For years I worked at the legendary Wine Library in New Jersey (made famous by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk). While there, I was given a virtual master class every day by the knowledgable people I was around, and by tasting countless bottles of wine. We tried everything from sub-$20 favorites to bottles worth hundreds of dollars from classic vintages.
While it’s true that more and more folks are buying wine, and that it’s more possible than ever to find great values, many people are intimidated by the vast amount of bottles to choose from and don’t have information on what to buy or how to get the best prices.
These are some of my favorite apps when I’m trying to find a great price, wine pairing, or trusted information from the wine community.
Delectable is the ultimate social network app for wine. You can take a shot of pretty much any wine bottle and Delectable’s app will figure out what bottle it is, add it to your feed, and then let you to rate it and comment on it.
The real value in Delectable comes from following pros in the wine community. Simply go to your Profile page, press the settings icon in the upper left, and you have access to find friends from Facebook, Twitter and your contacts, or view Wine Pros (which are basically ‘Verified’ users on Delectable).
I’ve found numerous bottles by following people who work at wineries, wine importers and wine bloggers. You can see their rating, comment back and forth about the wine, and even buy the wine by using Delectable’s Banquet app.
- Free – Download
Wine Spectator Wine Ratings+
Wine magazines were historically the place you’d get all your wine information. Wine Spectator has been rating wines for years, and their companion app is a helpful place to go when you want to find out whether a wine is good or not.
With Wine Spectator, like any other magazine, you have to find a reviewer who has the same tastes as you. Some reviewers tend to favor more alcoholic wines, while others like their wine more balanced. If you have a subscription, you can view their huge database of wine reviews. The app also includes a news feed with lots of interesting articles if you’re looking to learn more about wine.
Two of my favorite features of the app are the Vintages tab and the Picks tab. With the Vintages tab, you have access to know if a certain year was a good year for that area, broken down by country and then region. This allows you to veto a bottle right away, while shopping or out at a restaurant.
The Picks tab has lots of informative lists, such as wines for $20 or less, and access to Wine Spectator’s often popular Top 100 Wines of the year list.
- Free w/ in app purchase for search – Download
I’ve used Wine Searcher extensively to find the best prices for a bottle I’m looking for. Just type a wine name or snap a picture of the bottle and Wine Searcher brings up stores nearby and allows you to compare prices at each store.
The fantastic thing about this app is that the prices are updated quite regularly, and it gives you a quick way to know if the store has the wine at all, and who’ll have the best price around you.
Another helpful feature is the Wine Critics section of the app. You can view the top wine critics’ highest rated wines, and then instantly see if those wines are in stock at your favorite wine shop. Wine Searcher hands down is one of the best ways to get your favorite bottle at a fair price.
- Free – Download
Hello Vino is helpful if you’re just getting into wine. Not only does it have a search function like some of the other apps, it also has an incredible guide to the multitude of different grapes out there, and an amazing wine pairing section.
You can pair your wine with different types of foods, occasions, by your taste preference, for various seasonal events and a lot more. Hello Vino goes deep, and you can even choose what type of pizza topping you’re having if you want to find that next, great pizza wine. Or, what wine goes great with a number of desserts?
Hello Vino has a ton of great information and will transform you into a wine pro in no time.
- Free – Download
What’s your favorite app to find wine?
You don’t need to be a wine expert to find the perfect bottle of wine. Whether you’re trying to buy a nice bottle as a gift, or are just looking to have something great while you’re out to eat, these apps make finding good wine at fair prices a breeze. What app do you use to find that perfect bottle?
There’s a nice social recommendation aspect to the Vivino label-scanning app, so you can see what other people rated what you drank, and you can see what people like who’ve also liked what you’ve drunk. (It seems to be the main competitor to the Delectable app you mentioned above.) Also, if you want Vivino will email you once or twice a week with deals on highly-rated wines (usually 91-95 ratings).