Wine Talk

Snooth User: dvacha

Shifting to a wine career

Posted by dvacha, Jul 30, 2017.

Hoping to shift gears from my current career in HR to one in wine. Currently looking into:
- Wine educator

- Importing

- Wine writing

Just curious if others have made a similar shift, and would be interested in sharing any advice!



Reply by GregT, Jul 31, 2017.

Wine educator? Do you know about wine? I had an acquaintance once who decided he was going to be a law professor. Hadn't gone to law school, or even applied, and didn't do well on the LSAT, so I don't know why he decided he was the guy to teach the stuff.

Wine writing? There are hundreds of bloggers doing it and giving away their content for free. Most don't make a living at it. The places that will pay are not going to pay a lot - some in-house gigs at distributors maybe. But anyone freelancing is going to spend some hungry days.

Wine importing? There are a few ancient threads on it. Again, not a way to land big bucks, especially if you don't have plenty of connections and aren't great at closing sales.

My suggestion is that you hang around people in the business, maybe get a part-time job somewhere, and learn it. You didn't learn everything in HR overnight, same with wine. Good luck.

Reply by dvacha, Jul 31, 2017.

Thanks, Greg T. 

I completed my WSET 2 and will be completing my level 3 in 2018. Currently considering the CWE as well, but didn't want to jump in to too much too fast. 

I will have my CPHR designation (Chartered Professional in Human Resources) this December, and indeed I did not learn everything about it overnight. But after almost a decade in the business, I can tell I don't want it to be my life's work. Which is why I am gravitating towards wine, as it's always been something I've wanted to pursue but could "never find the time". So I am trying to make time, and find something I can turn into a career. Not necessarily a way to make it rich quick, or even rich at all. Just something I can be proud of, and genuinely interested in rather than my current prospect of devoting my life to something I don't find particularly gripping.

I have been looking for part time work in a wine boutique/restaurant etc.

Was hoping for anyone in the business (in any capacity) to share any experiences they had transitioning into wine from an unrelated field.

Thanks again! 

Reply by dmcker, Aug 1, 2017.

DVACHA, where are you located? Anywhere near any wine country?

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 1, 2017.


I spent a lot of time working in Alcohol  retail when at school and Uni and learnt a lot

A really good independent wine retailer will give you a solid boost of knowledge

Reply by dvacha, Aug 1, 2017.


I'm located in Calgary, Canada. Sadly not particularly wine country adjacent. Closest wine country would be the Okanagan, one province away. But Calgary has a fair number of independent wine retailers and wine bars etc. 

@Stephen Harvey
Thanks for the tip. I will definitely try to start there. 

Reply by dmcker, Aug 3, 2017.

Here's a short but potentially useful article on the subject.

Good on the local wine retailers, bars & restaurants. And the Okanagan isn't that far for occasional roadtrips or even future relocation....

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