The world of wine can seem mysterious, intimidating and impenetrable, but it doesn't have to be. Thankfully, there are multiple mobile apps out there that can help you make sense of the most arcane terms and find the right wine and food pairings for every occasion, all without cramming for a sommelier exam. Whether you're looking for the right wine to serve or in search of a review of an obscure vintage, here are 15 of the best wine apps for amateurs and oenophiles alike, available on Android and iOS. (Photo Credit: Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock)
Delectable (Android, iOS) has some of the best wine label recognition in the field, allowing users to easily pull up ratings, reviews and tasting notes for a particular vintage all from a photograph of a wine's label. In addition to the label-scanning features, users can keep a personal wine journal of their favorite wines with tasting notes. The app also functions as a discovery tool, with users able to follow newsfeeds of top sommeliers, winemakers and wine pros, as well as explore curated lists of vintages.
Delectable isn't content to just be a powerful wine label scanner and recognition tool. It's also pushing into online wine sales with its dedicated Banquet app (Android, iOS), which allows users to buy any of the more than 22,000 different wines from boutique and independent wine dealers throughout the US, with easy payment through Google Pay or Apple Pay. Wines are shipped to your door in 43 states or available for pickup in-store. The selection runs the full gamut from bargain bottles to collectable vintages, with wine ratings and curated lists taken from Delectable's rich community of wine enthusiasts.
Another wine companion app, Vivino (Android, iOS) boasts a photo label recognition system that can quickly bring up information for a given wine, complete with reviews, ratings and tasting notes. If the app can't automatically identify a particular vintage, Vivino's own team of wine experts can manually identify it for you with time. In addition to label scanning, users can browse the app's database of wine reviews, save their favorite wines, get recommendations for wines from within the app and find out where to buy wines nearby. You now can order wines within the app in supported countries, with a premium tier offering its members free shipping.
Hello Vino (Android, iOS) aims to be a wine companion app for the everyday shopper, with a label scanner, personal wine journal and food pairing recommendations. Simply tell Hello Vino what you'll be eating or some general taste preferences, and the app will recommend wine varieties to go with the meal or occasion. In addition to the label scanner and wine recommendation engine, users can read up about various wine varieties and popular food combinations. Premium users can also call and consult a live California-based wine expert for buying recommendations. That said, wine label scans aren't free and unlimited on Hello Vino as they are with other apps, so that might be an issue for some users.
Want your wine on demand? Check out online market Drizly (Android, iOS), which allows users to order wine, beer and other spirits for delivery the same day in 70 different US cities, with options for pre-paid store pickups or 2-to-3 day shipping in select states. A zipcode tool lets you check if Drizly can provide delivery service to you; from there, you can use Drizly to shop for liquor through Drizly's local partner stores. The Android version supports a number of OK Google voice commands for quick searches based on your address.
As the name implies, Wine-Searcher (Android, iOS) keeps the focus squarely on the search, with wine label recognition pulling up a wealth of information such as vintage ratings, grape varieties and critical ratings. Wine-Searcher's standout feature is its rich pricing and availability database, making it easy for users to find out where to get a particular vintage and how much it's likely to cost them. Extra features include a personal wine journal, a GPS-based store finder, and pricing and tasting notes for a variety of other liquors like Scotch whiskey, bourbon and rum. The free tier brings up the first 50 search results, while a premium search tier removes search limits and adds filters and other features.
Wine Ring (Android, iOS) takes a learning- and predictive-algorithms approach to its wine recommendations. The app takes into account your ratings for particular wines (Love It, Like It, So-So, or Dislike) and uses those ratings to generate recommendations based on your personalized tastes. In addition to the personalized recommendations, users can look up wines by pairings, keep a journal of wines that they've tried out and even look up recommendations for groups based on preference profiles for your friends, who might also be using Wine Ring.