Having a Riot while Saving on Wine

martinis and your money

Having a Riot while Saving on Wine

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Tyler Balliet, founder of the Wine Riot event and Financial Gym client! I’m always trying to find ways for my clients to save money so when Tyler spent the afternoon in the gym talking about wine, I knew I had to have him on the show to help my listeners save money on a beverage that is near and dear to my heart. I have talked about this on the show before, but in the past I used to be physically and financially fat, and one of my financially fat spending areas was in wine and alcohol. If it wasn’t top shelf or high end, I didn’t want anything to do with it. Now I can happily say that I spend significantly less in this area, but I’m still having the same amount of fun, and Tyler is going to share with you how you can save in this area as well.

What are we drinking?

Tyler — Rosé

Shannon — Rosé Bota Boxed Wine

Podcast Notes

  • Tyler started a company 10 years ago in Boston called “Second Glass,” and his company first started throwing small wine-tasting events for Tyler’s friends in Tyler’s own apartment.
  • This idea morphed into Wine Riot when Tyler threw a huge party for guests he invited via a mailing list and named the party “Wine Riot.”
  • Over the course of 7-8 years Tyler’s company threw about 50 of these events with sometimes more than 3,000 people. The focus of these events was to educate people about wine.
  • Wine Riots were events that featured booths that represented different wine regions throughout the World, and guests would sample wines from each region to better develop a taste, knowledge, and appreciation for the World’s wines.
  • Tyler’s goal was to reinvent wine-tasting for a whole new generation of millennials!
  • He felt that the old guard wine-tasting events were not conducive to the millennial palette.
  • Shannon fell in love when she went on a trip to Napa Valley, which she describes as Disneyland for adults, but her favorite experience was learning about wine while tasting the wine.
  • That experience completely changed the way she looked at wine – she now looks at wine from a more educated perspective.
  • Tyler thinks the wine industry is great at making wine but bad at the marketing aspect.
  • Shannon compares the wine industry to the financial industry in that they both have complex jargon that confuses the average consumer which can be scary, confusing and disconcerting.
  • Shannon and Tyler really want to stop the rumor that you have to spend a lot of money to get a quality bottle of wine.
  • Shannon believes that so many people waste so much money on overpriced wine because they feel social pressure to buy them.
  • Tyler wants people to keep in mind that price and quality are not directly related – just because a wine is 10X as expensive as most does not mean that it is 10X better than most wines.
  • Anyone can find a more affordable version of the wine they love by educating themselves about wine.
  • There are 3 ways to get really affordable wine for the money:
    • Buy wine from a region that is not famous for wine like Portugal or Croatia
    • Buy wine that no one can pronounce because there is no viral marketing
    • Take advantage of others’ misfortune, there are lots of areas that are experiencing hard times
  • Tyler’s Top 3 Daily Wines: (1) Washington State wines; (2) Portuguese Port wines; (3) South African wines
  • Tyler says wine is inherently confusing, but just don’t buy wine based on grapes
  • Grapes can be completely different experiences depending on the region in which they are grown.
  • The movie “Sideways,” is a great example of people not understanding wine because one line of fictional dialogue in the movie!
  • The reason that some wines feature a screw top and a cork top is purely economical and has nothing to do with taste or quality.
  • TAKEAWAY: At restaurants, ask your server what the best wine on the wine list that no one is ordering is! As someone who has had to entertain clients and friends for a living, Shannon loves discovering new and cheaper ways to do it.

Random Three Questions

  1. What was the most expensive bottle of wine you have ever purchased?
  2. What wine region do you think is the best to explore?
  3. If you were to win $1,000,000 what would you do with it?

Connect with Tyler:




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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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