App Review: Lot 18


US iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

Though for the most part, BBC’s Top Gear is all about Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and a lust for Jaguars of all stripes, the lads have to buckle down once in a while to review a car that is more… “down to earth”, as one might say. And that’s sort of what we’re doing today with a review of the Lot 18 app for iOS.

Lot 18 is visually and functionally like most other sales tool apps – no fancy navigation, no folds or hiding menus to maximize screen space, nothing to titilate the app geek. It’s a meat and potatoes app. But it works. It does it’s job well.

Functionally, Lot 18 fully-loaded. Each wine comes with reviews, descriptions, potential pairings, more about the winery. What’s also great is that after you select your state, the app filters to display wine available to your state. No messing about and finding out during Checkout that you can’t buy the wine you’ve already begun drooling over.

Sharing is standard as it should be, you can view your past orders (we didn’t place any orders so we’re not sure how easy it is to re-order something you’ve once bought, which is an important feature), and you can send invites to friends to use Lot 18 and get some wine-buying credit in the process.

Where it gets a bit dodgy is the list types. You can select to view all list types, or just staff picks, featured items, etc. on its own. But on that list is Select and Mobile, and there is no explanation as to what these are. Go to the FAQ page of the app and it only deals with the buying process, not at all with site features. It’s beginning to feel like a car with no instruction manual, which is fine if everything is self-evident but it’s not.

Something I also experienced is that when I lost the network, tried to update the product list, when the phone refound the network, the app had a terrible time bringing up results no matter which list I selected. This may be a bug, and I’d be interested in knowing if other Lot 18 users are experiencing a similar loss of functionality related to jumping in and out of a network and losing connection mid-browse or mid-purchase.

So, Lot 18 may prod you into a bit of Sherlock Holmes detective work. and it may not handle connection issues with the grace of Barishnikov. But all in all it is a solid app that offers quality content (i.e., good wine for a good value). With a clean design, rich feature set, and content with a solid QPR, Lot 18 is a good choice for the wine lover on the go.

3 1/2 stars

Lot is available for free on the iTunes Store.

Note: Lot 18 is only available in the United States. We will be reviewing the BC Liquor Stores and LCBO wine apps next week for some of our Canadian readers.