Below are five apps that offer a complete guide to enjoying wine, from deciding which bottle to buy to making sure not to overdo it.
The list comes from Nick Clunn, an award-winning journalist who has worked for several websites and daily newspapers, including The Record in New Jersey. Nick teaches journalism as an adjunct instructor at Montclair State University. You can follow him @NickClunn.
Mobile Sommelier – This app from publisher VinoMatch attempts to solve one of the most difficult and sometimes stressful aspects of drinking wine — picking out the perfect bottle to complement what’s coming out of the kitchen. An organized sequence of screens on Mobile Sommelier take users from main categories, such as seafood, to particular dishes, such as raw oysters, to a list of suggested wines, to detailed taste profiles for each one. VinoMatch boasts of regular updates and an extensive food library that includes cheeses and desserts.
Liquor Run – App publisher Tallgrass Labs has created a free app that suggests places to buy wine. This directory of more than 40,000 U.S. liquor stores can be particularly helpful for dinner-party guests who forgot to pick up a bottle to gift before they left home, and now find themselves in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Liquor Run suggests stores and closing times based on the entered address or current location, and then provides turn-by-turn directions. Some listed stores will serve coupons that can be redeemed by flashing your smartphone at the register.
Wine Club Coach – Drinking isn’t just about kicking back. It can be about learning, too. The Wine Club Coach from publisher Mobile Tasting gives vino enthusiasts a fun way to gain a deeper understanding of taste profiles by allowing them to rate characteristics, such as body, sweetness and fruitiness, and providing instant feedback on how they did. Multiple users can describe wines simultaneously, making the app good for parties (and settling disputes between wine snobs.)
Drynks – Gone are the days of forgetting that really good Shiraz you had a friend’s house, or that expensive Pinot Noir you bought to celebrate an anniversary. This is the pitch made by Binary Red, publisher of Drynks, which catalogs wines. Adding a vintage to your personal wine cloud involves taking a photo of the label and filling out a brief form that asks for its name and where it was discovered. This free app also works with beer.
DrinkFit – Overdoing is a bad idea for many reasons, including the affects excessive drinking can have on your health. DrinkFit builds awareness around this issue by packing the nutritional information for 1,600 alcoholic beverages — wine and others — into a single app. Publisher Justin Cooperman pitches the $1.99 app as a way for health nuts to know how much longer they’ll need to workout to burn those extra calories. The My Night feature lets users track consumption as the wine flows.