The world of wine and wine lovers can seem mysterious, intimidating and impenetrable, but it doesn't have to be. Thankfully, there are numerous 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. Check out 15 of the best wine apps for budding oenophiles, 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.
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. A premium tier for the app includes a cellar management feature and fast tracking of unidentified wine labels that you scan in. Another cool feature is the ability to scan a restaurant's wine list to pull up information on each wine.
Hello Vino (Android, iOS) aims to be a wine companion app for the everyday wine buyer, 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 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 as they are with other apps, so that might be an issue for some users.
Drync (Android, iOS) allows oenophiles to snap pictures of a wine label to quickly bring up its availability, price, tasting notes, descriptions and ratings. You can also add your own notes. Users can track their favorite wines and even order them online with the app. We particularly like that you can discover new wines based on your friends' recommendations or the app's own discovery engine.
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.
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, SoSo, 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.
WineRatings+ (Android, iOS) serves as your pocket guide to wines, with the free app providing vintage charts on grape varieties from 55 of the world's leading wine-producing regions. Be the smartest wine-guy in the room with the app's articles, videos and a news feed of the latest wine-related news. Users who subscribe to the premium service get automatically updated wine reviews from Wine Spectator, complete with ratings, tasting notes, release and average auction prices. Filter-enabled vintage searches, curated wine lists and social features round out the app's premium tier.