I stumbled on the Vivino wine app waiting for my plane at the Austin airport last year. Bored, and slightly buzzed, I was curious how much the bars I had been buying bottles at were up charging me. Digging through the Apple App Store, I came across Vivino. Not sure what to expect, I downloaded the app, synced it up to my Facebook profile and was logged in. What awaited me past this point was a whole new way to not only identify wine, but a method to connect socially with other wine enthusiasts and access their opinions.
*Disclosure* I currently have no partnership with Vivino, this review expresses my true feelings about the Vivino wine application.
The Vivino wine app not only enhances the recreational wine drinkers experience by allowing them to learn more about what they’re sipping on; it offers even the most seasoned oenophiles the ability to connect with one another and share ratings and reviews. The most powerful feature of the Vivino application is its ability to allow users to identify wines by taking a picture of the label. Once the picture is processed by the application, you’re taken to another screen where it instantly shows you the name of the wine, the vintage, average price and average rating given by other Vivino users (There are over 6,000,000 now!). Below all this information, you can give it your own rating (you must select 1 – 5 or half stars), as well as a brief review if you wish. Your rating and review is then posted along with other users who have given the wine a try.
Update July 2015: Vivino app introduces wine list scanning. Vivino wine app users can now scan a restaurant wine list which will yield wine ratings. The ratings can then be clicked on to read more details about the wine of interest.
The cool thing about Vivino is that the applications breadth of knowledge is always expanding. You can submit the specific price you paid for it as well as change any information if it doesn’t appear correct. For instance, I was drinking a Bordeaux a ways back while the app was still in its infancy. I noticed that the vineyard location listed was not correct, so as I was adding my own assessment to the wine, I submitted the correct vineyard. That information was then sent off to Vivino staff who researched the winemaker, and updated the information accordingly.
The Vivino Wine App is Also a Social App
While the identification and rating system is currently the most advanced of any other wine related application available, my favorite feature is the social aspect. You can sync your Vivino account up with your Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and phone contacts. Doing so allows you to follow other Vivino users you’re connected with or invite friends who share an affinity for wine. Much like Facebook or Twitter, there’s a main “Feed” page, which is populated by wines recently identified and rated by your friends and followers. You can Like, Comment and “Wish List” their publications – which has really expanded my palate as of late. I’m following a number of sommeliers who have significant tasting experience over my own, and it’s great to see what they’re drinking.
To top it off, Vivino has a pretty sexy personal profile page. You can view your own and your followers tasting profiles, latest rated, top rated and wish listed wines. Another fun part of this application is as you identify and rate wines, you’ll earn badges and higher ranking amongst other Vivino users. Who doesn’t like a little friendly competition?
If you’re a wine and travel enthusiast like myself, I encourage you to try this 100% free application! The Vivino wine app is a great way to learn more about wine and connect with other enthusiasts.
Vivino is currently available for free to all iPhone, Android and Windows Phone users. Vivino does offer an upgrade option for $4.99. You don’t really need it, but it does allow you to sort and track wines if you maintain a wine cellar. Separately, as an upgraded user, if you come across a wine you’ve scanned that Vivino fails to identify, the request will automatically be passed to a real person on the Vivino team. They will then research the wine and get back to you with the proper identification using your picture of the label.
I hope you’ll connect with me and share your tasting experiences! You can find me under the add friends page by searching for Winederlusting.
Have your own thoughts on Vivino? Share them with the community in the comments!