Archive for May, 2011

A Wine App Welcome in Your Kitchen

May 6th, 2011 1 comment
Nat Decants app

Nat Decants App Icon, courtesy of Itunes

Nat Decants, an iPhone app, is designed to make your mouth water!  This free app–yes, I do mean free–is a conglomeration of ten wine programs interfaced into one easy-to-use application.  Therefore, it is extremely convenient, not to mention affordable!

Not only does Nat Decants provide thousands of wine reviews, articles, and winery listings, its really tantalizing features are its ability to suggest splendid wine and food pairings (a current count of 380,000 that were actually tested!) as well as recipes.  There are literally thousands of scrumptious dishes to peruse to accompany any wine you select.  There’s no reason to not have “the perfect meal” with any wine of your choosing!

Developed over an eight-year period of time by professional sommelier Natalie MacLean, who has won awards such as “World’s Best Wine Writer” at the World Food Media Awards, Nat Decants showcases Natalie’s personal wine and food pairings, reviews and additional information, instead of falling back on computer-selected data and multi-user database material like some other wine applications.

Nat Decants App Screenshot

Nat Decants Screenshot courtesy of Itunes

Though the app is free, it is certainly not one to sneeze at; Nat Decants made the “top five” list of food and wine apps in Computerworld Magazine, Globe and Mail, and even the New York Times!  It is also the only wine app chosen by Apple for App Store Essentials in both “Food & Wine” and “Date Night” categories.

Nat Decants version 1.3.1. is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Droid, Nexus, Palm Pre, and some additional smartphones.  It requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.

Nat Decants Screenshot courtesy of Itunes

Two Different Wines with One Similarity…

Perhaps you’ve read our previous post, Fooled by Numbers: Wine and You?  If so, this short comparison between two very different wines compliments it nicely!

I recently purchased, for the same price, a bottle of El Salegar Tinto Fino 2007 and a bottle of the Maison Elise Richard 2008 Corbieres Red Blend, without knowing at their ratings.

El Salegar Tinto Fino 2007, image courtesy of

Maison Elise Richard 2008 Corbieres Red Blend, image courtesy of

Made from a promising blend of Carignan, Grenache Noir, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, the Maison Elise Richard 2008 Corbieres Red Blend was extremely slow to open, and its nose was very closed.  Even after opening, this wine’s nose was stubbornly elusive, being somewhat acidic and only sharing hints of black fruit and prunes.  Though the wine’s texture was not unpleasant, it was not very firm.  Its taste was earthy, but not robust.  Prevalent with brown and black fruits, including prunes, the wine also contained an aberrant licorice flavor which seemed to be an irksome “streak of independence” that divided the wine, rather than unifying it.  Rich with tannins, this is a wine that works best if paired with various potato dishes; I did not find it fully convincing on its own (it also cries for decanting).

In contrast, the El Salegar Tinto Fino 2007 made from Tempranillo grapes, had a delightfully aromatic nose, a very nice body,  and good color.  Containing earthy, herbal flavors including cherries, plumbs, and even some licorice, this wine was pleasantly well-balanced, and offered a robust, satisfying finish.  Unlike the Maison, the El Salegar demanded my attention immediately, and also did not have to rely on food to be enjoyed.

Granted, these are two very different wines, but it is interesting to note that they both were rated highly at 90 points each!

Wine Cellar Pro by Velvet Vine, a Wine App

Featured on Apple’s own website ( in May of 2010, Wine Cellar Pro by Velvet Vine, created by Tap Leap Software, LLC, quickly became one of the top five recommended iPhone applications.  Allowing users to manage wine inventories, track purchases, and take personal tasting notes, Velvet Vine also allows users to share their wine journals, tasting notes, and reviews with other members.

Velvet Vine’s features include an online web management system, a sync feature to keep you up-to-date with wine information, a wishlist where you can enter wines you may want to purchase at a later date, an inventory that includes purchases, quantities, and favorite merchants, a search option to quickly peruse the stock in your own cellar, local announcements of tasting events, a vast reference section, and more!  You can even customize your own tasting events.

Screen Shots

When you download Wine Cellar Pro by Velvet Vine, you will be embraced by a far-reaching virtual wine community, and can befriend and follow members who have similar tastes and and interests.  This personal, interactive touch puts connects you to a knowledgeable wine community in which members delight in sharing years of wisdom and wine experience.

For $3.99, you can download version 2.6.1 for you iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.  (The app requires iOS 3.0 or later.)  It was last updated in March of 2011.

Want to check out more iPhone wine apps? We recently reviewed Wine Doctor and iWine, among others, and we’ve previously reviewed several Android wine apps, if you Android folks are feeling left out!