29 Jul 2011
While wine can provide many pleasures, it is well known that half the enjoyment of drinking a wine is sharing the experience with your friends and family. This concept of “sharing the experience” has undoubtedly brought together numerous friends, tasting groups and oenophiles for centuries. More recently, this same concept has inspired many online forums, chat groups and online communities, allowing people to share their wine experiences in a more broad, public, diverse social network. While local and online wine communities are still very viable forums to share and participate in, mobile device communities are rapidly developing, providing a more immediate way for oenophiles to share their wine experiences and geo-locations, without even leaving the restaurant, bar or tasting event they are currently enjoying. With such immediate access to an extensive wine community in the palm of your hand, modern oenophiles should never feel alone while tasting or making decisions about purchases at local restaurants or retail stores.
I believe this evolving trend of online and mobile wine communities is a positive step for consumers and wine lovers, new and old. With the ever expanding number of winemakers, wineries, and vintages, it has become increasingly more difficult for the average consumer to navigate the world of wine and find those bottle that suit their preferences. While I will always encourage exploring new varietals, new regions and new wine styles as part of learning about wine, participating in these online and mobile communities is a great resource to help consumers decide what to try next. No longer will an individual be without a source to reference for information about a given wine they may be interested in trying. With thousands and thousands of notes, reviews, opinions and recommendations already posted within these communities, the vast world of wine is only going to become more unified and transparent as these communities grow.
While there are a number of wine related apps on the market, I would like to highlight two apps which I believe are very useful, and also very community oriented, allowing for users to share and interact with each other unconditionally.
1) “Cor.kz” was developed in 2008 as a partnership between Eric LeVine, the creator of CellarTracker.com and the developers of the app. This app integrates the databases of CellarTracker.com with the streamlined interface of “Cor.kz”. Also integrated in to the app is a barcode scanner, which directly links the wine’s barcode with the respective community reviews uploaded about the wine. The app accesses over two million consumer wine reviews on CellarTracker, posted by over 150,000 CellarTracker users. The app allows you to post your own reviews for viewing by the community, as well as access your CellarTracker account from your mobile phone. While the “Cor.kz” app costs $1.99, it is free to set-up a CellarTracker account online.
2) “Crushd” is a very new app to the marketplace, though boasts a simple, refined, user-friendly interface and one of the most welcoming, interactive mobile wine communities on the market. Similar looking to the hugely popular photography app, ”Instagram”, this app allows you to instantly catalog and post reviews with pictures, while also following and commenting on other community users reviews. The app also allows the option for geo-location tagging, which allows other community members to locate your reviewed wines for purchase. Since the “Crushd” community is still small, currently under 500 members, this is the perfect time to join the community, be social, and become an integral part of what I believe will be a powerful wine community in the years to come. “Crushd” is currently free to download. Should you join the “Crushd” community, you’re welcome to follow me (cork_dork) and see what wines I taste around the SF Bay Area.
While the reviews posted in these two communities are not “professional” reviews, they do come from a diverse range of members, with diverse levels of experience. I encourage you to participate in these emerging online and mobile wine communities to expand your perspective on your journey through the ever changing world of wine.
-Posted by Nolen LeDuc, Santa Clara