Rate A Wine!
Developer: ZAM Apps, Inc.
Runs on: iPhone
In the culinary world there are a few items that spark legions of rabid fans. Bacon immediately comes to mind, and so does wine. Search for a wine app and you’ll get pages and pages of results (I stopped looking at 10 pages). Over the years, I’ve downloaded and tested at least a dozen apps having to do with wine in the iTunes store. My latest download is Rate A Wine!
For all the barcode-scanning and cloud-storing options out there (see: Nat Decants and Hello Vino) Rate A Wine! offers a simpler solution for those just wanting a quick reference to the wine they drink.
Breaking into the entrenched world of spirits with your own small batch brand takes a particular kind of courage–liquid courage, you might say. Taking their cue from the wine business in the 1980s and 1990s, when small-production wineries began gaining market share from the behemoths like Gallo and Krug, these new distillers are challenging longstanding traditions and tastes of spirits.
Not only are the flavors and ingredients changing, the distribution and marketing also chases a new kind of customers in social and mobile ways. With little prospect of attracting a large distributor, artisan spirits rely on special events to build their market.
That’s where yesterday’s Spirits of the Times event comes in. Notified by liquor.com of an artisan spirits tasting at Sadie’s in Hollywood we found it impossible to resist. After a minor traffic headache at the Hollywood Bowl (Aerosmith concert, need we say more?) we arrived at the rented-out restaurant for a festive tasting of four small-batch spirits. Guests were invited to sample the spirits straight, followed with a specially mixed cocktail. We each were handed a ballot so we could of course vote for our favorite cocktail. Here is our trail:
FOOD & WINE Cocktails
Developer: American Express Publishing
Runs on: iPhone
This is the fourth FOOD & WINE magazine app, but the first we’ve reviewed. Other apps from them include Best New Chefs for the iPhone and Wine for Android devices. The Cocktails app is iPhone-exclusive and is sponsored by Belvedere. This is the second sponsored app we’ve reviewed—the first was Let’s Cook with Fabio Viviani and Bertolli Olive Oil, which stuck the sponsor name right in the title. Viviani’s-sponsored app left a good taste in our mouth; let’s hope Cocktails goes down the hatch just as smoothly.
The app includes over 350 drinks, plus drink-friendly food, cocktail tips and a list of the top 100 bars and lounges across the country. The home screen of this app provides six main navigation buttons to help you find what you’re looking for. The first two buttons sort the drinks by either spirit or type. The other buttons navigate to the cocktail tips, food and bars. The final button access your favorites, which can be anything within this app from a particular drink to a piece of glassware found in the glassware guide (within cocktail tips). The bottom of the home screen includes a small navigation menu with a few redundancies plus a button to search.