With the holidays just around the corner, odds are you’ll be uncorking at least a couple bottles of wine. While you might not need any help emptying them, there are a bunch of solid Android apps out there that can help you pick out the best ones and share your experience with the wine-loving community at large. Now, I’m not a wine guy at all and usually reach for whatever’s in the bargain bin, but maybe with the help of some of these apps, we can classy things up a bit.
Kendall-Jackson, a Californian vineyard, provides a full tour of their selection of wines, and helps users pick out the best ones depending on occasion, time of day, mood, and preference between red and white. There’s also a food pairing section where you can drill down into specific kinds of fruits used in each batch.
Of course, Kendall-Jackson isn’t the only winery to have a matchmaking Android app; if you have a favorite brand, be sure to look them up in Google Play to explore what else they have to offer. The nice thing about an app made by specific wineries is that even if the descriptions are a little one-sided, they know their products well and are in the best position to suggest pairings.
This app is primarily used for adding wines to a wishlist and tracking what you have in your collection (though you’ll have to upgrade to pro for $4.99 for access to the latter function). Users can follow friends, leave notes on shared wines, and submit ratings along the way. The pro version also lets users search a database of 500,000 wines by name, and be fast-tracked for manual pairing suggestions. Beyond that, Vivino has a smooth, Holo-style user interface that’s amply responsive.
Okay, so it’s not really an app, but it’s in Google Play. Close enough, right? For $2.99, users can pick up the latest issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Be warned: this magazine is leans more towards the pros than amateurs, but either way, you’ll find lots of timely insight into the wide world of wines. There’s a lot of content related to (but outside) wines, such as dish recipes and suggestions for other types of alchols. Getting the latest issue was actually my first experience with Google Play Magazines, and to be honest it was pretty solid. There’s a text-only view, which provides great readability on smartphones, and a thumbnail filmstrip to quickly jump to different parts of the magazine.
Corkbin, though very much in the same vein as Vivino, is a bit different in that it hinges primarily on tracking your history of wine and sharing it out to social networks like Twitter and Facebook. users can also leave ratings and comments, and see what’s being had nearby with a custom Google Maps data layer. There’s a simple pairing menu through the Extras menu, though it’s powered through another one of the top Android apps for wine, Hello Vino...
Hello Vino is a really great wine pairing and wine suggestion app. You can discover food pairing for the wines you already have, browse categories and subcategories of wines based on occasions, taste preferences, and wine varieties. Like many of the apps here, you can take pictures of the bottles you've enjoyed to include with your shares so others know what label to look for. To help find the best stuff, you can also build a personal wishlist and check blogger reviews on wines within the database. The UI is clearly ported from iOS, but all of the important functionality is still there.
So, any big wine fans out there? Which apps do you use to find the good stuff? Any particular favorite types of wine you could suggest for the holidays?