How To Become an Instant Wine Expert with Corkbin

Today’s app is Corkbin, a way for wine beginners and aficionados alike to share their experiences and opinions of the wines they consume.

Corkbin is a dead simple app so we’ll take a minute to walk through all of it’s features and then discuss our overall impression of the app.

Getting Started

As mentioned above, Corkbin is at its core a way to share the wines you try and see the wines shared by others around you.

To start off, you either log in or create an account. The registration only requires an email address and password so you’ll be up and running in seconds flat.

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The Register and Login Screens

As you can see, right from the very first screens in the app, the interface is beautiful. The textures, colors and graphics all perfectly capture that wine country feel without looking cheesy or overly artificial.

My Bin and Wine Terms

After registering, you are taken to your “bin.” This is where you will access of the wines you have bookmarked. By default, your bin is empty, we’ll take a look at how to add to it in the next section.

I love that your bin is a visual experience rather than a simple list. The picture frame theme is attractive and structured while still having a sort of messy and scattered look due to the fact that each frame is slightly offset from the vertical position of the one before it.

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My Bin (left) and Wine Terms (right)

The rightmost screenshot above shows you the included list of wine terminology and definitions. Simply scroll through the extensive list and tap on a word to expand the definition with a smooth animation.

If you’re not a wine freak, listening to people that know a lot (or think they know a lot) about wine is enough to make your head spin. There is a ton of very specific jargon in the wine world, making it quite intimidating for a newcomer. This makes the glossary an extremely helpful inclusion and earns a thumbs up from me to the developers.

Adding Wine

There are two options for adding wine to your bin. First, you can share the wine you are currently drinking. Simply snap a quick photo, add a description and share it on Corkbin, Twitter and Facebook.

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Adding Your Own Wine (left) and Browsing Nearby (right)

To see what others are drinking, tap on the “Nearby” button at the bottom of the screen. This will bring up a list of the wines people around you are sharing along with their brief descriptions. Keep in mind that “nearby” is a pretty relative term as the wine closest to me was 332 miles away.

Tapping on a photo of a wine will show you a larger preview and tapping on the button in the top right will let you either bookmark the wine or show it on an interactive Google map.

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More Options

How Was It?

I really liked this app. It felt smooth and polished from a design perspective and did everything it promised without glitching, freezing or taking an inordinate amount of time.

Corkbin makes it really easy to find new wines, bookmark those that you’re interested in and share your favorites with others.

However, I would definitely like to see a lot more features. First of all, there doesn’t seem to be a way to search for a wine. It would be great to be able to use this as a reference when you see a wine and want to know what others have said about it. I can even see barcode integration going a long way here as a quicker way to search.

Further, the social aspect here is barely scratching the surface of its potential. I think Corkbin should seek to be the Foursquare of the wine world. I want to be able to set up a profile and make friends. Then I want to track and stay updated on what my friends are drinking and recommending. I also want to be able to connect to my Twitter friends automatically and see what they’re drinking.

Finally, it would be awesome to see some sort of recommendation engine. Corkbin could look at your list of favorite wines, compare it to those of other users and make recommendations based on what other wines users with tastes similar to yours are drinking.

Conclusion

Overall Corkbin is a great little app that gives you an attractive interface for sharing and discovering wines. Unfortunately, in the realm of $0.99 apps, this one fares pretty low on the breadth of the feature set.

There’s nothing wrong with what’s currently in place, I just hope the developers have bigger plans and see the potential that Corkbin currently has to be something much better.

Have you tried Corkbin or any similar app? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.


Summary

Corkbin makes it easy to share and discover new wines. Simply snap a photo of the bottle you're currently drinking to make recommendation or browse through the wines being consumed by nearby users. Corkbin looks great and performs well, but is a little lacking in the feature category. The developers promise that many more features are on the way, let's hope they deliver!

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  • http://www.tapmates.com Robin

    I would add a note: It’s all designed by @tapmates

  • http://www.inmite.eu Michal (from Inmite)

    Thanks for a great review Joshua! Yes, we have a big plans with the app and we are working very hard on a new updates (one is comming to the AppStore in couple weeks).

    BTW your guesses about possible future development are actually quite accurate, haven’t you seen our roadmap? :)

    And yep, Robin is right – the app was designed by Tapmates. Great job guys!

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