Image | Glenn Scott
For some time now it seems that the wine world is enjoying a kind of golden age. There are more and more aficionados who can distinguish officially-certified wines from different regions, types of grapes and olfactory nuances, all thanks to the spread of tastings and winery tours.
Mobile technology, more and more part of our daily lives, has also found a niche in the world of wine. The marriage of mobile technology and enology turns the latter into a much more accessible field for amateurs, at the same time furnishing wine professionals with new tools to do their work.
We spoke with Jordi Guillemí and Ramon Guix, wine and cuisine connoisseurs and founders of Enjoy Wine Barcelona, to analyze the role of mobile technology in the wine industry.
For three years Jordi and Ramón have been organizing wine tastings at Barcelona markets, with the aim of helping people to choose just the right officially-certified Catalonian wines to be enjoyed with the fresh, local products found at the market’s stands. Ramón, an expert in food-wine pairing, tends to choose the Mercado de Santa Caterina, in the city’s Born district, to hold these tastings, always accompanied by an enologist or sommelier.
Image | Jordi Guillemí i Ramón Guix
When we asked them about the role of smartphones in the area of enology they stated that “they can serve many functions, such as applications to learn about different types of wines, how to manage a home cellar and tasting cards, and even to find out about the nearest releases in the wine world.”
With respect to wine-related applications, a whole universe of possibilities is opened up. There are a range of different apps that can be classified according to their different functions. Jordi and Ramón spoke to us mainly about two types: scanners and guides.
“Wine guides have been put to new uses, their different contents reappearing in apps. An example is the application for the classic Peñín Guide of Spanish wines, or the Guia de Vins de Catalunya (Wine Guide of Catalonia). There are also publications on wines that have their own apps, such as the prestigious publication by wine guru Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, La revue du vin de France.”
For those just being initiated into the wine world they recommend Mi bodega Torres, an app for iOS created by the Bodegas Torres winery. For users who want to take one more step and explore the world of food-wine matching there is Wine Guru, Pair It and Sommelier Gourmet, an app that they themselves use at the professional level. At the local level another app that Jordi and Ramón recommend is Gourmet Catalunya, also about food-wine pairing.
As for scanners, they work by reading the bottle’s bar code (Touch Active) or by photographing the label (Delectable, Vivino Wine Scanner or Snooth Wine Pro).
“We also have to mention tasting notes“, Jordi and Ramón continue. “When tasting wines some people used to note down their characteristics in notebooks. Now this can be done by means of apps like Virtual Sommelier, which allows you to take down the wines you have tasted. And if you also have a home cellar, or a wine refrigerator, applications like Mis vinos y gustos (My wines and tastes) are useful to track the stock you have available.” Another essential application when it comes to organizing your personal cellar is the Wine Cellar Database.
Image | Sommelier Gourmet
They also mention that lately the Official Wine Region Regulation Councils are realizing the potential of mobile technology in their sector. In this regard, DOQ Priorat and DO Empordà, for example, have just launched their own apps, listing all the wines and wineries in the area, in addition to providing ample information on the territory’s wine tourism.
Finally, Guillemí and Guix add that “many of the wine-related events out there can be found on applications like Eat With, Meet Up or Vins de Catalunya (Wines of Catalonia).”
But mobile technology impacts the wine world through more than services offered via applications. Wineries like Grandes Vinos y Viñedos, for example, have managed to see the competitive advantages that technologies like augmented reality can provide products like Beso de Vino. Imascono, a company specialized in this type of solutions, created a very special interactive experience for them on the occasion of the World Cup in Brazil.
After hearing the experiences and recommendations of Enjoy Wine Barcelona, it is clear that learning about the wine world has never been easier.