Do You Use Mobile Wine Apps?

Vinted on June 1, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, wine buying

A strange thing happened to me recently.  Actually, it happened to, not to me.  And yes, I mean stranger than the normal level if strange on this blog.

I agreed to contribute content to a platform that I can’t really access and probably won’t use.

Specifically, I’ve let Hello Vino, the popular wine recommendation mobile phone application, have access to my wine reviews.

I’m part of a larger group whose reviews / recommendations are now appearing in Hello Vino.

It all feels a bit odd, since currently I don’t own a phone capable of running the app., and in general I don’t use quick wine recommendations (printed or otherwise) when shopping for wine at the store (I usually talk to the store employees about the available wines instead).

However, I was (quickly) convinced by the (compelling) arguments of others that having access to some of my reviews and recommendations would be valuable for the (many, many, many) folks who don’t think and act the way that I do (i.e., a nice way of saying that they are sane and normal and I’m, well, not quite normal)…

I had to ask the nice Hello Vino folks for screen prints so I could see how the end result looked (which I think is really cool, by the way – see inset pics).

What I’m wondering is, are the people who convinced me to share the content right?

Do YOU use mobile apps for wine recommendations?

I’m no poster child for gadgetry, despite having spent a loooong time in the IT industry.  I regularly wear out cell phones for 2-3 years before even considering an upgrade.  Here’s a telling example: when asked during an IT cross-industry group conference call about which cell phone features were most important (answers ranged from “ability to synchronize e-mail and contacts” to “accessing and rebooting LINUX servers remotely”) my response was “the ability to send and receive phone calls.”  In other words, I still think of cell phones as, well, phones.

But the ultra-modern, hip, worldy, tech-saavy, metro-sexual, millenial and Gen-X set?  I’m guessing that you could type a novel on the virtual keyboard of your cell phone in 6 minutes while watching streaming video and listening to the latest MP3 release that you just downloaded from the American Idol website.

Or something like that.

I’m going to be nice to you because I’ll want you to visit me in the old folks home from time to time so I’m not lonely.

Anyway, let’s hear it – Do YOU use mobile wine apps?






  • @norcalwingman

    Hey Joe,
    I have used the mobile app, mostly out of curiosity rather than for need of a recommendation. I read enough wine blogs that I have a nearly endless supply of recommendations on my list that I will likely never exhaust. I've tried both hellovino and NatDecants app.

    I'm stoked to see that you're in their recommendations, perhaps I'll use it more often now!


    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Brian – I'm generally curious, as I don't see myself using an app. like that in a wine shop; however, I *do* see myself calling or texting a friend about a wine I am thinking of buying, especially if that friend is an expert on that wine region, etc.

  • @GrottoCellars

    I have been lately! I downloaded the HelloVino and Nat Decants and a few others. Browsing through them and am pretty impressed. Awesome that you have your reviews on there now!

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks GC – have you used them to make a buying decision? As I mentioned above, just curious. Cheers!

  • Robert Dwyer

    For people that use CellarTracker and have an iPhone or Android phone, the app is pretty amazing. It's got a lot of different capabilities but one in particular that people find interesting is when you scan the UPC of a wine bottle in a wine shop and it brings up the CellarTracker page for the wine showing you CellarTracker community ratings, average price paid for the wine, and links to to see whether the price on the shelf is fair.

    Not all wines have UPCs, and not all UPCs are unique to a specific vintage, but enough are that it's a useful quick way to get relevant information to aid a purchase decision. Check it out:

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Robert – that barcode action sounds killer!

  • gilberto57

    I get my information on the wine world from blogs, magazines and books. I have a few apps on my iPhone that I use when I am at work to help my customers with wine terminology and descriptions of the wines.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, gilberto – great idea for using them as a mobile wine encyclopedia of sorts (I can definitely see myself using an app. like that!).

    • 1winedude5036

      Which apps are you using?

      • gilberto57
, Wine Peeps, Wine Events, Wine Guide,, Pair it!, NatDecants, Hello Vino and Wine Spectator Mobile web site

        • 1WineDude

          Ok… just a few there… :)

  • Jill Matthiasson

    I'm trying to figure out how this whole thing works….How do these apps get the info on what wines to include? Do they charge wineries to be listed? What if the app recommends a wine but the restaurant or store doesn't carry it? Do they have restaurant wine lists on any of the apps? I like that blogs can be read on these apps (especially this one!). Has anyone used Winepicks, an iPhone app?

