There are a number of great mobile wine applications out there, but most of them cater to hardcore oenophiles. For the average consumer, though, these apps tend to be a bit too bulky, confusing, and time-consuming for comfort.
For the infrequent wine drinker that finds herself tarrying down the supermarket wine aisle every now and then, there’s a nifty little mobile app called Vivino that makes for a good wine-shopping sidekick.
The app enables users to simply scan in and rate wines they’ve tasted. A simple five-star scale classification makes it easy to save the wine and move on with life. The key is to really only scan in wines you’re really into to or want to avoid in the future.
The app currently recognizes about 500,000 wines.
Here’s the cool part, though. Wines not recognized by the app are placed in a queue for identification by a real human. That means after a scan, a user is on his or her way without a hitch, whether the wine was identified or not. Well, in most cases — for less-scanned wines, the app will occasionally identify a wine’s producer correctly, but misinterpret its varietal or vintage year. In that case, the issue is fixed with a simple tap or two.
Zachariassen says that his company is making “a wine app for normal people.” He himself didn’t grow up around wine and doesn’t claim to be a wine expert; he comes from a background in security software but enjoys a nice glass of wine here and there. He decided to make the “IMDb for wines,” because he hadn’t found a wine app out there suitable for him and his peers.
The type of user that Vivino attracts, he says, is one that doesn’t have a wine cellar, for example, but probably has about a dozen bottles sitting around the kitchen. These users are low commitment drinkers — they don’t want to write lengthy reviews about how “earthy” or “acidic” a wine is. They just want to remember it for next time and maybe give it a quick five-star rating, Zachariassen says. And that’s what Vivino is all about.
Chief Designer Nicolai Bentsen, CEO and founder Heini Zachariassen, and CTO and co-founder Theis Sondergaard discuss an upcoming feature launch.
Available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phones devices, Vivino was launched in early 2011 and has seen an uptick in usage as of late. Since its launch, more than one million bottles have been scanned and downloads of the iPhone app alone are averaging at about 1,000 per day.