To make the base: Melt butter in microwave. In a large pot or dutch oven, cook bacon until 3/4 cooked, about 7-8 minutes. Add melted butter to the bacon and drippings. Add flour and cook 10 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add onion, bay leaf, spices and cook 3-4 minutes.
Add clam juice, wine and potatoes; simmer and cook until potatoes are done. Add celery; simmer 10 minutes. Turn off heat and cool. (This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or frozen indefinitely.)
To make chowder: Heat base in large pot. Add half and half. Simmer till absorbed, 4-5 minutes. Add clam juice, wine and seafood. Cook till thoroughly heated through.