This week I’ve got another wine app review for you. Looking for a go-to app for wine lovers this holiday season, I recently reviewed Wine Enthusiast. Like many wine apps it excelled in one area (providing access to thousands of reviews from wine pros) but flopped in the area of user reviews (cumbersome data entry). I have yet to discover a wine app that can do it all, providing a good user experience for remembering favorite wines, access to professional reviews, interaction with a community of wine lovers plus a complete database of wines. Delectable Wine promises the complete package, plus the ability to purchase wines and have them delivered to your doorstep.
I’ve been let down before, though, so I’m cautiously optimistic. The technology is there, the data is there — why have so many wine apps failed to provide the complete experience?
Keep reading to find out if I’ve finally found the Holy Grail of wine apps.
The app begins with a short intro of slides explaining exactly what they offer, and I perked up immediately reading about “the world’s most accurate database of wines” and access to reviews from wine professionals across the globe. Could building my wine collection really be as simple as taking a photo of the bottle? Wine delivered to my door with the touch of a button is a service I would definitely take advantage of.
The signup process was quick and painless — a good omen for what was to come. I appreciated the ability to create an account with just my email or connect with Facebook. Once the formalities were out of the way the app prompted me to jump right in and take a photo of my wine with the camera, but I wanted to get to know Delectable a bit better before showing them my wine.
The next step was to find friends in the Delectable community of wine lovers by connecting with Facebook and Twitter. I was delighted to find a couple of my tweeps and follow them, but I didn’t accept the offer to invite all my contacts, which is more sharing than I’m comfortable doing. I landed on the Community screen where I scrolled through hundreds of profiles featuring sommeliers of famous restaurants, well known wine importers, wine journalists from papers like The New York Times and prominent wine bloggers.
As a wine lover I really enjoyed browsing the community for my favorite wine enthusiasts. Ata a glance it was easy to pick out familiar names like Kermit Lynch and editors from Wine Spectator. The app has a wide variety of users from prominent restaurants like Daniel Bouloud, Momofuku and Scarpetta. I could see how many wines the user had reviewed and how many followers they have, a good indicator as to how actively they use the app. I quickly amassed a collection of my favorite people to follow, including my fav wine guy, Gary Vaynerchuck, and the knowledgeable Andrea Robinson.
Your Wine Journal
Saving a wine to My Wines is as simple as taking a photo—no data entry required. I then chose a rating by selecting a simple facial expression and added my own notes. In order to use the location feature and document my drinking buddies I would have to connect with Facebook, which is mildly annoying but not surprising. I then had the option to share the wine on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or keep it private.
Once I submitted the wine it went into a queue to be identified. I was pleased to see that within a couple of minutes the app had information from the wine label identified and displayed, along with my rating and tasting notes. My Wines are kept in a list and by tapping one I could see the wine as it would appear in the Feed. To see the full Wine Profile I had to select that option.
The Wine Profile gave a full breakdown on the wine domain, region and country along with social stats and options for purchasing. As a wine geek I love all this detail—and I would love even more features like mapping. It’s great to be able to sort My List by filters like Capture Date, Rating, Producer or Vintage. To see my wines by region I go to My Regions, which the complicated subject of organizing wines and simplifies it beautifully.
Feed is the home screen of the app, which displays an updating photo stream of wine recommendations from people I follow. The interface reminded me of Instagram and so I found it easy to use. A picture speaks a thousand words, and it’s great to have a photo of every wine label along with all the label information displayed separately. Just like Instagram I could like a wine or make a public comment.
Other useful features include the ability to add a wine to my wish list or tap the shopping cart to find a price based on my state and purchase the wine. Users rate wines with a smiley face, frown or indifferent expression that’s easy to understand. Overall I’m a fan of the Feed, which is a fun and social way to keep users engaged in the app. I also found bottles inspired by My Wines in the Recommendations section, which is a great way to find new wines to try.
Delectable Wine makes easy work of cataloguing your favorite wines, sharing recommendations with others and finding new wines to try and purchase. The app is smartly designed for an excellent user experience and I am a big fan of how they use data to enhance that experience. They’ve got an active community of users from the wine industry, which really increases the value of the app. I’m kicking myself for not jumping on the bandwagon sooner. Is it the elusive Holy Grail of wine apps? Let’s just say I’ve finally found what I’ve been looking for.