it to. The wine cellar is only just now approaching Nirvana; everything is on the shelves, the wine shippers that were taking up so much space have been removed, and it's finally starting to look reasonably tidy.
I'm hoping to dump the wine shippers this week [these are humongous Styrofoam packing boxes that hold twelve bottles of wine each] at Pete's wine shop in Bellevue [but I have to call them and see if they can use them first] - they're too good to just leave for the recycle truck. For now, though, they're littering up the front porch. 2003 was a pretty busy year in terms of building up the wine cellar; once I got a regular paycheck again, I set to work stocking up on the stuff I enjoyed so much in Australia, which is now about half of what I've got socked away for the long haul.
With any luck I'll get some pictures of the cellar soon - it's beautiful, albeit in a very geeky way. I freely admit that I get lost in thought in there sometimes, going through the 600 or so bottles, thinking about what's good to drink now, what I wish I could share with friends, remembering back to when I bought some of them... it's a real pleasure. This evening, I found the 1997 Viña Tarapacá that we bought in a hypermarket in Santiago, Chile, having just drunk that wine before dinner in Valparaiso a few days before. That must have been 1999; I didn't know much about wine then, but was starting to seriously geek out on the subject. Our wine cellar at that point was a whopping three bottles; however, that trip to Chile was probably the major catalyst for this hobby. I'd never known wine could taste so good before that trip, and the stash we dragged home on the plane became the nucleus for the wine collection.
Now it's 2004, and I've got a bunch of good stuff just sitting there, waiting for the right time and the right company to drink it.
Life is good.