INNOVATE

Wine drinkers can pore over selection of websites, apps

Wine apps

Source: USA Today

By Mark W. Smith

There is something deliciously low-tech about a glass of wine. Especially after a long, plugged-in day at the office, it can be a release from the technology that encumbers us. But that hasn’t stopped some from trying to make the whole experience a bit better using technology.

From a website that helps log a wine cellar’s contents to apps that keep users in the know, there’s a lot out there for wine lovers. So whether you’re a seasoned oenophile or a wine newbie, here are some great tools here to help you on your way.

CellarTracker.com

This cellar-tracking website is the premium stop for wine enthusiasts around the world. The mostly free site allows users to log each bottle of wine as it’s bought, creating an online list of everything in the collection.

When a user drinks a the wine, he or she is asked to leave a rating and notes about the tasting. Drinkers can leave their thoughts — did you get notes of tobacco, too? — and see what many others have thought about that bottle of wine.

The result is an exhaustive database of nearly every wine commercially available today. For serious wine consumers, there’s no better site.

Corkcicle.com

This gadget is basically a cork with a long enclosed icicle attached to it. When placed in a bottle of wine, it can help bring it to a perfect temperature.

White wines are often served too cold as they’re snatched right from the refrigerator and red wines are often served too warm at room temperature.

The Corkcicle — made out of a nontoxic gel wrapped in BPA-free plastic — is stored in the freezer and can bring a room temperature red down to a more desirable cellar-like temperature in 10-15 minutes.

For white wines, after they’re left to warm up a bit out of the refrigerator, the Corkcicle can help keep the wine cool for as long as an hour while sitting out.

The Corkcicle runs $22.95 and is available at www.corkcicle.com.

Cor.kz

Built on the CellarTracker.com platform, this iPhone and iPad app ($2.99) allows for mobile access to the contents of a personal wine collection.

New bottles of wine can be added through the app’s search tool. Bar codes can also be scanned using the iPhone’s camera, but that’s a bit spotty.

The app also allows for side-by-side comparisons to compare things like price, region and user rating.

It’s a great way to quickly log a bottle of wine enjoyed while out at a restaurant so it’s not forgotten.

Cor.kz also integrates with Twitter so users can keep their friends updated with the best of what they’ve tasted.

Pair It!(

This app ($4.99) is a handy tool to find the best food to pair with the wine already in your collection. It’s available for both Android- and iOS-based mobile devices.

Once a wine varietal is queued up, users can swirl their phone to be prompted with a list of foods that would best pair with the chosen wine.

You can also just push a button, but where’s the fun in that?

The app incorporates a handy pronunciation guide so you can impress your friends by not stumbling through Gewurztraminer.