A lot of wine apps have sprung up these past two years so we decided to put three wine apps on iOS under the microscope. Let’s see how they fared.
Vintage Chart is Wine Spectator’s first app. It is definitely the most heavily used and has garnered a respectable score from over 270 ratings while most wine apps are only getting ratings in the single digits if that. The concept is simple, offering the user an easy and convenient way of getting a general idea of how vintages played out around the main wine regions in recent years. The user is given two navigation options: Quick View and Map View, which are both easy to use – though the map view feels overly simple, and integrating wine-growing region boundaries into the maps would add to the experience. Swiping left and right allows for easy movement between screens, and transitions work seamlessly. Aside from a couple minor design glitches such as the line running through the last item on most lists (c’mon guys, easy fix!), and notable wine-growing regions such as New Zealand and Austria missing from the catalog, this is definitely an app I’ll keep on my device and use at the wine store. I hope Wine Spectator continues to improve this app, and expand on the catalog.
3 1/2 stars
Wine Notes by William Lindmeier is a digital replacement for the classic wine notebook. It provides an easy layout for entering data and photos on the wines you taste. The initial offering of varietals and countries – even such staples as Malbec and Pinot Gris are missing – is lacking and requires the user to do lots of work to enter additional items in these categories. The ability to add wine by bar code is a good feature, though some have said it does not work for them, so the jury’s out as I haven’t tried it yet (I’ll update this review once I’ve gotten there). The sharing is easy and an important component, so kudos on that. I would like to see the possibility of voice entry to speak notes right into the app – this would be very beneficial when tasting through dozens of wines in a day, and the developer should spend more time creating a more encompassing catalog of items for each category, to allow the user to spend time on notes on the wine itself and nothing else. –If anyone has tried any other wine notes apps, I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations.
2 1/2 STARS
WSET Wine Game from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust is an app I like! What a great way to spend idle time testing my wine knowledge. With a cleanly arranged user interface, and game design combining wine knowledge with reflexes, even more veteran winos will have a challenge on their hands. The game is geographically slanted, but this makes for a more interesting, and less text heavy game. A game’s longevity, though, is often judged on the developer’s motivation to continue the experience, so I’m hoping WSET keeps pushing hte envelope on this venture, and adds more levels and scope to an already great game. And true to form for the WSET, beyond the first level, this isn’t a beginner’s game – you need to know your regions and then some. I’d love to hear how far you’ve gotten, and how you’re enjoying it!
4 1/2 stars