Ryan Allison, owner of AWinestore.com, a five-year-old online retailer of Pacific Northwest Wines, is venturing into the real world, or more specifically, the north end of Mercer Island. Allison hopes to open Cellar 46 -- wine shop, wine bar, and wine locker all in one -- sometime in March.
Here's the premise: As at Portalis in Ballard, every bottle on the shelves will be available to drink at the wine bar. Of course, Cellar 46 will offer classes, tastings, and panini (always with the panini). The novel twist is that collectors who don't want to invest in a climate-controlled wine cellar can become members of Cellar 46's wine club. Members store their wines in one of the store's lockers; then, when they want to drink their own wines, they can call ahead to the store, and the staff will decant or pour the wines for service in the wine bar.