The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Old Grapes, New Tech

Posted on | September 17, 2010 | Written by Janice Cable | No Comments

I love my iPhone so much that I’d have it surgically implanted if I could, and my passion for my iPad makes me shameful. I am an unabashed tech-head who collects wine, beer and cocktail apps like my grandma collected swizzle sticks. I also believe that good wine apps are like good wine: you get more enjoyment when you share with others. To that end, I’ve compiled a few of my favorites, along with one super-cool use of the iPad, to share with you. Hello Vino: This free app is like a clearinghouse for wine information. Providing wine reviews from magazines and bloggers, offering wine pairings, allowing for a variety of searches, Hello Vino takes a buckshot approach to wine buying. While the app does provide a ton of information, it’s a bit limited when you’re looking at more obscure varietals and regions. For example, neither my beloved Frappato nor my adored Ribolla show up at all. This is sad; however, the app is free, which is not. Pair It! Food and Wine Guide: If you’ve ever scratched your head about pairing perfectly with  Pad Thai, Pancetta-Wrapped Quail with Pignoli, or Cheese Blintzes with Applesauce, you might want to invest $4.99 in this app. Not only does Pair It! provide a variety of wines for a stunning array of dishes, but it also gives neat descriptions for wine types (though not individual estates or years, which is too bad) and offers links to recipes. The “shake and swirl” feature gives you a fun interface for stumbling upon new, unexpected coupling suggestions. Fromage: Sometimes cheese makes life worth living, and Fromage ($2.99) offers a searchable guide to over 750 cheeses from 18 countries in the palm of your hand. With the capability to save your own cheese notes and even cheese photos, Fromage offers a customizable cheese library. One downside, however, is the app’s unapologetic Francophile bent; however, the Italian cheese section is nothing to sniff at. Drync Wine Pro: Sometimes it’s worth it to pony up and pay the cash. While you can download a free version of Drync Wine, you want to spend the $4.99 for the pro version—just foregoing the advertisements is worth it. Drync Wine Pro offers on-the-spot access to ratings and reviews of a stunning array of wines. While it’s true that more recent wines are absent (for example, while the app links the 2008 Movia’s Ribolla Giallo, there are no reviews or ratings), you’ll find the app to be amazingly comprehensive. Plus, the virtual cellar and social media options make this wine management app a winner. Finally, I was excited to read about Bone’s, a restaurant in Atlanta, who is using iPads for their wine list. The restaurant created a lovely, searchable database of their 1,350 wines for their customers. While sommeliers might feel miffed, this use of technology appeals to independent tech-heads like me—and I’m not alone. Wine sales have reportedly jumped over 11%, which says something about how much people love a happy marriage between wine and technology. I’m curious, have any of you found apps you use and love? If so, please share. You can never have too much wine or too many virtual ways to keep track of it.

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