    • 1winedude5036

      Well, Jill – join the club! :-)

    • @hellovino

      Hello Jill – many web sites and mobile apps (including Hello Vino) can acquire your wine product information from Cruvee – they are compiling a central database of wines at – registration is free!

      You also bring up some excellent points about the wines not being available at certain stores/restaurants. I can't speak for the other apps, but the Hello Vino app allows for regional targeting, and also will serve multiple wine recommendations (in case one of the bottles are out of stock).

      Please reach out to make sure your wines are in Hello Vino – [email protected]

      Rick Breslin
      Hello Vino

  • WeeReeSan

    I am surprised to hear you are as out of touch with this technology as I am. I hate the whole connected all the time thing. My cell phone is for emergencies only. And I never feel compelled to answer the cell or the land line. But you must be the leader in communication….well I think. I see your blog and communication style as truly the wave of the future…but not my future. For me your question is about being a real estate agent…am I here all the time…anytime…or when I choose to be.

    • 1WineDude

      Wise WeeRee – I hear you. Some people seem to think that we need to all but stop everything to answer the phone, and I'm thinking "let it ring… who cares?" I will resist getting a phone chip implant, which I'm convinced is the next wave…

  • weereesan

    Joe is laughing very hard. LOL

  • WeeReeSan

    Just remember Andy's butt…..LOL

  • @hellovino

    Joe – we're thrilled that you are syndicating your wine reviews through the Hello Vino app – thank you!

    With your reviews and articles, Hello Vino users are able to discover new wines and gain confidence in their wine purchases. Your pieces provide a great deal of guidance and inject a dose of positive energy into wine writing.


    The Hello Vino Team

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, HV. If this injects a dose of positive cash flow into my bank account I'll be ecstatic (but happy just to help in any case :-).

  • Laura Mohseni

    Ok, I totally don't get the app thing. My phone, like yours, is a phone- email on it is just about as technological as I get. It's hard for me to imagine someone actually buying a wine using an app like that right then and there, but I guess in the absence of great people in a store to help…?
    Laura Mohseni
    General Manager, Riverbench Vineyard and Winery

    • 1WineDude

      Laura – I'm with you; I guess it would be much more valuable in a grocery store, or big box chain store, etc.

    • @hellovino

      You hit the nail on the head, Laura. Retailers are having a tougher time catering to customers with questions about which wine to choose (for example: wine to drink with pasta vs. steak, introductory reds with soft tannins, etc.). Consumers are turning to their mobile phones (i.e. their gateway to the Internet) to help with their purchase decisions. This is exactly why we developed Hello Vino – to help with that intimidating "wall of wine".

  • Jennifer

    When I first got my iphone I quickly downloaded several apps. I rarely use them. I live in a area that is not known for its wine prowness – which really sticks as a wine rep. I often wonder if I go to the app…and find the "perfect" wine for my occasion will my small local liquor store even have it? Maybe I'm old school or maybe it's because I'm in sales but I really like having interaction with the wine buyers at the stores I frequent. I really crave that passion that is brought to the forefront when someone is explaining the newest vino on their shelves.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Jennifer – sometimes it is cool to speak with real people. As in, actually talk with them in the real world. :)

  • El Jefe

    I dunno… I wonder how long are you really going to stand there navigating through an app trying to make a wine purchase choice, especially with your spouse standing there waiting…

    • 1WineDude

      …yelling at you to hurry up…

  • @rsswarr

    I have several wine apps on my Android and use them as a reference (Drync Wine Pro, Hello Vino). Also, the Wine Market Council did a survey and determined that there are 46 million people in the US who drink wine at least once a week. Within this group of core wine drinkers 39% (18 million) use wine, food, restaurant, or bar apps. Looking at the download counts of wine and food apps in the Android Marketplace I think that these numbers are believable. And think about the young group of wine drinkers tweeting each other about whatever.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks for those stats, rsswarr!

    • @hellovino

      Cool, a stats guy!!

      We're stats guys, too. In fact, we just published a report that includes survey results from 120,000 respondents (mobile app users) about their wine buying habits (average spent per bottle, consumption frequency, etc.). We also included an analysis of user activity within the app, which identifies some interesting trends in wine consumer behavior.

      The report is a free PDF download. Here's a summary:


      Rick Breslin
      Hello Vino

      • 1WineDude

        thanks, HV!

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