lower half of a cork

 

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July/August 2007

RARE WINES AT LINER & ELSEN

"More than ever, L&E is a destination shopping location, so we like to provide something special."

by Angie Jabine

Libraries and bookstores have “rare books” rooms. Since moving to roomier new digs, Portland’s Liner & Elsen Wine Merchants now has its own rare-wine room.

Through a glass wall, customers get their first enticing look at a 1983 Château Margaux, a 1986 Château Haut-Brion, a 1994 Opus One, and other rare finds, some displayed on satin-smooth shelves made from old barrel staves.

“It was built for us by The Wine Outfitters, which will become our retail neighbor in July when they occupy the space next door,” says owner Bob Scherb. “They build premier wine cellars. The idea to use recycled wine barrel staves came from them. The specialized cooling unit keeps temperatures at around 58°F, at optimal humidity, and the lights are kept dim and cool as well.”

Scherb says the cellar-style room lets him display the wines he used to keep in a cooled private storage facility. It’s also a way of promoting the idea of cellaring wines.

“We hope it enhances the shopping experience,” he says. “Customers do respond very favorably to the room. More than ever, L&E is a destination shopping location, so we like to provide something special to visitors.”


NOTE: The Wine Outfitters, while no longer a retail neighbor of Liner & Elsen, can be found online as West Coast Wine Cellars.


New wine room allows L&E to display
special wines in a customized in-store cellar.


Wine barrel staves were recovered to create
an elegant tasting and display countertop.