Michael Wangbickler on October 7th, 2009

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This week, VinTank released it’s much anticipated report on iPhone wine apps. Presented in two parts (Monday, October 5th and Tuesday, October 6th) on Palate Press, VinTank’s Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Paul Mabray takes a turn as guest author to present his analysis of 50+ iPhone apps.

There are literally dozens of iPhone apps that deal with wine. Which ones are best? The VinTank report gives us some direction.

DryncThe top five “Recommended” apps from Vintank include Hello Vino, Wine Prices from Vinfolio, Cor.kz Wine Info, Velvet Vine Wine, and Drync Wine Pro. An honorable mention goes to Wine Steward. The rest of the applications were lacking some things that would make them top-tier.

I’ve played around with each of the top five. Each is pretty slick in it’s own way. I reviewed Wine Prices in March as a preview and found it very good for the niche it serves. I wish that Vinfolio would come out with an app for VinCellar also. I know they have been working on it for a while, but I haven’t seen anything yet. The reference section on Velvet Wine is very comprehensive and a great resource. The main weakness I see with Drync is, as Paul points out, their data could use some cleaning up. I have met the guys behind Hello Vino, and they are a pair to keep an eye on. I expect good things from them. I especially like the social media capabilities of Hello Vino. I can’t get Cor.kz to sync with my cellar tracker, so I have no comments there.

Interesting to me, at least, is that Wine Enthusiast Guide, Snooth, and Wine Snob didn’t make the top five. I figured with the collective might behind these, that they would have ranked higher. I am also astounded by the wide price gap: from free to $23.99 (Tyler? Really?).

There are hundreds of thousands of consumers who are currently using iPhone wine apps. That is a huge potential media market. So, how do we leverage this info for Wine PR? First, make sure that your brands are included in the databases. If not, see what you can do to add them or talk to the app producer to see what needs to be done. Second, some of the top apps have some sort of connection to a social media site. Make sure you are on them. Finally, play around with some. You never know what kind of potential applications there might be until you experiment.

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4 Responses to “There’s an app for that!”

  1. Thanks for the mention, Michael, and the kind words. It was a pleasure chatting with you at the wine country tweetup.

    I completely agree with your statement that this is a “huge potential media market”. As the iPhone culture continues to grow (ahem, take over), these wine apps will continue to create rich consumer experiences for a broader audience. Where consumers used to turn to Google.com (on their computer) for this information, they are now able to use these niche-focused apps to access high quality content.

    In response to your last paragraph, I welcome wineries to connect with Hello Vino through our Web site to make sure their wines are included/updated in our free app.

    Thanks again, looking forward to chatting again soon,

    - Rick from Hello Vino

  2. Michael,

    Thank you for the post. You are absolutely right. The media potential here is massive. We have seen it, as I am sure our peers have as well. We are working in several directions to not only connect to different mediums, but also reaching out to wineries, restaurants, and specialty wine stores. Like Hello Vino, we are also happy to include winery information. Everything from makers notes, to shelf talkers, to images are gladly accepted. Our next update (currently in review with Apple) will make this type of entry even easier for our members and partners.

    We pride ourselves on data normalization. Keeping data consistent is paramount to the quality content we all wish to provide. There is a great deal of momentum here and it is our intent to continue to improve.


    Joshua Patterson – Velvet Vine

  3. Thanks for the post. We’re playing with several different vehicles for user engagement on mobile platforms. We’re happy that our WinePrices application has received accolades, but we’ve also optimized our vincellar website so that iphone users can use the browser on the phone (just open the iphones safari browser and go to vincellar.com), with a set of Vincellar features that are iphone optimized. We’re testing to determine whether or not users prefer an app or an optimized site.

    Wine pricing data is something we take very seriously. Even having data consistency between producer name, wine name and vintage is a monumental task. Having normalized data helps all of our features; like Vincellar, the Vinfolio Marketplace and our wine store, work better together. It also provides a user experience that is more uniform and easy to navigate. From an integration into social perspective, having a uniform data set also makes the sharing of information and opinion that much easier. So we started with WinePrices as our first app. Stay tuned for others!

  4. Great post about iphone apps. There are some that are good and then of course you have the ones that are slacking, as mentioned. It is hard to stay up to date with the “newest” app.

    But for marketing purposes absolutely have your brand in the database. I am actually in contact with a few designers about creating a wine app. I want it to be unique. When and if I ever finish it, I would like for you to give an honest opinion…


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