Keen to know which wine goes best with chicken tikka masala? There’s an app for that. Searching for the wine you tasted at your friend’s soiree last weekend? There’s an app to help you figure that out too.
The ever-growing interest in all things wine has resulted in a slew of free-to-download apps – crowding both iOS and Android platforms (there are AR-based apps for a few wine labels too!) – that act as your wine assistant. These help everyone from neophytes trying to distinguish between the textures of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc to rigorous oenophiles struggling to manage their ever-growing cellar. Let’s uncork some of the best apps available today.
Vivino | Google Play | iOS
With 30 million users and a library of 9.2 million wines, Vivino is a comprehensive online destination that helps you discover and buy the exact type of wine you’re looking for. Scan (take a photo) the label you want to buy and the app immediately throws up a rating – based on user-generated reviews – to help you figure if it’s worth it. It’s also helpful for those who dine out often and get confused when browsing through the restaurant’s foot-long wine lists. Besides user ratings, the app also shares user reviews, grape varieties and each wine’s origins to help you compare and select. You can also discover wines using filters of price, type (white, red, sparkling), food pairing (cheese, desserts and vegetarian) and regions.
Delectable | Google Play | iOS
Log on to Delectable and you’ll feel like you’re on ‘Winegram’, a social media platform for vino lovers. Here, you can maintain a journal of wines you’ve tried by posting their photographs, tagging friends, adding your ratings and penning the tasting notes. What distinguishes Delectable from other wine apps is the fact that it features top sommeliers and wine makers like Steve Matthiasson of Napa Valley’s Matthiasson Wines and wine pros like Marissa Ross, wine editor at Bon Appétit. Follow them, know what they’re swirling every night and learn from the best.
Wine Dictionary | Google Play
Sure, there’s Google. But wouldn’t it be better to get the gamut of terms associated with the wine world under one roof, or in this case, a single app? That’s what Wine Dictionary is all about. From names of grape varieties like aglianico (an ancient red grape grown in Italy’s Campania region) and taste descriptives like asciutto (very, very dry) to titles of different wines, regions and winemaking terms (did you know the vat used to make wine is called cuve?), there are about 900 definitions in this A to Z glossary. Each term is accompanied with its pronunciation too so you can avoid faux pas when you show off your new skills. Go ahead, download this popular app and turn into the wine snob you always wanted to be.
Pocket Wine Pairing | iOS
Pairing food with the right wine can be daunting. This app makes it easier with an index of over a hundred food types – from fresh cheese to a variety of meats, pizza, pasta and ethnic cuisine – and the styles of wine to pair them with. For instance, if tomatoes play a dominant role in the pasta sauce, pair it with a high acid wine, either red or white. When offering blue cheese at your house party, be safe and pick a dessert wine to balance its saltiness. And if you’re serving hot and spicy seekh kebab or any Indian dish that’s high on chilli, choose aromatic and crisp whites like Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. The app also includes ‘dos and don’ts’ guidelines for pairing food with wine.
CellarTracker | Google Play | iOS
This app version of the website is one of the most popular online tools that helps you digitise and manage your cellar. To catalogue, scan the barcode or the label of the bottle and save it on the app. You can add tasting notes, make wish list of the wines you want to try and also track the pending delivery of the wines you’ve ordered.
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Krutika Behrawala is an independent journalist on a quest to unearth stories hidden at the intersection of food and drink, history and culture. She enjoys experimental cocktails on good days but prefers a large G&T on bad ones.