General Wine Apps
The best and hardest part of wine is the mix of finding things you like and of trying new things. Since starting this blog and beginning to try a lot more wine, I have faced the confusing task of remembering every wine I have tasted. Luckily for me, other people have crossed this bridge and now there is an app for that!
The day you download the app is the day it says you “uncorked” it. If you’ve saved pictures of bottles and then add them to the app all at once, you run the risk of looking like quite a heavy drinker. There’s also a limit of 120 characters for the notes you want to make, which is only bad if you have more to say about it than “yummy” or “ew.” You have two options –”Recommend” or “Don’t recommend” – which I like to use to distinguish whether or not I would drink it again.
However, the simplicity of this app makes it super user-friendly; there are no pop-up ads, and you can follow your friends to see what people around you are drinking. I also love that it aids you in pairings in both directions – suggesting a meal for a specific wine or suggesting a wine for a specific meal.
Probably one of my favorite parts of this app is the wine terminology dictionary, in case you are unfamiliar with such terms as “austere” or “monocepage.”
This app aims to help you pick the perfect wine by letting you select event type, meal, taste preference, or style of wine. This is helpful if you have a dish in mind and need to buy a wine but not so helpful if you’re trying to pair food to a bottle you already have. Interestingly enough, I found that pretty much any occasion or food leads me to the same few brands or vintages of wine, so I’m not sure that this app has a very large database.
However, if you’re looking for an app to log the wine you’ve had, this one lets you go a little deeper than Corkbin. You can keep a wine log with pictures, descriptions as long as you want, and ratings on a five star scale. Additionally, it sometimes gives you special offers and deals. This is good in theory, but I have yet to find a deal that works for me.
However, most of the wines it suggests to you are wines the app is sponsored by. Another problem with this app is that there are many in-app purchases. You have to buy wine reviews. The baseline app is also available free on Android Market.
You can use this app to scan bottle labels at the store and pull up additional info on them. After you save three bottles to your log, this app will give you personal recommendation. A cool tidbit about this app is that it lets you know of restaurants near you and how many wines they have on their menu. Once you select a restaurant, it lets you know which wines are available that day and the price of each glass. It even gives reviews of the wines available at the restaurant. Talk about making an informed decision. You can save up to 512 characters in the tasting notes.
On this app, you need to log in with your email or Facebook but you can also follow any of your friends that are using the app. If you add friends, you will be able to see their reviews of wine. Also available for free on the Android Market.
Vivino Pro- (Price -$4.99)
The Pro version of this app includes all of the features of the free one plus the ability to store your wine cellar. Unlike other apps, you don’t need to take your own picture or input your own info (though you can if you want to). All you have to do is scan or take a picture of the label, and the app will help you find that wine’s profile. You have the option to input where you purchased the wine, your rating on a 5 star scale, and tasting notes in the free version. In the pro version, you can save the wine you scan or search to your cellar. This is helpful if you want to remember which wines you still have in your house and which ones have already been consumed. The Pro version is both an inventory app and the most convenient way to save notes on wines you’ve tried.
The special thing about this app is that it tells you how long you should age your wine and how long it will stay good after opening. The pronunciation guide is nice to have in case you don’t want to continually butcher “Sauvignon” or “Viognier.” Additionally, this app allows you to make unlimited notes. I love the dos and don’ts section [about drinking wine? pairing wine?], but I feel like I could add to that list for days. It also has a “Guide to My Taste” function that will help you find similar wines based on what you like.
This app gives you background information on the region the grapes came from, which is an educational side you don’t see in other apps. It also has a short and sweet terminology dictionary. Another unique thing about this app is that it gives a glossary of regions and lists what notable grapes are grown there. This comes in handy if you’re in the wine aisle and want to know where the Rapel Valley is.
The interface has no frills but also I didn’t run into any major glitches. They recently did a major update that extended the info available. This one might be worth the buy just because they’re continually making it better. I’m also happy there’s a quick and a detailed pairing guide. There is finally a guide for newbies and long-time wine enthusiasts in the same place.
When visiting local wineries in your state, like I do with Virginia wineries, it is important to know what you’re getting into. You don’t want to arrive at a venue expecting one thing and have the tasting room be in the basement of someone’s house. I’ve been tricked multiple times by websites with good advertising.
Virginia Wine In My Pocket gives an extensive back story and details about the winery. In case you’re afraid the app writers might be biased, there is a comment section. However, all comments must be approved by the moderators, so we can only hope that we are getting an unbiased view.
This app gives you all the necessary info including tasting fee, phone number, address, and hours. VAwineIMP is very well integrated with social media. When available, it includes links to the vineyard’s website, twitter, and Facebook. There’s also a map to help you find wineries close to you or wineries based on their logo. Also available on the Android Market.
Vinowine– (Price – Free)
This app comes in handy if you travel a lot outside of a particular state. It integrates Google maps and places pins on all wineries. When you click on the pin or select a winery from the list, it gives you a few photos and reviews on a scale of 5 stars .
This app is very user friendly, and the description of each vineyard is short and sweet. The side bar menu shows you wineries and events near you. The amenities at each location is given by icons just like on the VA Wine Map . The links to social media and contact info are given in easy little buttons. You can even click that you’ve visited the winery by uncorking it.
The downside to this app is that it has gaps in information because it spans too large of an area. The list of events it offers is very incomplete.
TheCompass (Price $0.99)
Who knew there were 233 wineries in Texas? This app isn’t 100% up to date, since it lists that Virginia has only 243 wineries (there are currently 248 and more on the way), but it is still pretty close. Additionally, it gives you options to turn on or off the viewing of wineries, breweries, distilleries, or cideries. This app force-closed a couple of times when I was testing it, so it might not be perfect yet. It uses the iPhone map feature to help you locate alcohol making establishments and then provides their contact info and social media links. It also easily lets you export this info to texts, Twitter, and Facebook, which is perfect if you’re trying to set up a rendezvous.
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