IF you're that person who doesn't go away for a weekend without scanning the reviews on TripAdvisor, or won't buy a car before consulting Jeremy Clarkson's blog, then you need a wine app.
Real Time Wine is a free, proudly South African app for Android, Blackberry and iPhone, and a finalist in the most innovative category of the MTN Business App of the Year awards to be announced next week.
Very handy for when you're standing helplessly in front of the bottle store shelf, the app lets you search for a wine, see ratings and reviews from other users. It also keeps track of your own "wish list" and rates wines on a simple scale.
The app has a tonguein-cheek flair and a "strict no snobs policy".
Forbes magazine calls Vivino Wine Scanner the "wine app for normal people", and it's a bit like Facebook for wine fans.
Follow your friends' reviews, like and comment on their ratings and, if you upgrade from the free to the Pro version (R39.99), keep track of your own wine collection and search the Vivino database.
The nifty part is that you simply scan the wine label with your phone-camera and the app identifies it from its database of more than half-a-million wines from around the world. Labels the app doesn't recognise are sent for recognition by an expert (and it works – I tried it).
There's something for everyone in the world of apps – a wine version of the well-known "... for Dummies" series, an app that lets you play tunes on the rim of a virtual wine glass.
Other apps include one to manage your wine cellar, another that suggests music to go with your wine and countless food and wine pairing apps. A handy hint for online shoppers: if you want to send South African wine to friends overseas, the easiest way – and often cheaper than online wine delivery services – is to register as an online shopper at their local supermarket, as so many of the big chains stock SA wines.
Try tasting and learning more about wine in the real world.
Meanwhile, a group of PE wine-lovers have organised for the Cape Wine Academy to present its introductory SA Wine Course at Squires at The Boardwalk on September 28.
Contact Evert Knoesen, 074-610-4496 or firstname.lastname@example.org