If you visit a wine store with knowledgeable and honest attendants, it certainly helps but if you’re braving it alone (like most people do) a reliable wine app with an abundance of information and reviews from critics and fellow wine drinkers is the way to go in 2022.
Armed with these excellent and mostly free wine apps, you can become a more frequent and confident wine buyer, finding better wine or event hidden gems. Since most of these apps let you compare wine prices both from online and local vendors, you’ll never overpay for a bottle again.
Vivino Wine App
This is the most crowd-sourced application with tons of reviews and ratings. It is a user-friendly app which also lets you order wine for delivery. There are a number of apps that let you scan a wine label to get information about the wine, but we found the Vivino Wine Scanner app provides the most useful information. It also has more users than any other app (the website says 11.3 million).
After you take a photo of a label, it gives you an average rating and price so you know if you are holding a good wine at a good price. You can also scan the text of a wine list should you find yourself clueless in a restaurant. In addition to rating and price, Vivino provides notes about the type of grape used in the wine, info about the winery that made the wine and a variety of additional rankings for that wine within its winery, region, country and world.
You can read reviews from other Vivino users and add your own, but what I find fun and interesting are the winemaker’s notes (as in, “hints of toffee, cherry, fig, chocolate”). The wines you scan are saved to a My Wines list and will eventually build a taste profile, and the app will recommend other wines that fit your profile. The app also recognizes the labels for beer and spirits but with less success than wine labels.
Wine Spectator Ratings
Wine Spectator is the industry standard for wine ratings. If you start to stock a wine cellar’s worth of wine, the WineRatings Plus app from Wine Spectator magazine will prove useful. Signing up for the monthly subscription ($2.99, £2.29, AU$3.79) gets you Wine Spectator’s ratings and reviews, useful how-to articles and videos, as well as interesting vintage charts and a feed of wine-related news articles
You may also like their unique articles and videos with great insights on food pairings and general news in the industry.
Some apps force you to pay for scanning privileges and most require you to create an account. With Wine-Searcher, you get free and immediate scanning capabilities. It also shows you critic scores and will list any prizes the wine has won, but you’ll need to pay $8.99 a month via an in-app purchase for the Pro-level app.It shows you the average price for the bottle you scanned along with information about the grape, region and food suggestions.
If you want to scan more than 50 labels and get more critics notes and prices from more than just sponsored merchants. It also recognizes beer and spirits labels and was better at recognizing spirits than Vivino.