Do you agree that a perfect glass of wine is a Lieu-dit Côte de Nuits red with moderate concentration and aged at least 12 years?
If you either nodded or shook your head after reading that sentence, then congratulations. You’re a wine expert. Now proceed directly to the next post. This article is for the rest of us.
The ones who go into a liquor store and choose a bottle based on the prettiest label. Sip Pinot as if it’s a default setting. Skim a beverage book at a restaurant and get high-school exam flashbacks. We are the oh-so-casual wine fans, and we need help. Nonjudgmental help.
Rewatching the sublime 2004 classic Sideways goes only so far. But fear not: These seven free apps are here to do everything for you but crush the grapes. Cheers to that.
More than 29 million people have relied on this sidekick, which features a nifty photo label recognition. Just scan a bottle to see reviews, ratings (based on a five-scale classification system) and tasting notes. The app can digitally recognize up to 500,000 wines — and if it can’t automatically identify a vintage bottle, a real live expert will personally get back to you with the scoop.
Finders keepers and drinkers. Thanks to the app’s crazy-vast GPS-based database and store finder, you can discover exactly where to find a bottle of wine — search via name or photo scan — and how much it will set you back. The no-cost version will ring up the first 50 search results; pay $5.99 a month to get unlimited access and read price history.
It’s like Uber meets Tinder for the vino set. First make a profile, fun photo included. Answer a few questions about your personal wine tastes (Love It, Like It, So-So or Dislike). Then watch the magic happen. Using learning and predictive algorithms, the system takes your ratings to generate a list of wine recommendations. You can also keep a journal of brands you’ve already tried and look up recommendations for groups based on your friends’ profiles on the app.
Wine label recognition? Ratings? Reviews? Personal journal? Check, check, check, check. (The label scan feature is especially accessible and easy to use.) The app also serves as a discovery tool, with wannabe oenophiles able to follow newsfeeds of top sommeliers and winemakers from across the country.
This app aims to demystify the complicated tasting process. Using an old or uploaded photo, it will guide you step by step through the tasting and selection, from the description of the wine color (Blush! Pink! Salmon! Orange! Copper! Wait, salmon?!) to the various terms used for aromas to the various palates. All your selections are stored in a calendar log dubbed “Timewines.” Sweet.
Meet your digital shopping companion. Simply tell Hello Vino what you’ll be eating or some general taste preferences, and the “wine assistant” will recommend a grape/great variety to pair with the meal or occasion. In addition to the label scanner and wine generator, you can read up on wine varieties and popular food combinations. Subscribers ($2.99 a month) also can consult a live California-based wine expert for recommendations.
Your wallet will thank you when you use this app, which features a regularly updated library of Wine Spectator’s latest reviews of wines that are both highly rated and value-friendly. Plus, it highlights five categories: top values ($12 or less); reds ($20 or less); whites ($20 or less); sparklers ($40 or less); and picks for upcoming seasons or holidays.
Everyone needs a girlfriend!
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