The Good Wine: A Personal Finance Parable

in Parable, Shopping

I used to travel a great deal for my previous job, and on a couple of occasions I was lucky enough to travel to France. During one of these trips, we had enough spare time that one of our hosts brought us to a local wine shop, and there we acted like dumb Canadians and asked which wines should we buy that we most likely couldn’t get in Canada. The shopkeeper was very nice and accommodating, and he helped us all pick up a few bottles of some excellent French wine.

This trip took place about a long time ago (if my recollection is correct), and when I returned my wife was very happy to see that I had picked up this wine and we both decided that we should save this wine for a special occasion, and we put the wine away in our wine cupboard (no we don’t have a wine cellar or anything as fancy as that).

The Good Wine

This is a picture of the bottle of wine, for those wine enthusiasts, who think this is yet another story that I have spun out of whole cloth.

This wine sat in our wine cabinet for years, and many special occasions passed in our lives: The first new year, then another, then the Millennium, birth of our son, my finding a new job, and countless birthdays and anniversaries, yet we either forgot about the wine, or figured it was not the right time to uncork this special wine.

On Saturday this past week, my wife was in dire need of some wine for cooking, and we finally decided maybe it was time to try this wine (after all it was over 12 years since we had purchased it). I argued for a minute about wasting this wine for cooking, but decided we could drink the rest of it that evening, so I finally relented.

When my wife opened the bottle, it smelled very off, so she called me in to the kitchen to smell it. It did indeed smell very vinegary (if that is a word), so we decided to pour it on the steak we were marinating and the colour of the wine alone suggested it was very OFF.

So I had tried to get my wife a nice gift, in a hard to find French Wine, we had saved it away for a special occasion, but because we never followed through, when we finally did open it, the wine was horrible.

Financial Angle?

Is there a financial angle to this story, or is this just me telling another long winded story (no comments about that specific point please)?

Are you saving for a special occasion, or for your retirement? Sometimes it is important to remember why you are saving and complete your savings plan by getting what you were saving for, or you may feel cheated (which I did with that wine).

Make sure that you are able to enjoy that retirement or special occasion, or your saving may well go “off” and you will not be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour?

There are countless stories of people who worked themselves very hard during their working years and didn’t take care of themselves, and ended up dieing before they retired, or they were in such a bad state health-wise, they couldn’t enjoy their retirement.

What are you saving for? Remember your plan, and make sure you don’t cheat yourself.

Oh, and if anyone can tell me if this was actually a good bottle of wine, or whether I was sold a tourist special, please feel free to comment.


  • ditchtheboss August 12, 2010, 5:24 AM

    Thank you for submitting the article to my financial compilation. Hope to see another article in the next edition on Sunday, 15 August 2010.

  • larry macdonald July 30, 2010, 6:59 AM

    Nice story although before reading it I was slightly worried the story would involve all night benders and waking up in parking lots in Alaska.

    • bigcajunman July 30, 2010, 7:12 AM

      Ssshhhhh…. what happens in parking lots in Alaska, STAYS in parking lots in Alaska (still picking Grizzly bear fur out of….

  • Go Banking Rates July 29, 2010, 3:36 PM

    I couldn’t agree more with you on this one. A few of my parents’ very affluent friends worked their entire lives. They were always chasing this X amount of money that they totally neglected all the other things in life like family and friends. Fortunately, a few of them have come out of that sleep and are now actively giving back to charities and organizations. Unfortunately, not all of them made it to their retirement age. However, we can rest assured that their children will inherit a pretty sizable amount of money.

    • bigcajunman July 29, 2010, 3:42 PM

      But will they make it to their retirement age?


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