Matt Stratton’s Top 5 column will focus on different aspects of our iPhone OS universe. From gripes to fun commentary, cool tips to hot hacks, and even some apps or accessories to drool over, this weekly post will hit them all. So keep your eyes peeled here Wednesdays.
The world of wine can be a confusing one…there are different vintages, varietals, and pairings to keep track of. Most of us don’t have the ability to keep a giant database of wine information in our brains, so using a mobile device (like the iPhone, for example) can be a real benefit in keeping track of the wines you like…or getting suggestions on a good bottle to pick up for dinner. This week, I’ll take a look at five apps you can use to hone your oenologistic expertise.
Cor.kz Wine Info
The official app of Cellartracker, Cor.kz brings an impressive database of over 700,000 wines to your mobile device. If you are looking for a review of a specific wine, the app allows for searching based upon its name.
Additionally (and this is really cool), you can use your iPhone’s camera to take a picture of the barcode of the bottle, and look up the review using that (super helpful when shopping for wine in the store and looking for an evaluation before purchase). The app allows for both Twitter and Facebook integration to announce to your friends which wine you are currently drinking.
There is also heavy integration into the Cellartracker website for storing history and personal notes on different wines; however, the registration system for Cellartracker is currently offline, so I was unable to test this feature.
$3.99 Click here to buy (link launches iTunes)
Drync Wine Pro
This is a great app for keeping track of the wines you have drunk, or that you own. Think of it as a “portable wine cellar”. After finding a vintage through the search function, it is simple to add the wine to your own “cellar” with the click of a button.
The app will also back up your “cellar” to the Drync website, so that loss of your device doesn’t mean loss of your wine data. Like other apps in this shoot-out, Drync allows for sharing via Twitter, to make it easier to let your followers know how big of a wine snob you are.
One nice feature is the ability to purchase wines directly from Cellartracker via this app, as well as view lists of the most popular wines from other Drync users. The searching features don’t quite measure up to some other apps, but it’s an overall good experience. At $4.99 the price is a little steep, but it does come in a free version as well (free version has limits on number of wines in your cellar, and contains ads).
$4.99 Click here to buy (link launches iTunes)
Vino for Dinner
Fantastic “pairing” app – which means that if you are trying to determine the best wine to go with your meal, Vino for Dinner can deliver. The main focus of this app is “affordable” wines – that is, wines that retail for less than $30 a pop.
If you’re looking for expensive vintages to impress your friends, Vino for Dinner is NOT the app for you – but for regular folks who just want a good red to go with their meals, you can’t beat this app.
The app is simple to use, and the information it presents is also easy to absorb (Vino for Dinner will only display three wines at a time, in order to not overwhelm the user). Also, as mentioned in the App Store, TiP editor Adriana Lee considers this a “must-have app”…and I agree.
$2.99 Click here to buy (link launches iTunes)
If you’re looking to step up your pairing from what is provided by Vino for Dinner, you can’t go wrong with NatDecants. Previously reviewed on Today’s iPhone, this app brings not only great pairing data, but the insight of celebrated wine writer Natalie MacLean.
Featuring an impressive database of wine reviews, as well as a huge listing of possible foods to pair with, NatDecants is one of the most comprehensive wine apps available on the platform.
Facebook and Twitter integration is present in the app, as well as the ability to store your favorites to your personal cellar (via integration with the NatalieMaclean.com website. If you’re looking to expand your scope of wine pairing and information, don’t miss this app.
Free! Click here to buy (link launches iTunes)
Years ago, my wife bought me a little notebook to keep track of wines I’d tried (she even decorated it with little stickers of wine glasses), but I never really used it. However, a mobile app like Tasting Notes is much more my speed.
This app is a little bit of a departure from some of the others. It does not contain any third-party reviews or listings of wines, but rather, serves as an organizational system for the vintages you have tried. I personally have used this app much more for tracking beers and whiskies, but it works exactly the same for wines.
With a comprehensive set of fields for description and rating, Tasting Notes is a handy app to record your experiences with different wines (as well as beers, cigars, coffees, or Scotch). I find it essential, as it allows me to not only keep track of WHAT I liked…but WHY I liked it.
$2.99 Click here to buy (link launches iTunes)
.Overall, the App Store is full of great apps to help you explore the wonderful world of wine. Whether you’re looking for evaluations of bottle prior to purchase, suggestions for pairing, or just keeping track of what you dig, your Apple mobile device is a great partner for all of your wine experiences. How would you describe your ideal wine app? Let me know in the comments?
Special thanks to Marci Chapman of Fig1 for her assistance in compiling this list.