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Posts Tagged ‘wine apps’

Wine DJ: a Fun app Combining Music & Wine!

August 7th, 2012 No comments

Wine DJ IconHave a good bottle of wine?  Need the perfect music to set the proper mood?  Have no fear; Wine DJ is here!  Wine DJ is an iPhone app designed to help you build the perfect playlist based on your desired mood, coupled with the Liberty School wine you’re drinking.  Simply enter the type of wine you’re planning to drink, use a variety of fun controls to customize and fine-tune the desired mood, and discover the perfect playlist for the occasion!

Though the wines featured are those by Liberty School, the app is still fun to use if you substitute other wines.  For example, if you’re opening a nice Cab, no matter the winery, simply select the “Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon” from the wine list.

Though other programs with “intelligent” playlist-generating features do exist, Wine DJ’s mood sliders allow you to add a more refined level of selection to generated playlists based on personal choices, in addition to your chosen wine.  (The algorithm, created by Grooveshark, has produced some compelling playlists, indeed!) And if a song appears that you don’t own (but want to), all you need to do is click the “Download on iTunes” button.  Simple!  Playlists can be saved, too, so you can relive the memories of any night, anytime.

For a free app, Wine DJ is certainly entertaining.  Wine DJ is available from the iTunes store.  It is compatible with all iPhone models, plus iPod Touch.

 

Wine DJ Screenshots

Wine DJ Screenshots

Natalie MacLean’s Updated iPhone App

Wine Picks & Pairings: Natalie MacLeanInstead of giving traditional (and often non-useful) gifts to your folks this Mother’s or Father’s Day, considering celebrating with the gift of a good bottle of wine that will really make them smile!  Sure ties, socks, and ceramic hippo nicknacks are the norm when you’re not really sure what your parents want or need, but a bottle of wine–a classy touch of elegance–shows just how much you appreciate them, much more than any generic gift ever can.

Because Mother’s and Father’s Day meals contain all sorts of food items, finding the right wine to accompany your parent’s chosen dish may often pose a dilemma.  Fortunately, the app Wine Picks & Pairings: Natalie MacLean features a Mother’s Day Brunch matching option under the Pairings tab.  Simply selecting this option brings up plenty of perfect pairings.  For example, here are the top five:

  • Spanish omelette with Pinot Grigio
  • Spinach and bacon quiche with Sauvignon Blanc
  • Crepes Suzanne with Icewine
  • French toast and raspberries with Champagne
  • Smoked salmon and cream cheese on bagels with Pinot Noir

Curious about what to bring to the family’s Father’s Day cookout?  Select Father’s Day Barbecue from the list!  What are some sure-fire suggestions?

  • Seared Pepper Steak with Shiraz
  • Planked Salmon with Riesling
  • Flame-Broiled Hamburgers with Zinfandel
  • Grilled Chicken with Chardonnay
  • BBQ Pork Chops with Merlot

Mmmmm…  In addition to helping you select fantastic wines for your family’s fun holidays, the app allows you to access a host of tasting notes, scores, prices, and recipes.  You can search over 150,000 wines at retailers across the U.S.,  and create a wine journal containing your own notes and photos.  Wine Picks & Pairings: Natalie MacLean is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, and BlackBerry, and allows users with other mobile phones access to a mobile site.  The latest version was updated on Feb. 04, 2012.

