Here’s an app review for the moms and dads. Just in time for the holidays – or this weekend – or right now! This is a great app for novice or intermediate wine enthusiasts like me. Wine experts might scoff but I appreciate the assistance with choosing a wine pairing. What wine works best with beef stew? Chinese food? Brie cheese? A few clicks and you are one step closer to a full-bodied Cabernet, sparkly Prosecco or an oaky Chardonnay.
The Hello Vino app is a free download from the Apple or Android app store. While it’s free, there are a few extras such as wine label recognition and special audio reviews that require an in-app purchase. I haven’t purchased but I think the ability to scan the wine label and get tasting notes, reviews and pairings might just be worth the $.99 (for 20 label scans; $4.99 for unlimited).
Using the app is simple. The start screen gives you options such as finding a wine pairing for your meal, wine suggestions for an occasion, by taste preference or by wine type/variety. You can also search for food recommendations for a wine you already have on hand.
Here’s an example. I was looking for some wine to have with pizza. (Just your basic cheese pizza, please.) After a few clicks I had several recommendations for Cabernet Sauvignon. These suggestions change from time to time – in my example screenshot from a week ago I can check out Smith & Hook and Woodbridge, but in a new search just now I’m offered Kendall-Jackson and Jacob’s Creek. So it’s nice to know that the choices do change (i.e. they are not just offering the same wines from the same vineyards). Not a cab fan? Barbera and Chianti are also recommended pairings for your slice of pie.
After reading the recommendations you can save a wine to “My Wines”. This is a handy way to remember which wines you’ve tried and liked, or to remember the suggestions when you are out shopping. I can never remember which wines I’ve liked and then once I get to the store I’m randomly buying wines based on the how pretty the label is. So this is a helpful feature.
In Settings you can enter some profile information – such as how much you usually spend on a bottle, how often you enjoy a glass – which is used to help the app provide recommendations. The only confusing thing here is that each time I visit this page, it doesn’t show my previous answers. So I’m never sure if my answers really “took”. That would be my only recommendation to improve the app.
Does this sound interesting? You can give it a try right here!
Obviously this one isn’t for the kiddos, and the app is rated 12+ for Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References. To download, visit the app store on your mobile device or visit www.hellovino.com from your device for the mobile web version and direct links to download for iPhone or Android.