Growing number of wine apps give shoppers a helping hand

Do you find yourself standing in front of your local grocer’s wine offerings and wondering which bottle would be the perfect pairing for tonight’s dinner party? The answer might be in the palm of your hand.

In a world where there is an app for nearly everything, owners of smartphones like the iPhone, Blackberry or Droid have an increasing number of phone applications designed to make wine buying a less risky adventure.

Applications like Swirl, a free app download for Droid phones, offers access to a quick database of wines. You can search for wines by name, varietals or by location. If you are looking to save on price but not on taste, you can select the tab for wines under $20. Based on your search of reds or whites, a list will appear that is ranked by user feedback. For example, a 2008 Wyatt California Pinot Noir received a four-and-half (out of five) stars rating. By selecting that wine you are given access to reviews written by customers like you. One reviewer wrote that, “it is virtually impossible to find a high-quality Pinot Noir that actually tastes like Pinot Noir for under $25…but Wyatt is a real winner tasting like a delicious Cotes de Beaune.”

A pairing tab also suggests dishes like grilled salmon or lamb to go with this particular Pinot Noir and you can search for other wines based on the meal you have already planned. Many of these wine guide apps encourage their users to leave their own comments and reviews, making these apps a perfect place to find out what the Average Joe or novice wine enthusiast consider a great buy or a waste of time.

There are also apps for those looking for wineries while on vacation of in their neck of the woods. For example, the Dallas Winery Guide app for Droid gives reviews and contact information for wineries in the Dallas and the North Texas region. Other apps provide information for wine growing regions from Northern California to Western Missouri.
In your quest to become a more informed wine buyer, phone applications might be one of the best tools at your disposal.

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