All aspects of the beverage industry are working so hard to leverage technology, online social media and media access… the efforts are humorous at times. Often I feel bombarded by recommendations from the wine industry: in person, in writing, by software, on websites.
How Do They Know What I Will Enjoy?
We now have apps for retailers, apps for consumers, apps for wineries, apps for restaurants, etc… all designed to help either respond to demand, create demand, or convince me which wines to buy. I am so tired of this deluge of software telling me what I should know about the beverage market/industry, or what I should be buying. If this software can attract enough participation, a database can be developed to identify popular flavor profiles, but how does this really help me? Do I really need to know what the other guy is buying?
I get so frustrated with wine stewards, tasting room attendants, retail clerks AND apps wanting to tell me what beverage is popular, because I am sure to enjoy it. Since when am I sure to appreciate a beverage, because it appeals to the next guy? I don’t need more sources telling me what other people prefer, I need more direct assistance leveraging my preferences to select beverages I KNOW I will enjoy.
The wine industry makes the wrong assumption. I don’t need to be told what to buy, I need an understanding of the actual tasting experience with the product. I need an app that I can input my data: likes wine with high acidity, texture, complex flavors, fruit forward… and it pops out matching wines. It could be for Bourbon too: caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, a little spicy, not too sweet and not too hot… and I get a list. This is where technology could actually pair demand with production and offer both buyer assistance AND seller demand creation.
Why Isn’t Anyone Working on This?
I have been asked to look at/test run several wine apps. Most all depend on sharing consumption trends. The ones that try to do it the right way, all get it wrong, i.e. just because I enjoy black coffee, doesn’t mean I will appreciate savory flavors in wine. I am going to put it out there in the public domain, the questions needed to structure a questionnaire that captures real wine preferences:
- Prefer wine with/without food?
- Drinking the wine now, or holding in your cellar?
- Easy drinking, slightly sweet wines?
- Wines that clear your palate and are crisp?
- Textured wines with good mouthfeel?
- Can you appreciate savory flavors in wine (complexity)? Must a wine be very fruity to appreciate?
- Do you prefer reds with red, or black fruit flavors? Whites with citrus, tropical, or stone fruit flavors?
- How much dry/cottony feeling in the mouth can you appreciate?
- What is your budget?
Let me ask these questions of a wine enthusiast and I can pick out a wine they will enjoy 9 out of 10 times. I have done this with friends so many times… So why is that so hard to design software around? Picture a wine app that is loaded on a tablet that could assist an attendant to make a recommendation based on these simple questions?
If you have simple questions that can provide insight into wine preferences, please share.
***** I will put the challenge out there. If there is a wine app that handles wine evaluation in this fashion, please contact me. I will promote your solution anywhere I can. *****
8 responses to “Wine Apps & Mobile Sites”
Thanks for the recommendation Vin! I have played with Vivino before, but my personal favorite is Cellar Tracker (www.cellartracker.com). It has the most consumer tasting notes available online and has an excellent cellar management tool. This article just hit me the other day when I received several emails from apps I have tested in the past. It just seemed ridiculous to me that just because a wine was popular, I would like it!
Hi there, I came to read your article the other day and I found it super interesting. I am the co-founder of a wine app named “Vinifyed” and our approach seems to be in line with your comments. Users enter intensity levels for different criteria (acidity, body, dry, …) and find results sorted by their matching percentage. I would love for you to check out our web site http://www.vinifyed.com and our blog. Feel free to leave comments. We recently started the blog and we are building our community. The app is not released yet on the App Store but should be out this month.
Looking forward to reading your comments!
Corentin, I looked at your website and it appears to be too early in your development to get serious about evaluating the clarity of purpose. Let me know when you are ready to release and if you would like to offer a demo license to access the software, I can offer my thoughts. Thanks for reaching out.
Hi. Vinifyed will be released in the coming month on iOS. I will forward you the download link when it’s out. We would definitely be happy to have your thoughts and feedback. Best. Corentin
Have you tried Vivino? Personally, I really enjoy it. It has lots of consumer reviews from both amateurs and professionals with the average retail price which gives you an idea of the wine and what you should be paying before you buy it. Also, when you rate a wine yourself, it saves that information and recommends other similar wines you might like. I prefer exploring different wines all the time and don’t really follow trends or even seek out wines that necessarily match my preferences, so I think this app is quite good for that.
Thanks for the comment Vin! Yes, I have played with Vivino. Personally, for cellar management, I prefer CellarTracker. Check it out at http://www.cellartracker.com and see what you think. CT is also a great place for consumer tasting notes with over 1M posted there (including most of my own). I have found, I prefer the opinion of wine collectors to professional wine journalists, but to each their own! In this article, I was referencing the apps that are trying to assess consumer preference with a totally illogical approach. So many of these tools just determine what everyone else is drinking and assume you will enjoy it too!
I have heard of Cellar tracker, I’ll have to take a closer look. Thanks for the link!
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