A Shared Love of Wine Collecting

Whenever guests pay a visit to the Sedona home of Dr. Richard Witlin and his wife, Nancy Weinman, the one room in the house that Richard insists on being the “official tour guide” for is their beautiful, one-of-a-kind wine cellar.

“Especially when it’s really hot outside, I have a great time walking our guests into the cool, climate-controlled, 55-degree wine room and showing them the hundreds of different wine bottles that Nancy and I have collected over the years,” says Richard. “With the specialized features we have built into the wine room, including LED displays and custom bottle racks, along with the many wonderful bottles of wine to talk about, the wine room is a special jewel within our home.”

The couple’s wine cellar in their Sedona home.

The way Richard and Nancy explain it, the fun of opening up an old bottle of wine is a little bit like time traveling and taking a warm, nostalgic trip down memory lane. When they open up a bottle from 1990, for example, they’ll stop and think about where they were that year and try to remember what they were doing. Sipping wine, while sharing memories is a delicious combination.

And if ever there was a couple with a definite talent and combined “eye for design,” this is it. Dr. Witlin is a renowned ophthalmologist, and Nancy Weinman is a distinguished architect who owns Weinman Architectural Services in both Sedona and New York City.

Located adjacent to the dining room, the couple designed their long, narrow, walk-in wine cellar with tall, glass walls so that everyone can see directly into the room while dining, and enjoy looking at all the different wine bottles with their pretty labels.

In fact, their guests enjoy looking into the wine room so much, “It’s almost like being in a library looking at all the books,” laughs Nancy. “Our wine room gives everyone a lot to read and talk about while eating dinner.”

Sharing their passion and love for wine collecting has been a “really fun adventure that has taken us all around the world” adds Richard. “If you ever want to travel to a beautiful place where the people are nice and friendly, go to a place where they make wine.”

Their trips have not only taken them to several, first-rate wineries around Arizona and nearby Napa Valley; the couple has also traveled to stunning vineyards across France, Italy, Spain, Chile, and coming up this spring, they’re eagerly anticipating their very first trip to wineries across Israel. They say their wine cellar will soon include several bottles of both kosher and non kosher wine from Israel. They’re looking forward to buying both.

The company they hired to help with the design and building of their customized wine cellar was Wine Cellar Experts in Scottsdale. Owned by professional sommelier and wine cellar design specialist, Rick Benson, Richard and Nancy say they appreciated the way that Rick and his team were able to individualize the wine cellar for them. For example, one unique feature that Wine Cellar Experts created for Nancy was a built-in storage cabinet where she can now store her fur vests and jackets. The 55-degree temperature in the cellar is not only ideal for storing wine, it’s also ideal for storing fur.

Collecting and drinking wine with friends is a shared passion that Richard and Nancy say they look forward to enjoying for many years to come. Their favorite quote about wine that best sums up their feelings is the famous quote from Galileo: “Wine is sunlight held together by water.”

For more information about building a customized wine cellar in your home, contact Wine Cellar Experts at 480-922-WINE (9463) or visit winecellarexperts.com.

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