eSommelier: a New Way to Organize Your Wine Collection

February 16th, 2012 No comments
eSommelier Wine Collection Management System

eSommelier Wine Collection Management System

Technology has certainly been keeping the wine world on its toes!  With the latest wine app releases, to devices with unparalleled scanning, pairing, and locating capabilities, what new wine gadgets will they think of, next?  Here is one that we find quite a catch!  It’s called the eSommelier, and it’s a complete wine collection management system.  Perfect for people with large collections, the eSommelier is an elegant, touch-screen based wine inventory system designed to keep track of the wines you have in your cellar, restaurant, or commercial business.  Featuring a top-of-the-line bar code scanning system and printer, you can easily identify and track every bottle of wine you own.  Gigantic catalogues of wine info and reviews are included, too, and are accessible just by touching the screen.  Measuring 13” x 15” X 6”, the eSommelier can fit just about anywhere.  The hardware (touch screen, printer, scanner, flash drive backup) and software are all included, so eSommelier is ready to run right out of the box.  Plus, you’ll have access to a year’s worth of online updates.  With eSommelier, you can easily view your wine inventory, and be kept informed about when you should start drinking some of your older bottles!  You’ll be able to see wines that have reached their ideal drinking age, be able to view professional tasting notes for each wine, view your cellar’s temperature from anywhere in the world, keep a record of your cellar’s temperature and humidity history, allow guests to view your wine collection, digitally, and much, much more.  For a stylish, easy-to-use, standalone piece of professional equipment, eSommelier is one of the best wine organizational tools we’ve seen recently.   It’ll definitely enhance your collecting experience.

WineToMatch: an App for Android and iPhone

October 25th, 2011 No comments

WineToMatch App IconWineToMatch, an app available for both Android and iPhone, features a streamlined process that allows you to select your meal’s main ingredient, type of cuisine, additional traits, and other flavors.  From there, WineToMatch offers recommendations of wines that will best accompany your meal.  And for lovers of sweets, WineToMatch even suggests pairings for dessert items, too!  Overseen by Master Sommelier Jesse Becker, the app’s patent pending engine determines how agreeable portions of your meal are with the wines in WineToMatch’s database.  The information you provide about your meal is weighted, and composite scores are generated for each wine.  Wines that pair the best with your meal are displayed in large letters.  Wines that make the cut, but that have smaller letters, also pair well, but perhaps not as “ideally” as those with larger letters.  (This is similar to a web page’s “cloud” feature, and quickly conveys which wines are a better fit, relative to others, for your food.)

The app’s creators believe that the algorithms used to generate recommendations are “the most sophisticated ever designed for pairing wine with food.”  Originally programmed to produce more than 75 billion unique pairings, WineToMatch continually adds wines to its database, making this number even larger!  Give this easy-to-use, helpful app a try, and see if you agree with its designers’ claims.  The current Apple version, 1.1.2, is available for $2.99. It is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch (2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation), and iPad.  It requires iOS 2.2.1 or later.  The cost is the same ($2.99) for the Android version, 1.0.WineToMatch iPhone Screenshots

WineStein Pro: a Wine-Pairing App

October 6th, 2011 No comments
icon for winestein pro app

WineStein Pro Icon

Ever have questions when pairing food and wine?  With WineStein Pro, a “genius” application for your iPhone, you can select the perfect wine for every meal.  It’s like having a sommelier in your pocket, on call to offer advice.

Simply enter your meal’s main ingredients, sauces and sides, and WineStein is ready to help!  Using cutting-edge artificial intelligence, the app creates a “meal DNA” used to determine the best wine pairings.  A scored list of wines, each with a full description, is produced for every dish you enter, and you can refine the results by choosing appropriate filters that range from color to price.

The WineStein database currently contains over 2,000 ingredients, dozens of sauces, and over 600 wine types for use when scoring.  With this information being constantly added to, the app can suggest a suitable wine for just about any meal.  (Try something really unusual; you’ll be surprised!)

WineStein Pro is available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.  It requires an internet connection, and an iOS of 4.2 or later.  And did we mention that the app is currently free?

image from winestein pro appimage from winestein pro app

Winery Quest Pro: an Awesome Wine Travel App

September 27th, 2011 No comments

Winery Quest Pro

It’s travel time!  Remember Jake Austad’s trek through California’s wine country?  Here’s a handy, travel app specifically made so that you can enjoy such an adventure: Winery Quest Pro.  Designed for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, this informative winery reference tool gives you everything you need to plan your California wine trip.  With 20 regional maps, filters for your favorite wine interests, detailed winery profiles, and a GPS navigated trip log, you’ve got everything necessary to embark on your own journey through California’s wine country. With Winery Quest Pro, planning your trip is easy!  And with the freshest wine and winery data updated daily, you’ll be kept in the loop with current information. Winery Quest Pro requires an iOS of 3.0 or later.  Available from iTunes with rave reviews, its current price is $7.99. 

