November 17, 2015
Best of: Wine Apps
The world of wine can sometimes seem confusing, intimidating and impenetrable, but today our tablets and smartphones can help us finding the best price, a specific bottle we’ve been looking for, or even the perfect food and wine paring. Who would have thought we could have our very own wine encyclopedia, portable sommelier, price-comparison chart and tasting-note database in our pockets? All that thanks to the wine applications below!
Leading the pack is San Francisco-based Delectable, along with Vivino. The easy-to-use label-recognition app allows you to quickly pull up ratings, prices, reviews and tasting notes. Snap a photo of the label and get instant information about the wine; follow wine celebs (wine writers and critics, sommeliers, etc.) and find out what they’re drinking; you can even order wine via the app! Think about it: you’re at the restaurant, or at this cool party, and have a glass of a lovely wine which you just have to have for your own cellar. Delectable makes this possible in three simple steps – snap a photo of the label, order the desired quantity, have it delivered to your home. Easy, right? Last tip: Delectable is the favorite app of the California wine crowd, so if you want to follow winemaker Steve Matthiasson, for example, you know what to do!
Very similar to Delectable, its main competitor, Vivino has lately been referred to as “the wine app for normal people”: less confusing and time-consuming than other wine apps, Vivino targets the average consumer, the low commitment drinker who doesn’t have a wine cellar, but instead has a few bottles sitting around the kitchen, for example. How does it work? Same label-recognition concept as Delectable, take a photo of a wine label, rate the wine (up to five stars), and get additional information such as price, ratings and reviews. Vivino is perfect for those who just want to remember and save their favorite wines for next time, and give it a quick rating. Vivino’s cool features also include “wine lists near you”, because why not? Vivino is popular, but you won’t find as many experts as with Delectable.
Aimed mostly at beginners, the app is almost purely educational, and helps you demystify wines and grape varietals. Plonk is a great tool to explore country guides, grape varieties and wine styles, and find food pairings and recommendations. It features a great audio function, for all of us who do our best to avoid pronouncing things like Gewürztraminer – the audio feature simply teaches you how to pronounce the names of wines correctly. Through Plonk, you can also rate particular wines and grape varietals, as well as mark particular favorites for easy reference down the line.
If you haven’t heard of the new hot app Wine Ring yet, rush to your Play or App Store, and start playing with it! To give you a clear idea of what Wine Ring does: it is the Netflix of wine. You know how Netflix recommends movies based on the ratings you give? Well that’s exactly what Wine Ring does, but for our favorite beverage: wine. The app gives you recommendations based on your preferences – it basically guesses how much you’ll like a wine based on your previous ratings. Plus, it’s pretty easy to use: first, find your wine in the database of over 500,000 labels, including 50,000 brands from 14,000 geographical areas with thousands of grapes. Then, rate the wine, on a scale from “Love it” to “Dislike it” (just click Love it – Like it – So-so – or Dislike it). From there, the algorithm starts to keep track of your answers and your profile begins. The more you enter and rate new wines, the better and more complete your profile will be. So instead of panicking when going through the 10 pages of this restaurant’s wine list, or getting lost in the hundreds of options offered at your local wine store, simply ask Wine Ring for recommendations. It doesn’t only let you know if you’ll most likely enjoy a specific wine, it also offers ideas of grapes and wines to expand your wine knowledge, and your palate. Check out this video to learn more!