Doing what you love for less

By now, you’ve heard about my passion for wine. I recently took the first step to formalizing this hobby by completing the Level 1 WSET course. Today, I’d like to talk more about how I can afford to pursue this passion without compromising my finances.


Following your passions

In 2005, I spent three months working and living in Paris. This was my first real introduction to wine. It was plentiful, cheap and of excellent quality (I could buy a €2 bottle at the grocery store for the same price as a $12-15 bottle in Canada). Thus began my infatuation with the noble grape. Ever since, I have done whatever I can to learn about wine, how it’s made and how to get the most out of each glass that I have.

Since starting this blog, I’ve been thinking a lot about “the future” – What will my life look like in 15 years after we’ve accomplished our goal of financial independence? This can be pretty intimidating to think about but I do know that my passion for wine is something that I want to pursue.

Learning about and enjoying wine is not cheap. While it is important for me to pursue my passion, it is also important not to sacrifice the goal of early retirement. Here is a summary of how I’ve gotten involved in the wine industry in an efficient and cost effective way:


Taking a university wine course

My first taste of the wine world was through a course at university. I learned about wine while earning credits towards my degree! The course was excellent and dealt with all aspects of wine from tasting and drinking wine to the main grape producing regions and the science behind wine making.


Volunteering at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is one of the biggest festivals in North America. For the past three years, I have volunteered my time to help them run the event. This has benefited me in two ways- Firstly, volunteering lets me interact with wine makers and industry representatives. Secondly, volunteers receive a tasting event ticket which allows me to sample an incredible variety of wine and hone my palate at no cost. Regular tasting tickets cost $95.


Working as a wine store associate

Getting a job at my local wine store has been the best thing that I’ve done so far. Being exposed to a wide variety of products on a regular basis and the connections I’ve made with other oenophiles has been invaluable. The extra  of income has also allowed me to pursue formal credentials through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses. I recently completed my Level 1 Foundation of Wines certificate and am now saving up for the Level 2 Intermediate course.  It’s all part of the Master Plan…


Currently, I’m working on launching a wine blog. This will ensure that I stay connected to the industry when I eventually stop working at the wine store. Most importantly, I’ve been able to accomplish all of these things without sacrificing any of my financial goals.

Posted in: Career and Work, Philosophy

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