It’s just not possible to carry all those heavy wine books with you everywhere. Here’s a short list of apps that you should carry on your smart phone.
Wine Maps by Jon Lord – $0.99
This app is great for review while sitting at the bus stop. It is easy to use, has fairly clear maps and the search option moves you to each destination in a cool way. This app is great review for the novice and those with a little more experience. It’s only 99 cents.
Brought to you by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, one of the global leaders in wine education. This is the fun way to learn wine regions. You must progress through the levels from 1-6 in a 60 second time limit dropping wine labels in places they come from. Just as WSET wine courses jump vastly in difficulty through each level, so do the levels of this game. Don’t forget to check out the info sections at the end of your game, especially of the ones you got wrong.
Grand Vins du Medoc – Free
Admittedly, it’s not the maps on this app that make it great. This app details the Chateaux from First to Fifth Growth from the 1855 Classification and the communes they are in. Touching each of the Chateau will bring you to another screen which lists any second or third wines they produce. You may also search for Chateaux under their commune headings. This app is simple, great for nerds and best of all, it’s free.
The one small set back of this app is finding it. Search for ‘Bordeaux Wine’ and scroll across until you come to ‘The Great Wines of Bordeaux’. When it shows up as an app, it will say vins.medoc.
Burg Map – Free
Ah yes, what wine lover or student could live without an app of Burgundy? This map-app is absolutely fabulous! Designed as pseudo-satellite images, you can zoom in and out easily. Keep zooming in and you will see highways, road names, Domaine names, as well as Grand, Premier and Village appellations. The appellations are colour coded and easy to see. The only set back is that there is no legend and it expects you to know what the colour codes are for. If you know that Chambertin Clos de Beze is Grand Cru then you deduce that the rest of the dark purple are Grand Cru as well. On the good side, its free!
Atlas Vins $11.99
The only reason I list this app is to make sure you aren’t tricked into thinking this is a superior app to the one listed above for it’s $11.99 price tag. It’s not.
Wine Tripper – British Columbia $2.99
[Clap, clap, clap] Bravo for this one! Scroll down a satelellite image map and tap on the pegged wineries or search for wineries alphabetically. Green pegs are wineries that are open, red for closed. Tap again, and you can check out their hours of operation. The purple pegs are those that require an appointment.
This is perfect if you are driving through the area. The flashing blue dot is you!
You may also enter in wines that you purchase and add your impressions. However, when you add a wine, it is limited to only the categories they have listed. Right now, it seems fine because I think they actually have all of the wineries in there. But it doesn’t give you the option of adding them manually. The same goes for grape varieties. They have categories for ‘Red Blend’ and ‘Unknown’ but you aren’t able to manually enter in a grape varieties. I reached them at the ‘Contact Us’ section to make this suggestion. They have no plans for changing, but they did respond right away.
You may also purchase Wine Tripper-Ontario, which I’m sure is just as good as the one for BC.
Romagna Sangiovese – Free
I fear the day when I am at a high enough level in my wine studies that this app becomes applicable. Written by nerds, for nerds. From the homeland of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale (true aged balsamic vinegars), this app explores the other side of Emilia – the Romagna part. Information for many producers are there. Make sure you explore (tap) enough to get to the written information parts – wine laws, differences in wine flavours based on their exact altitudes and a magnifying-glass view of the gradiation of soil types (written in l-o-n-g sentences). It’s enough information to press our palms together, raise them in the air to the almighty and say, “Madonna!”
Please note that no money or favours were accepted to write the reviews for these apps. Although, I will accept wine from anyone at anytime.