Wine Tech! Apps to Sip By

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How can mobile technology enhance our wine experiences? To enjoy wine, look no further than your favorite screen; a phone, tablet or laptop can be your all-access pass to everything wine.

When did our phones become a good pairing with wine? Software has kept up with how we use technology to engage with wines we enjoy. But how valuable are these apps? Imagine attending a wine festival. You have an opportunity to purchase several bottles but you don’t know if you already several of a particular varietal. Referencing an app in the palm of your hand can tell you if indeed you’re out of malbec and need to make a purchase.

The community of Vivino subscribers provides food pairings with their uploaded wines in addition to reviews, the price they paid and if the value met or exceeded their expectation. This app lets you track all the wines you try, even the ones from restaurants and wine bars, and the date you enjoyed them. You can use this app to quickly see what you have on hand as well. One of my favorite features is the ability to look at two separate wine labels at a wine store and instantly compare them for taste, rating, price point, region and learn if anyone in the Vivino community has tried the wine. Additionally, you can enter the name of a winery and the app will populate the information you need to engage with that particular vintner.

My favorite feature is the easy use of the barcode icon and the camera icon from the front page. The app is very good at recognition and allows you to instantly browse by varietal or region. If you have a space where you’ve collected several cases of wine, this feature makes it easy to inventory and track the wines you plan on drinking soon and the ones you plan to cellar for the future. If you have a 2015 Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon, you can search specifically for more of the same 2015 vintage or more of the same Napa Valley region or research how an older or newer bottling of cabernet sauvignon is faring in the wine world. CellarTracker has consumer reviews and professional reviews by wine critics, sommeliers and wine makers.

When you’re traveling and want to get your hands on a particular bottle of wine, beer or rye, scan the label before leaving home and the entire world becomes your shopping cart. You’ll be able to purchase that bottle as well as review the merchant who helped you. Finding the item at the best price makes this app useful especially during travel, when it’s more difficult to take your favorite wines with you.
This online wine store allows you to search for particular wine labels to view pricing and read reviews from professionals and consumers. You can purchase today and set a delivery date in the future, such as holiday time or special occasions. The app will track your purchases for easy re-order and keep your wine review on file for reference. I recommend this app to folks who don’t live near a wine region where they can taste before they buy.

Your device can be a partner in your wine adventures as a resource guide on wine regions and events. By typing in “wine regions,” you can explore apps that keep you up to date on new wineries and tasting rooms throughout an entire wine region. Featured articles are easily accessible while you’re exploring new territory. Localwineevents is a great app to use to explore wine and food events in cities and regions. You can add events directly to your calendar and sign up for event discounts and updates via text, social media or email.

Staying Current
Apps by Wine Spectator, focusing on a variety of wine articles, values and ratings, and Wine Enthusiast, which features in-depth articles on winemakers, wine regions, wine scores and reviews by highly acclaimed wine critics, are a convenient way to stay up to date. Wine retailer apps such as Total Wine will allow you to browse and pre-order wines for pick up in the store. These apps make it easy to take advantage of exclusive offers and in-store events and wine tasting as well.

Buyer Beware!
When you enter “wine apps” into the search option of your application store, you will see plenty of options covering a wide range of uses. Some are free and some require a subscription; even the free ones may require some sort of buy-in once you enter your contact information. Definitely look at the use reviews and ratings before you engage with the app. This will help you select the apps that are most helpful and useful to your style of wine love! ■

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