Food App Review of the Week: Delectable Wine

By on Thursday, January 24th, 2013


Delectable Wine
Developer:
Delectable Inc.
Cost:
Free
Runs on:
iPhone
Website:
www.delectable.com
Version: 2.3.7

Delectable Wine is a very ambitious app aimed to create a new mobile, social community around the preferred beverage of the Greek god Dionysos. That means you snap a picture of a wine label, share it with the community, tag friends, rate your wine, comment on the submissions of others, and much more. Imagine an Instagram channel that only showed wine labels and ratings. Of course, there’s more to it than just that.

Perhaps the best function of this app is the ability to recognize a wine based solely on the label. Snap a picture and within minutes the name, vintage, type and winery join the picture. The first four wines I submitted all returned results within 30 minutes and one of them within two minutes. Oh, and they were 100 percent accurate!

Before you can snap your first wine label, however, you must create an account. You can join using Facebook or e-mail. Once connected, the app provides easy-to-follow prompts on how to proceed, from following other recommended wine enthusiasts to tagging and sharing with friends.

Over the years I have reviewed a lot of wine apps, including Nat Decants, Hello Vino (and many others) and there have been some pretty good ones. Most recently, I reviewed Rate A Wine!, which is an enjoyable snap-a-picture and add tasting notes app. Delectable Wine starts there and then takes that concept much further.

Once you have added a wine—you can also upload images from your library—you then add your own comment, set the viewing of that wine to public or private, and even purchase the wine (or others you see from the community). Clicking on a shopping cart button lets you request a price. I made a request on a dozen different wines and it worked only once in providing an “instant price.” If the app can’t provide an “instant price,” click a button and it will e-mail the price request to Delectable . If the wine price is ready, fill out the purchase information and get wine delivered to your door. Super convenient.

This purchase feature can become really powerful because of the community. I immediately began following a couple of Master Sommeliers and wouldn’t mind spoiling myself at some point by purchasing a wine they highly recommend. The rating feature, by the way, lets you slide your finger across a gauge that includes four emoticon faces, from frowning face to an ecstatic face with a horizontal variance bar overlaying the four faces from left to right. This allows you to show that even though you may have been ecstatic about two different wines based on the emoticon face, you slid the bar just a bit further on one of them to show your preference. I’m a big fan of this visual cue, which is why even though I rate apps from 1-5, I regularly use decimals to up the review value for these subtle distinctions.

Moving throughout the app, a standard vertical feed makes it easy to scroll through the various wine labels from the “friends” you follow. You can also invite friends to join and connect and share your wines on Twitter and Facebook. The ratings appear below the labels within the feed along with any comments people might have. I have to admit there doesn’t seem to be a lot of activity on this network, but then again, how much can one person drink in a day? To get the most out of it you’ll want to follow a lot of people, otherwise you’ll check back and see that not much has gone on.

I found the engine recommending people to follow was a bit weak in the execution. It listed some people twice based on different criteria, which seemed like a waste of space to me. You could, however, search for people or link to Facebook or Twitter. I was also impressed with the quality of people using the app, from wine authors to wine makers.

One big omission from the app was a general search. I would love the ability to search my feed for a specific wine to see what the pros had to say about it (assuming they’ve tried it). A search for my own growing sheet of wines that I have drank would also be nice. Sorting through the bottles and labels will get tough as time goes on with no way to filter my results. In fact, being able to filter my own wines by price, rating or submission date would be nice.

Overall, I really enjoyed this app, but it’s not great. Including information based on a picture of the label seems nice, but if I can already read the image I don’t really need them to translate it for me. I assume this translation is for their own benefit to look up the price and perhaps other information. Adding filters and greater overall search could really tap into the power of the community and data. Unfortunately it’s not there yet. I guess I’ll have to pour myself another glass and wait for the next update.

Toque Rating: 3.75/5

Written by Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hitched, a service and lifestyle online magazine for married couples. When Steve is not not researching or dispensing relationship information, he's reading, eating or marrying flavors together in the kitchen.

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