February 25, 2016
The world of wine can be a mysterious one to the outsider. It centers around an alcoholic beverage after all, which automatically places it within a niche market. However, 2013 numbers indicated that, in the US, a larger volume of wine has been consumed than in France. This shows that the world of wine is going beyond its spiritual capital.
And more than just in traditional ways too. Numerous startups from around the world have begun to disrupt the way we keep track of wine, rate wine, understand wine and even buy wine from a variety of platforms. Beginning wine aficionados no longer have to venture into unfamiliar territory without proper tools, a brand-new prospective considering this is an industry where sommeliers (wine experts) have always been the main sources of guidance.
The cream of the crop:
Epicurio is one of the fastest-growing startups that allow users to scan wine and provide their own reviews and ratings. Its selling points are slightly different, however, with a social component that allows users to share any wine note or blog article (think of it as an information section for beginners), and the ability to buy wine straight from the app. It provides a rare combination of e-commerce and wine identification within one package.
Founder Clement Hochart said he wanted to bring the social and e-commerce into a single wine app. Epicurio has been steadily growing as the hip choice for wine lovers in Asia ever since.
A counterpart to Epicurio’s blend of information and e-commerce, Drync gives the wine lover the price, wine descriptions, availability, ratings and tasting notes, everything the user needs to make an educated purchase, also within the app. The idea is undoubtedly hardy: scan and buy wine the moment you try it. It is with this concept that founders Brad Rosen and Bill Kirtley managed to raise $900,000 from angel investors including Jack Remondi and Mark Hastings. Launched in 2008, it iterated often en-route to its current mobile app version in 2014.
It is hard to go through any wine app conversation without Vivino being mentioned at least once. 14 million users regularly make use of its photo label recognition system that almost-instantly brings up wine information for selections, reviews, ratings, tasting notes and all that jazz. What differentiates it from the others is the manual identification of wine from the team down at Vivino, if the app is unable to detect the vintage indicated in the scan. Beyond that, wine lovers get the full suite of staple features: reviews, places to buy from, recommendations and a premium cellar management system.
There is no other platform that allows wine lovers at work access to resources than on the desktop. CellarTracker knows this and has built one of the most comprehensive tools to organize and track wine collections. Knowing how building a large database is paramount to drawing wine-lovers to their site, they have also since accumulated more than 1.9 million wine descriptions and 5.3 million wine notes, the largest in the world. It comes as little surprise that they came up with mobile app versions to stay relevant.
To top off the essential, but never-exhaustive list of wine apps, wine-searcher is undoubtedly one of the premier wine searching websites and apps in the market, interestingly, while ignoring social features, e-commerce and the rest of the ‘fluff’ we have come to expect wine apps these days. Wine-searcher believes in simplicity in its service – search for wines by name or by a photo of the label, and get all the information you need about grape varieties, vintage rating and more.
A brand new world
Even the wine industry is moving forward into the new Internet era. Newer, tech-fuelled ways are undoubtedly replacing old traditions of importing, selling, sharing about and enjoying wines. We could be ignore the wine industry altogether, but whether we like it or not, they are coming along for the ride.
No wonder, the number of wine lovers are rapidly growing in the US.
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