Recently I’ve had multiple people mention a guy down in Georgetown, Chris Abbott, who was setting up a high-tech new wine storage facility at the old Rainier Brewery malt house. Today he sent the official announcement of his Phenol55 wine cellar, a full-service storage facility that lets customers track their vintages via an iPad app, compare tasting notes and ratings, and summon bottles for delivery to their home or office.
Abbott worked with Riverbend Design Group on a custom software and the app, which just recently cleared its last hurdle of Apple scrutiny. He’s not aware of any other wine storage program in the country with its own iPad capabilities and now he’s eager to build up a customer base of local wine drinkers who might not have space for their collections, or want to make sure nicer bottles are properly stored. (I am hanging my head thinking about the bottles that suffered through a summer in my first Seattle apartment, which was reliably hot as an oven.)
Drop your bottles off (or have them direct shipped) at Abbott’s facility and Phenol55 will photograph each one and apply removable QR code labels to help track the exact locations of bottles and cases in the 55-degree cellar. And we are talking good photographs here; Abbott says he spent a lot of time in his garage mastering the tricky art of shooting wine bottles without any Photoshop cleanup.
Rather than charge by locker size, his two tiers of membership start at $3.45 per case per month and there’s no minimum case requirement. Some storage facilities have wine tasting areas, but Abbott says he’s into “enabling people to drink it at their own house.” His delivery service starts at $20, with a same-day courier available. Fanciness. Here's the website with specifics and membership info, plus a cool video from GeekWire.