Wine hobby becomes growing business

A PERTH man has turned a labour of love into his own business.

Matt Busby is now the director of the Australasian Wine Exchange, a Subiaco-based wine warehousing facility.

The facility has a monitored security system and a monitored environmental system.

Mr Busby said it was very important to keep wines at the right temperature and humidity – particularly in a climate such as Perth’s.

A radical change in temperature could wreak havoc on a cellared bottle of wine.

Mr Busby said there were many wine warehouses overseas and in the eastern States.

An avid wine collector, Mr Busby said he kept some of his wines in eastern States facilities.

He said he was applying his own wine collecting philosophy to the business.

“I store wines, sell some of them and drink the profits,” Mr Busby said.

“A $15 to $20 bottle of wine can be worth $30 to $50 in a few years’ time.

“The 1996 Penfold 389 is already selling at very good prices with expectations of $28 to $42 at auction. That’s just one year after its release.”

This particular wine was released for sale three years after its vintage.

“You can buy very affordable wines, store them for a few years and end up with a high quality wine you didn’t pay too much for,” Mr Busby said.

The wine warehouse also has a ‘drink by date’ facility.

People storing wines can opt for a date on which they want to open their wine.

The facility’s computer inventory system alerts when the date is reached.

All wines in the warehouse are catalogued electronically.

Mr Busby said his facility was ideal for restaurants that do not have the space or facilities to store wines on their premises.

“If they store a particular vintage for a few years, they can then offer a wine most other restaurants won’t have,” he said.

“Bottleshops can also be offer the service as an additional service to their customers.

“A number of customers ask bottleshops if they have storage facilities.”

It costs $1.20 per month to keep a twelve bottle case of wine in the facility.

Other services such as an inventory report, which includes the ‘drink by date’ warning are offered as extras.

Mr Busby said he started the service around Christmas and had already drawn a good response.

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