Have a favorite wine app? Tell us about it in the comments and maybe we will review it!

Vivino: a Free Wine App

September 5th, 2011 No comments

Happy Labor Day! Hope you’re all enjoying your day off. We’ll be sipping some wine and enjoying the remaining summer sun. Right now, though, we’re reviewing an app that will let you keep a few notes on the bottle you’re enjoying without taking up a lot of time.

Vivino v1.1

If you want a quick, simple way to remember a good wine on the go, Vivino, a free app, is for you!  Simply use your smartphone to take a picture of your wine, and give it a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” for future reference. You can go into greater detail, too, and rate and review your wine, if desired.  You can even share your wine experiences on Facebook and Twitter.  With a growing database of 400,000 wines, the application utilizes the latest image mapping technology to auto-match the picture of your wine bottle, instantly providing you with the wine’s facts, ratings, pairings, and more!  These at-a-glance “stats” will even help you make better informed decisions at your favorite wine store.  While not a massive, all-in-one app, this easy-to-use wine tool is extremely convenient.  (When viewing a wine’s statistics, the app is almost like a digital “baseball card” of the wine.)  Plus, it’s free.  Vivino is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.  (It requires iOS 3.2 or later.)  It’s also available for Android, BlackBerry, and Windows 7.  Check it out!

Corkbin Version 2.0.2

August 19th, 2011 No comments

Almost a year ago, we wrote a blurb about Corkbin, an easy-to-use app that lets you make tasting notes and share them with your friends.  Originally for the iPhone, the app now works with all iPhones, iPod Touches (iOS 3.0 or later), and Android phones. The latest version supports new features for friending: “share your wines with your friends and see what they think.” 

If you’ve ever had a really good wine, but later on forgot what it was, Corkbin is for you!  With Corkbin, simply take a picture of a wine you want to remember, jot down a note about it, and (if desired) share it with your friends!  Copies of your wine images and notes remain in your mobile device, so you’ll be creating an ever growing visual record of all the wines you’ve tried.

The latest Corkbin versions boast improved graphics (with support for the Retina display), improved usability and consistency of the user interface, new privacy features, stability, and more.  At the time of this blog, the current version is 2.0.2.  For 99 cents, Corkbin v.2.0.2  is available in both Apple’s App Store and the Android Market.  Cheers to that!

corkbin

Corkbin Screenshots

Natalie MacLean Wine Picks & Pairings: Recently Improved!

August 5th, 2011 2 comments

Natalie MacLean holding a glass of wineAlthough we’ve already given this app our stamp of approval back in May, its continued popularity and recent improvements have made it emerge as one of the most practical wine and food apps ever.  Renamed from Nat Decants to Natalie MacLean Wine Picks & Pairings, and updated to version 2.2 on July 19th, the app’s already convenient barcode scanning logic was vastly improved.  This means it’s even easier to use your smartphone to scan a picture of a bottle’s barcode.  You’ll then get instant tasting notes, wine scores, recipes and pairing recommendations.  What is more, you can also see how many bottles of the wine in question are available at nearby stores, better helping you decide whether to buy a bottle now, or later!

Natalie comically describes how her app can assist during a common wine-buying situation: “You’re in the liquor store wondering if you should buy the bottle with the castle on its label or the one with the fluffy squirrel.  Now you just point and click to find out if that shiraz actually is a good wine to go with your pepper steak, or if the sauvignon blanc would work with your grilled veggies. No more guesswork based on castles and critters.”

In terms of publicity, Natalie compares having an app featured on Apple’s App Store Homepage “almost as good as being interviewed by Oprah for your book.”  If this is truly the case for app developers, Natalie certainly made quite the splash; Nat Decants is also the only wine app to make appearances in both Apple’s top 10 “Food & Wine” apps and “Date Night” categories.

