A survey came out last week where it was reported that almost half of US adults couldn't live without their cellphones for a day. When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone seven years ago, the game changed and society's reliance (or addiction) on smartphones went whole hog. Let's take this through the filter of wine. More and more Americans are turning to wine as their alcoholic beverage of choice. Now that we're even more obsessed with our phones, we naturally have become obsessed with apps.
There are a ton of wine apps on the market. As happens in the app world, there is a lot of noise, but after spending some time researching, I think I've found a few signals. Some of these apps are very robust, and some just have one killer feature that makes it stand out. While we all suffer from some degree of app fatigue, the good ones should add enough value to your life. Have fun with these for they aim to make your wine drinking life better.
Natalie MacLean Wine Reviews & Ratings - This app, from Canadian wine writer Natalie MacLean, has plenty of features from lists of top rated wines, best values, recipes, etc. What I like about Natalie MacLean's Wine Reviews & Ratings app is the Pairings feature. I've found it to be the most comprehensive pairing app. While other wine pairing apps aren't as broad and complete, this app covers almost all wine and food pairings. (free on iOS App Store and Google Play)
Cor.kz - This is the app that is powered by CellarTracker; the online cellar forum/inventory keeper/all-around wine tool. CellarTracker is the brainchild of Eric LeVine; a former Microsoft employee that wanted to keep track of what was in his cellar and use crowdsourcing to share knowledge and notes on wine. Cor.kz uses the data that CellarTracker stores for your cellar information on your phone. It helps in a pinch in the event of knowing what you have in stock when you're buying wine. It also helps to pull up information on a bottle of wine that you have your eye on or want to invest in cellaring. ($2 on iOS App Store, $2 on Google Play, $2 on Amazon Apps)
WSET Wine Game - The Wine and Spirit Education Trust is a body of knowledge group based out of the UK that has a certification system for wine and spirit mastery; of which I have my Level 3. This app is more of a game where you can test your wine knowledge. If you're a nerd that wants to challenge your wine wisdom, this app is for you. It adds enough gamification elements to keep things fun and is challenging enough with the questions to keep things interesting. (free on iOS App Store)
Wine Spectator's Wine Ratings - Wine Spectator is seen as one of the wine industry's leading magazines. If a bottle receives a complimentary score, it reverberates amongst vinophiles. The WS Wine Ratings app takes the print experience digital by housing the magazines reviews. While there are in-app purchases to flesh out the experience, the killer feature of the app is the vintage chart. It's great for scrolling through and seeing when bottles of wine are at peak, on hold, or in decline. It's useful if you're sitting on bottles for aging and curious when to start poppin' bottles. (free on iOS App Store and Google Play)