Wine lovers around the world are currently being bombarded with apps for their smart phones and tablets that can be put to a very wide range of uses, but not always universally. What do I mean by this! Well, basically each wine app is often good at doing only ONE thing, and therefore in choosing your app you need to be very specific about what you want it to do. Just like buying a laptop, be clear what you want it for, what you want it to do, the spec requirements to meet your needs, the models available to you. Wine app technology is no different and I write this NOT as a tech expert but a rampant wine drinker, collector and tourist who has faffed about with so many wine apps over the years I could write a book about it!
But before giving you my two best apps I use daily, let’s look at the key question to ask yourself before taking the plunge:
Do I want my wine app to:-
- Scan labels and barcodes to identify a wine I am looking at in a store or restaurant?
- Provide tasting notes from previous people who have drunk the wine in 1 above?
- Show me current prices locally of the wine scanned in 1 above?
- Show me price history data of a wine from vinification to present day?
- Allow me to take a photo of one of my wines and store it?
- Create simple or detailed tasting notes of a wine I am drinking as a permanent record?
- Write my own tasting notes freehand or using helpful slider scales, aroma wheels etc?
- Share my tasting notes with others who may or may not have the same app?
- Back up my notes online and be available across all of my devices?
- Record how many bottles of each wine I have stored …. cellared?
- “Interrogate” my cellar data to tell me things like how many of each type, grape variety, producer, I have remaining in my “cellar”?
- Calculate the value of my cellar based on purchase price?
- Calculate the value of my wines based on global average values?
I think you can see from this that finding ONE app that allows you to do ALL of these things is extremely complicated, and for quite a while I searched and tried a great many apps across my iPhone, iPad and Mac. But what I found was that NO app can do ALL of these things and that many that try end up messy and unstructured.
Eventually I realise that I had TWO overall needs, one for use at home and related to my collection of purchased wine, and a different app for “on the go” tasting experiences that could be at home too, but more likely be in a bar, a restaurant, a wine merchant, or visiting a wine producer.
1.On The Go Tasting App
Travelling around Burgundy every year is a delight and a challenge if you are tasting maybe a dozen wines daily yet only deciding what to buy at the end of a two week vacation. The challenge is actually to record each wine tasted in a wine cooperative or vigneron’ tasting room easily, quickly, yet comprehensively in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the tasting experience and can be accessed and compared several days later so as to return to the vigneron and choose what to buy. My best app for this is …
Here are my top 3 reasons
1. Clean and simple layout with fields for all of the basic information you need to record
2. Intuitive entry system for grapes, wine types, countries, regions, producers, stores etc which minimises typing.
3. Ability to arrange and view wines tasted by grape, type, country, price, score/rating ….
2. At Home Cellar App
Returning home from a vacation in France presents a couple of wine challenges; unloading maybe 200 bottles of wine into my store, soon followed by entering all of the essential data on each wine into my wine cellar app. This is a painstaking job and the more well structured and intuitive the app the better. My best app for this is ….
Here are my top 3 reasons
1. The widest range of fields to optionally enter data about your wines in a structured manner
2. The ability to organise your cellared wines in just about every possible way … by producer, by wine name…… etc
3. The ability to “manipulate” your wines subsequently with tasting notes, adding/removing bottles, global valuations from Wine Searcher
Be reminded that neither of these apps are free, but that shouldn’t put you off, especially when the total price of the pair is less than that of a single glass of Puligny Montrachet in a Burgundy brasserie!
#wineapps, #winecellar, #winelovers, #winejournal,