How important are wine apps? There’s Drync, Vivino, Delectable, Cellar Tracker, and many others. Should wineries pay attention to what’s on them? Encourage people to use them? What are the differences among all the apps? There are several kinds of wine apps. Some only offer reviews from established critics. Some allow you to add your own review to the app. Some will educate you about wines. Some will even allow you to take a picture of a label and provide more info about that wine. And some will let you buy the wine directly from the app.
Some are free, some cost, some have two or more versions. We cannot possibly include every app and ever function of the app here, though we will provide an overview of some of the best ones.
The idea of wine apps for reviews and ordering is great. But there are so many flaws and obstacles, that it’s hard to see how buying habits will be changed by these apps.
This app lists many wines by type and allows you to see what stores or wineries have those wines you like available to you. You enter your zip code and it will show you who can deliver to you. In California, wineries can ship to you, so a huge number of wineries are listed. This can be rather overwhelming. If this was limited simply to retail stores, it would be more manageable. The selection of wine types plus regions, however, is limited limited. I wanted an Albarino. I could not locate one, though there are so many of them. It also lists “Cote de Beaune”, but not the “Cote de Nuits” and “Red Bordeaux” but not “White Bordeaux.” There are other ways to find the wines here, but it seems odd.
If you do find a region or type of wine you like, it will show you who can ship it to you and will let you order right from the app.
Vivino lets you scan in or post a photo of a wine label and if it’s in its database can offer information about the wine. It can also email you later info about the wine. You can also do a search for various wines. It will also tell you the top wines in a particular category.
It will also direct you to locations where you can purchase a wine. You can purchase many wines directly from within the app. You can also rate the wines you enjoyed. It does not offer any real wine education, though. If you are interested in a particular wine, it does have a menu that will list vintages. But really, is there any reason for this vintage list to go all the way back over 200 years to 1790?
This also allows you to upload a photo and it will search its database for that wine. It will also search for prices. Drync’s vintage list only goes back to 1950. But who really would search for a wine that far back (unless doing it just for sport)? One nice thing about Drync is that if you scan a label and it does not then show up in the database, they will conduct a search for you and notify you by email if it’s available. And if not, they will help you find something else that is similar.
Drync and Vivino are very much alike and you can download both, see which one you prefer to use, and delete the other one. No one really needs both of them.
This is one of the very best wine apps. And like Drync and VIvino, you can take an image of a wine and get information about it. Descriptions of wines are clear. There are many choices of wines. It allows you to set your wine preferences so these selections come up first, but you can change that at any time. A great advantage of this app is the ability to follow and chat with your favorite wine people. Many winemakers are part of this as well as wine writers. You can see what their favorites are and perhaps engage with them.
You can choose categories of wines and read about many wines in this category, such as Loire Valley Chenin Blanc or German Rieslings. Even if you are not interested in a particular wine, you can learn about the region and the variety from all the descriptions of the various wines.
You can also order wines from this app, though frequently the wines say “sold out.” Obviously their choices of stores and wineries is limited, though, as it’s rare for a moderately priced wine to be sold out everywhere that can ship to California. I selected a Louis Martini Sonoma Cabernet, available nationwide. It still said sold out.
This has been around for years on the PC, and is an extraordinary database of wines. People have been submitting their own reviews for thousands of wines, and it is a vast treasure palace of reviews from experts, aficionados and novices. It is my personal go-to app because you can read many reviews of the same wine and get a very comprehensive view of what the wines are like. Highly recommended. If you find a wine you would like, while it will tell you where it can be purchased (limited info, does not include all stores), it won’t let you order directly. You have to contact the store to purchase it. Still, it will be of great help in knowing which wines to purchase.
Wine Enthusiast Tasting Guide
This allows you to search for wines that the Wine Enthusiast has reviewed. When you find a grape variety you like, you can then select the country and if preferred the region. The listing goes by descending point rating, e.g., 95 point wines are listed before 94 point wines, etc. The vintages here can be quite outdated. How good will a 2005 Albarino be at this point? If you do find one that looks interesting, you can read the entire review. The date of the review also appears. But you then have to search elsewhere to see where you can get it.
This is not a completely comprehensive list of wine and winery apps. There are so many of them. But it is a good start to see both from a consumer and winery point of view. If you are a winery you want your wines listed, mentioned and described on many apps. A consumer only needs one or two, but you, as a winery, really should check them all out.