It’s been a year since our last iPhone report and the market has spoken.  Mobile is here in force.  Last year we looked at 75 wine iPhone apps that more than quadrupled since that time.  With so many new apps we categorized them, explored their models, and measured them across twenty different factors.  What we found was incredibly interesting and we have chosen to represent it in an infographic.  This year we also chose the “26 Most Promising Apps for Wine.”  These apps crossed multiple categories and though none were perfect, they all represented incredibly innovative features, powerful tool sets, and incredible potential.  We were heavily influenced by apps that helped either consumers or wineries succeed in the mobile arena.  There were quite a few repeats from last year but definitely quite a few new players.  These are the ones to watch and it will be interesting to see how they improve to make consumers and wineries use them on a daily basis.  Mobile is here and wine is now in your pocket.

A few notes to our infographic legend to help you understand some of the less obvious categories:

Business Model:

  • Extension – this is usually a free app that is an extension of the company’s core business used for more branding or mobile exposure/usage (e.g. The Wine Spectator Vintage Chart).
  • Freemium – A free app used to get the consumer to upgrade to a paid app or paid service.
  • Startup – No clear model yet.

App Types:

  • Combo – Two categories as MAJOR features of the app combined to form a more powerful combination.  e.g.  Food pairing plus journaling.

Cheers!

And now for the results.

Click for a larger image

(Click picture for a larger image)

Let’s break that down a bit.

Reference

Wines and Vines
Daily Grape
Vintage Chart

Combo

Nat Decants
Hello Vino
Snooth Wine Pro

Retail

Wine.com
Watson’s Wine
WINEfindr

Restaurants

the girl & the fig
Lala’s

Travel

Wine Events
iVinoX

Utility and Winery

Wine-Locator
WineDJ
Share the Love

Journaling

Social Grapes
RedWhite BOS
LetsPour
Drync Wine
Bottlenotes
Springpad
Wine Angel
Wine Cellar Prof
Cor.kz
Corkbin


Paul Mabray has been in the wine and spirits industry for over seventeen years. He has worked for Napa Ale Works, Niebaum~Coppola, WineShopper/Wine.com and also was the North American Beverage Consultant for Sumitomo Corporation of America from 2002 through 2005. He founded Inertia in 2002 as one of the first major companies established to bridge the barrier between wineries and their customers. Paul Mabray was CEO from 2003 until 2008 creating the largest and most powerful e-commerce platform for the wine industry, the Rethink Engine. VinTank is a continuation of his desire to help revolutionize the wine industry through e-business and innovative digital products and marketing.

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  • http://www.vanduzer.com Carl Thoma

    Appeciate the article but wish could read the names of apps.

    • http://www.palatepress.com David Honig

      Good point, and I fixed it. Thanks.

      • http://www.vrazon.com Gabriella Opaz

        Thanks David!

  • Larry Chandler

    Considering that the Android operating system is now overtaking the iPhone (though there may not be as many wine apps on Android), it might be helpful to include Android apps too.

    • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

      Thanks Larry – next time for sure. we also need to do iPad as well. After looking at 452 apps, we needed a break and something else to look forward to.

    • http://cor.kz Jim Goodman

      Corkz is available for Android (has been for over a year) and we are doing a major upgrade to it as I type :-).

    • http://www.facebook.com/winetastingtab Robert Ehlert

      Wine Tasting Tab app works for Droid (and all other Apple platforms). Wine enthusiasts who venture into the many wine regions of NorCal use it to create lists based on a winery’s tasting room fee, menu, amenities and varietals. Once your list is created it provides profiles and the guides you on the tour. This version is very consumer-based, though wineries use it to announce special events as well. People new to Northern California wine regions use it plan, even going from one winery to the next. Others take it to the liquor store to look up background on a winery when they are considering a wine. It encourages people to get out on their own and find wineries that match their price point and preference.
      http://www.appbrain.com/app/wine-tasting-tab/com.logictree.wine

  • http://www.vrazon.com Gabriella Opaz

    Interesting, but would be nice to know why each of these top 26 grabbed your attention, and as Carl pointed out, the actual names of the apps, since I can’t read some of them.

    • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

      We chose apps based on consumer value, winery value, UEX, innovation, social integration and social feature inclusion. Apps that cost more were graded harder due to price to value ratio.

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  • http://winebrandsblog.com Eve Resnick

    Fascinating article. Thanks to VinTank for doing the leg work and to PalatePress for publishing the results. One question: wine travel is the third category in numbers (after Reference and Journaling) and you selected only 2 apps. Why is that? What were your criteria for selecting those two?

    • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

      Eve – travel was one of the worst categories as it relates to the players. Many were apps that were made by the same developer and just released over and over again for different regions. It was actually very disappointing as a wine category.

      • http://palatepress.com Ryan Reichert

        Paul,

        Did you guys evaluate the AG Wine App? I’m biased as I wrote the Willamette Valley release for them, but I think their guides are good travel apps. http://www.agwine.com

  • http://blog.wallack.us MSWallack

    I was a bit disappointed to see that Vinocella was not included in your list. I’ve found this to be the best program to keep track of wines in a user’s cellar.

    • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

      Vinocella was rated and unfortunately did not stand out vs the other journaling apps.

      • Geoff

        Yet you included Cor.kz, a truly diabolical interface, barely rescued by the database and links to good external sites. Velvet Vine happens to be my choice as the interface on both iPhone and web is so superior.

        • http://www.simplehedonisms.com William Allen – Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog

          ‘truly diabolical’? bit dramatic. Cor.kz is my number 1 used iPhone Wine app, and damn good IMO.

          • Geoff

            I really do not know how Apple could let Cor.kz into the appstore, I will concede that the functionality is good, it will manage your cellar, but the UI is truly terrible and I do wish they had a lite version I could have tried first.

        • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

          Sorry but that is silly. It’s like saying you won’t back an ugly horse that is a fast runner. I’d rather support an app that rocks in features and is ugly that a pig with lipstick.

          • Geoff

            Steve Jobs is renowned for insisting that Apple create not only good functionality, but also that the UEX is top notch as well. As an iPhone developer building my own app, (nothing to do with wine), I am endeavouring to follow the UI standards which the Apple developer program insists I follow. So I buy my apps accordingly, and I’m sorry if you disagree, but Cor.kz does not follow and I’m really disappointed with Apple in allowing it into the AppStore.

            Incidently your comment is just nonsensical, something that is born has no choice as to it’s looks, an app however can be made to look as good as all the other apps.

            Anyway this is the end of my comments as I’m sure others are bored by such technicalities.

  • http://www.nataliemaclean.com Natalie MacLean

    Thanks so much Paul and team for including the free Nat Decants Wine Picks & Pairings app in your review! We’ll be launching a new version in the next couple weeks that will have some amazing new features, so stay tuned :)

    Cheers,
    Natalie

    http://www.nataliemaclean.com/mobileapp

    • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

      We think you are doing amazing things Natalie. Keep up the great work.

  • http://www.winewinewine.com Cor Balfoort

    Somewhat disappointed to not see WineStein wine&food pairing App here. I may be prejudiced but find it distinctly better than some combo apps presented here.

    • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

      Cor – WineStein has one of the best UEX in the selection of apps (especially in the food pairing category but overall as well). We are looking forward to watching your app closely to see the next series of features and innovations that you incorporate.

      • http://www.winewinewine.com Cor Balfoort

        Coud you check if you indeed reviewd our latest (and free, beit with in App purchase of full functionality) release & design, and not the old 2009 version? Thanks :) Newest release is http://bit.ly/dQzUKk in App Store FYI

  • http://nataliemaclean.com Natalie MacLean

    Thanks Paul! Those 8 years of hedonistic “research” were worth it now :) I’m off to add more wine and pizza pairings: 27 types of pizza is just not enough!

    Cheers,
    Natalie

    http://www.nataliemaclean.com/mobileapp

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  • http://www.hellovino.com/research Rick Breslin [Hello Vino]

    @Paul – thank you for including Hello Vino in your follow-up report. It’s amazing that there are six times the number of iPhone apps on the App Store in just eighteen months. Our team will keep innovating and adding features in order to remain among the top apps.

