The Cellar Sanctuary Series takes you into the forbidden land of a fellow member’s cellar to help inspire both you and us on our wine journeys. To kick off the series we gave you a sneak peak into the cellar of Phil Kearns - former Wallabies Captain!
The 'Kearnsy Cellar'
Kearnsy hand dug his cellar with a little help from his mates 11 years ago, the very first renovation he did to his house in the lower North Shore of Sydney. Good to see he has his priorities right! His cellar has a trap door in the dining room for easy access during those many dinner parties he hosts, and is organised by various walls: Shiraz (his favourite drop), International (mainly French, Italian and Spanish varietals), Favourites, and a very small Whites wall for WA Chardonnays and Riesling.
When he got into wine
Around 30 years old, Kearnsy found his passion for wine whilst travelling the Barossa with Australian cricket captain Tubby Taylor and one of his best mates Gary Burns, who started the Wide World of Sports. Now, his favourite wines are Shiraz, Riesling and Sparkling...no room for Sav Blanc or Pinot Gris in this cellar! Amongst his most prized possessions are some lovely bottles of back vintage Houghton Jack Mann Cab Sav, Petaluma Riesling and St Hallett Old Block.
Kearnsy has a unique, accidental method! A slow, impossible-to-find, underground water leak from his pool at the other end of his Mosman house keeps the concrete floor damp and the air beautifully humid, while the due south aspect keeps the space a very constant temperature. Apparently he’s never had a bad bottle!
Currently space for around 1,500 bottles but with plenty of room for expansion under the house.
Where he buys
Best of all, he buys almost exclusively from Cellar One whenever he wants the good stuff and from other places when he's simply buying quaffers! He prefers to buy 6 packs of wine, so he can drink a couple straight off the bat, and cellar the other 4 so he can see how they develop over time. Good advice, thanks Phil!
Every good wine has a story
For Phil, it is all about the story behind the wine...like enjoying a perfectly home cooked barbecued steak by Stuart Blackwell in the Barossa with a glass of Blackwell Shiraz. Every good wine has a story and hearing it from the horse's mouth - well it doesn't get much better than that!
Advice for the budding cellarist
When building a wine cellar, don't overthink it or take it too seriously. Put your own personal touches on it. In Phil's case, he just wanted something rustic and a bit of fun, not too modern, serious or perfect.