Technology is dramatically changing essentially all areas of our lives. Choosing that ideal bottle of Tempranillo to pair with your meal is no exception. We explore a few ways technology, in the form of software applications changing forever the way people enjoy, track and inventory their favorite collection of liquid heaven in the 21st Century.
The world seems to revolve around apps nowadays. The smartphone is the ticket to a connoisseur’s enhanced wine experience and his cellar inventory control and management. Typically, these comprehensive wine apps are free, but some may require a one-time app purchase or modest monthly fee for ongoing use or advanced app functionality. We take a look at a couple of the more popular ones below.
CellarTracker—This app is available for Android and Windows phones in addition to iPhones and iPads. The app is tied to and utilizes the database from the company’s popular website of the same name. Cellar Tracker and cellartracker.com is an extraordinary resource for wine lovers the world over. They are considered by many to contain the largest collection of wine reviews available anywhere in cyberspace. This app allows individuals to post reviews and become a contributing member of an almost 600,000-member user community. Professional reviewers such as Jancis Robinson, Allen Meadows Stephen Tanzer and many others are also part of the Cellar Tracker community, offering their critical palate as a value-added bonus. Access to these pro reviewers may require a paid subscription. This app can scan a UPC code or simply a label and instantly give the user the wine’s details, including wine reviews and notes on tasting. It will detail what other wine aficionado site members like or dislike about the wine. The app will also meticulously track a user’s wine consumption history and their tasting notes. Another helpful function is the apps ability to recognize and do a search for a wine by simply taking a picture of the label. In addition to numerous other Cellar Tracker features, it also has a section where users can add subscriptions to a multitude of wine journals.
VinoCell – This app is only available to iPhone and iPad users on the Apple App Store website. It is however available in seven different languages. At this writing, it is not free to download but rather has a one-time price of $8.99. The developer claims on the App Store the following: “VinoCell is the most complete app to manage your wine list, graphically display your cellar, to record both your tastings and pro ratings and to match dishes to your wines.” We like the “matching dishes” feature of this app. While this is not a free app, it does have some nice features that make it worth dropping a few bucks to get started down the road of advanced wine analysis and tracking. Users can track the history of their wine cellar, both the current inventory and those bottles that have already been consumed. Personal tasting notes for each cellar bottle can also be included in the history. Up to 3 photos of each wine bottle can be saved to the database. These typically include the front, back and full bottle views. Perhaps the most prominent feature of this app is the search capabilities. There are 40 filters that allow a user to find a wine (either previously consumed or presently in inventory). As an example, a search may include such parameters as, “find a 2014 French Gewürztraminer, consumed a in 2018 with my cousin Fred that had a price range of $20 to $30.” There is a Wine Card listing of each bottle in your collection complete with an image and including these fields: wine name, vintage, location, varietals, current price, category, number of stored bottles, maturity icon, volume, last tasting score and last pro rating information. This app also allows you to manage the life of bottles in your collection. Simply set the input date, price, type, comment, and provider. Then, when the bottle is taken out of the collection, set the output date, output type (drunk, offered, sold…) and the recipient of the bottle. Then end up with a complete reviewable history of your wine experience over the months or years. A prefilled database, of up to forty different fields of info, based on VinoCell’s data and the user’s own info can be saved for each wine in the user’s database.
In today’s world, as individuals sit down to an enjoyable evening of food and wine, they don’t have to rely on their memory to relive a previously cherished pairing of their favorite food. Simply open an app on the smartphone and relive the pleasure.