This day and age, it seems like everyone has a smartphone with them when they are out shopping. I, for one, would be lost without the ability to Google an obscure wine a guest wants for a special occasion. Just like there’s an app for ordering pizza, there are some fantastic apps for wine as well. While there are hundreds of apps to be found, these are a few of my favorites, though some do have a cost.
The first app on my list is the Wine Enthusiast Tasting Guide. This free and easy to use app allows you to use a text search to find ratings by winery or run a general search based on varietal, rating, vintage, and more. It also includes beer and spirits. While it is sometimes useful, I use this app the least, since it limits you to only what Wine Enthusiast has rated. However, it is easy to use and includes a vintage chart and UPC scanner to see if the wine you’re looking at is in the database.
The next app is Approach Guides wine. This $1.99 app is a treasure trove of information about wine regions around the world. While by no means comprehensive, it gives you a simple breakdown of countries, regions, sub regions, and wine styles. It allows you to search for wine based on what you want (like light red or rich white) and gives you varietals and regions to try. It’s a nice app to browse when I have some downtime and want to enhance my knowledge. For some reason it doesn’t include Germany, but otherwise it’s top notch.
Finally, the app I use and recommend the most is Vivino. It’s free and fantastic. It’s a label scanner that identifies (most of the time) wines with the touch of a button. Sometimes it needs a little help with the vintage and varietal, but I’ve been amass quite a cellar in the apps database. The best thing about this app, though, is the ratings system. Because of the number of users on the app already, I’ve been able to scan quite a few wines that have already been rated by others. It lets you rate wines from 1 to 5 stars and you can see how that wine ranks amongst its peers. My favorite thing about the app is the fact that the ratings are made by other users, not professionals (though they may use the app, I suppose). It’s nice to know what real people think of a wine, and you can follow others who have similar preferences to you.
Bill Dahl, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine consultant
Follow me on Twitter @abcwinebilld