In summary, Natalie MacLean Wine Picks & Pairings is a free app that provides thousands of wine reviews, wine articles, and winery listings.  It also possesses the miraculous ability to recommend some of the most perfect wine and food pairings this blogger has ever tried.  In addition, all of Natalie’s pairings were personally tested.  No automated, computer-driven approximations or “tricks!”  For more food for thought, the app contains thousands of original recipes with matching wine recommendations, and you can easily keep track of your own wine cellar inventory with a simple-to-use, intuitive interface that has even won over wine lovers who sometimes feel “technologically-challenged.” (And may I mention, again, that this app is absolutely free?)

Natalie MacLean Wine Picks & Pairings is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices with iOS 4.0 or later.  It is also available for Android, and BlackBerry devices with an OS of 4.3.0 or later.

App shot from Natalie MacLean's wine app

Virtual Wine Communities

June 13th, 2011 No comments

There really is no substitute to being a part of a friendly group of wine tasters!  Not only do you come to know one another’s preferences, you are also exposed to numerous wines you might not try if left to your own devices.  In addition to broadening your horizons, your close group of enthusiastic wine peers can make recommendations based on what they’ve come to learn about your palate, and you can do the same for them.  What is more, and self-evident, “live” group wine tasting involves real-time contact with actual wine!  Unlike one-sided online reviews, real-time conversation is dynamic with the emphasis being on the wines at hand.

Sometimes, however, finding a wine group to join can be difficult.  Other times travel may prevent you from meeting as regularly with such a group as you’d like.  This is where a “virtual” wine group enters!  In addition to your “real life” club, internet wine communities offer valuable tips, advice, and recommendations often suited to your preferences.  It’s even possible, with various apps and sites, to virtually befriend or “follow” knowledgeable online personalities with similar tastes.  With literally hundreds of online wine communities at your fingertips, choosing which ones to join can be a daunting task.

While you can choose a group or site for its ordered content, it is also fun to visit a very informal, unstructured online group like the “Facebook Wine Club” for its random presentation of reviews, opinions, and info.  Free to Facebook users, this group boasts to “appeal to all wine drinkers, from the seasoned pro to those who just wanna know more!! You can choose to read, discuss, add and request information on wine. Let’s discover wine together…”  Featuring a random mix of wine reviews, app recommendations, info about wineries and tours, plus the “quintessential”, incidental Facebook pics and spam wall posts Facebook users have come to expect, this fun page provides good fodder for casual browsing.  Similar to a “real” wine group event, you never quite know what you’re going to find!
A more ordered, less unruly community can be found at WineLog.net.  Here, membership is also free.  You can create your own wine log, befriend members with similar tastes (without sharing your entire life story, unlike “friending” on Facebook), get custom wine recommendations, and view a host of wine blogs.  There’s also a handy search feature, similar to those found on other quality wine community sites.

For a well-versed community with expertise on both wine and food pairing, check out a new site by certified sommelier Natalie MacLean.  (Does that name ring a bell?  We found and reviewed her handy wine app, Nat Decants, back in May.)  Not only is this app still free, but so is a large portion of Natalie’s new site.  Subscribers receive a regular newsletter packed with wine articles and tips, plus you can create your own profile page.  Doing this lets you instantly access online community reviews (many of which are from educated wine enthusiasts), create a wine wish list, catalog your wine cellar, review wines and share them with the community, as well as devise shopping lists.  Similar to WineLog.net, nataliemaclean.com showcases “featured bloggers” and contributors.  With emphasis on food as well as wine, this community is a welcomed “holistic” resource for chefs and hosts. There is also a search feature on the site.
While hundreds of online wine communities abound, give these three different sites a glace over for starters to help you discover what it is you most want to find in a virtual wine community: surprise, order, convenience, conversation, food pairings, tips, etc…  With that knowledge, we wish you the best of luck finding a virtual community that’s a good fit and complement to your “live” club!  Cheers!