09/03/2004 - 21:00

GUSTO

09/03/2004 - 21:00

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The selection of fine, international wines available to Perth connoisseurs and quaffers is set to increase when a new retail outlet opens in Wembley, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.

GUSTO

The selection of fine, international wines available to Perth connoisseurs and quaffers is set to increase when a new retail outlet opens in Wembley, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.

 

ALEX Hudak is the wine buff behind a new bottle shop venture in Wembley that promises to offer quality wines, even if some of the names aren’t instantly recognisable.

Mr Hudak has spent the past three-and-a-half years building up the bottle shop at Steve’s Hotel in Nedlands (Stephen McHenry Wine Merchants), which is well known for its international wine collection.

And while the job at Steve’s was worthwhile, Mr Hudak says an offer from two English businessmen to help them set up a similar wine venture called H&C Cellars was too good to refuse.

“These guys [private investors] had heard about Steve’s and they came in and had a look around,” he says.

“They came back a couple of weeks later and asked me if I wanted to apply for the job [at their new store].”

The new store opened this week and is located on the corner of Harbone and Cambridge Streets Wembley, hence the name H&C Cellars.

“It will have a large basis of international wines and it will cover all price points from different regions and categories,” Mr Hudak says.

 The main thing for us is the quality. If it isn’t a quality wine it won’t be on the shelf.”

And while the focus will be on international wines, he says there will be a range of Australian wines as well as spirits, liqueurs, international beers, glassware and cigars.

The former Giant Liquor store will undergo a massive transformation over the coming weeks.

“There will be a whole new look. We’re getting new fridges and changing the interior around. I think this is a great area and this bottle shop has been under-performing,” Mr Hudak says.

The two private investors have purchased the liquor store, which was once owned by Mr Hudak’s former employer Murray McHenry.

Mr Hudak has come on board as general manager and wine buyer.

“In WA there is this sense of parochialism, but it’s moving away from that now and people want to try more and more wines. That was the idea behind Steve’s,” Mr Hudak says.

“Perth is changing and there are places now like Altos, Bar One and Must Winebar that are serving really good wines.”

Mr Hudak has recruited his own team of wine enthusiasts to provide the wine advice that goes with selling wines from all parts of the world.

“I’ve got Langdon Farrely in as my second-in-charge and there are some casual staff who are involved in the wine industry,” he says.

“The store’s objectives are to create a relaxed yet informative environment. Whether customers are looking for $10 quaffers or $1,000-plus cellar dwellers, they will be impressed by informed suggestions from competent staff.”

 

“It will have a large basis of international wines and it will cover all price points from different regions and categories.”

-         Alex Hudak

 

 

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