Selecting a bottle of wine? There's an app for that
Published Thursday, May 19, 2011 12:38PM EDT
An Ottawa wine expert has come up with a smartphone app to make us all look like experts when we are picking a bottle of wine for our next meal.
All the work is done for you and best of all – it's free.
OK raise your hand if you have a hard time deciding on what wine to buy. Admit it: selecting a wine can be pretty intimidating. So many choices: what wine, what country, what year? Should you just take a guess or just buy the usual?
If you aren't sure, you're not alone, according to a product consultant for the LCBO.
"All day every day, it is the number one question: ‘What would go good with what I am cooking? What should I choose as a product?" Holly Wright told CTV Ottawa.
So, what's the answer? Well, Natalie Maclean is carrying one in her hand. It's a smartphone app.
You use your phone's camera to capture an image of the bar code on the bottle. The app then searches a database of 150,000 wines and then lists all the information you could want from ratings and reviews to recommended recipes. It will even tell you where the nearest liquor store is and how many bottles of the wine they have in stock.
Maclean is one of the world's top wine writers and has one of the largest wine websites.
In a liquor store, she shows off the app to anyone who wants to see it. Everyone we spoke to liked the idea and planned to download the app.
"It's like having her right in the store with me as I shop. I think it will be a brilliant product. It will help people learn more, and that will help them save money and drink more of the wine they like. People are becoming quite sophisticated about wine," said Bill Gordon, who runs Vineyards, a wine bar in downtown Ottawa.
Those who don't know much about wine love the idea.
"With this app I can tell people I am picking up a bottle and then be able to tell them all about it," said wine lover Supinder Wraich, 24.
Maclean admits it can be intimidating to buy wine. After all, there are a million wineries in the world and the wines change every year.
"The beauty of wine is that there are so many varieties and ways to enjoy it and learning about a culture and drinking wine is fun. I think buying wine should be fun not nerve-wracking."
She adds if you want to stick to one wine go ahead, there's nothing wrong with that. She just thinks there is a big world of wine out there and wants to help you enjoy it.
App aside, Holly Wright says she tells people the key to all this is "drink the wine you like."