I was on a business outing several weeks ago that took me to City Club in Charlotte, NC. This is one of those private clubs that is abundantly adorned in rich mahogany wood and you know as soon as you step through the doors that being a member is as much a status symbol as anything else. I was actually there to network with the local banking community of Charlotte. Having arrived early, I had plenty of time to wander around – and I am so glad I did!
I stumbled upon a Wall of Wine! I immediately went up to the desk and started asking the receptionist questions. (1) What are these wines for? and (2) Can I please take pictures?
Turns out these doors/windows you see in the picture are private wine cellars for club members. You will note that each one has its own lock as well as the member’s name engraved on a brass plate at the bottom of the door. Members can bring wine to the club from their private collections at home and have them stored in these temperature controlled wine cellars so that their own wines are readily available for dinner! Talk about a status symbol! The members can actually have their own wine menu created from their personal wine collection so that when they sit down to dinner, they are ordering wines from their own private collection!
These lockers are in huge demand at City Club too. There are not enough to serve every member so you have to put your name on a waiting list to even get one. The picture above is only one portion of a wall. When you step into the dining room, there is another wall lined with private wine lockers. And for the really expensive wines that need to be kept under even more security, the club manager has a wine locker in his office as well for members to lock these up in. You will notice that each wine has a tag hanging from it. This tag has the member’s number on it so that he/she can request his reserve by membership number.
And if you don’t already have a “private” collection of wine at home, the wine manager at the club is constantly finding great wine deals that he passes along to members. Members can order wine at his discount and either take them home or keep them in their private wine locker and have them added to their own personalized wine menu! If you are not fortunate enough to have one of the private wine lockers, you can still bring your own bottle (BYOB) to the club and enjoy it with your meal.
Needless to say, I was duly impressed! I wonder how this would compare to being in a wine club. You would have options to purchase great wines at bargain prices plus get all the added perks mentioned above.