    Great work on the infographics, too! Will you also be publishing this report as individual infographics (App Prices, App Types, etc.)? We’d love to include a couple in our presentations.

    @Larry – We’ve experienced decent growth on Android. However, even with 300,000+ Android handsets activated every day, there is still some friction with distribution through the Android Market (app store) and device fragmentation (HTC vs. Motorola vs. Samsung, etc.). The recently launched Amazon Appstore may help Android users discover/install apps.

    Thanks again,

    Rick Breslin
    Hello Vino

  • http://cor.kz Jim Goodman [Cor.kz]

    It was great being included in this. Thanks for the great work to Paul and his team.

    Love that there are so many wine apps in the store. I remember when we released Cor.kz that there were only about 3 or 4….

    Cor.kz is continually being updated to meet the needs of our users and to stay on lists like this. We are about to finish a major update that will add new features to both the iOS and Android versions.

    Again, thanks to the Vintank team and to all our users. We couldn’t do this without you :-)!

  • http://www.ivinox.com Jose L. Castaneda

    Paul,
    Congratulations on publishing your report which is informational and timely given the explosion of mobile media in the sales & marketing of wine. It is obvious that wineries now need to have a strategy to address content distribution for wine enthusiasts who depend on mobile devices as their main source of content consumption. I applaud the work VinTank is doing in this area which does much to help the industry adopt new technologies.

    Thank you [Gracias], for including iVinoX in your report. Surprised to here that the travel sector was disappointing but, very glad to see that we were one of two recommended apps in this category. We are privileged to be in the same company as the other great apps and look forward to integrating the Cruvee engine into our iVinoX platform.

    Thanks brother,

    Jose L. Castaneda
    iVinoX

  • http://www.dailygrape.com Jon Troutman

    Hugely flattered to have Daily Grape included in this year’s list of the The Very Best Wine iApps. Another thorough report from the VinTank team!

  • Sara

    With so many apps out there, what is the reason why these were chosen? How are these better? Is there a more in depth article to download? I am not seeing it on the page.

  • http://www.wineangel.co.uk Tracy Lee

    Thank you so much to Paul and all the team at VinTank for including Wine Angel in the top listings for iphone Wine Apps! I am immensely flattered and it is certainly worth all the hard work and glad to know that there are other people passionate about revolutionising the way we view, educate and explore the world of wine!
    Looking forward to keeping in touch and seeing more of your work.

    Thanks Tracy :)

  • http://www.simplehedonisms.com William Allen – Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog

    glad to see this again, will try some new ones, thanks for your work.
    I think last year you provided a bit of detail/insight on the winners. Any thing similar planned here? Hmmm, maybe I should review an app a week :)

    • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

      I do plan to bring additional insight to the apps we chose and the reasons (sometimes singular) that we picked the top 26 Promising apps.

      • http://www.simplehedonisms.com William Allen – Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog

        thats awesome, thanks!

  • http://www.simplehedonisms.com William Allen – Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog

    Until they create the iBrain where tasting notes go directly from Palate to electronic journal, one of my biggest challenges at walk around tastings is a way to scribe notes on top wines, to report on later. I suck at left hand thumbing typing on an iPhone, am juggling spit cup, glass and other items.
    Have you (or anyone) found a better way via an app yet?
    After my iPhone (write size) , iPad (too big too one hand) , Netbook (my fave for seated tasting notes), I am reverting back to paper I think. (But my handwriting makes a doctor look like a calligrapher…and I have nothing to then tweet to a hashtag…)

    • http://www.winebythebar.com Thomas McKay, Wine by the Bar

      @William – Although iPhone apps don’t easily support it, Android apps (should) all support voice input in text fields. I’d suggest finding a friend with an Android phone and trying a few out.

      Voice input is on my wish list for Wine by the Bar since I’ve noticed how anti-social entering notes can be during a tasting on a phone. My lofty goal is: Scan the barcode of a bottle or picture of the label, speak a note, done.

      So many of these wine apps are not trying to solve any problems. Do any of these apps really offer anything to wine businesses? HelloVino, I think, with it’s custom ads is closest.

      Bit disappointed with the lack of depth and details in this “best of” list. I have confidence the VinTank team (newly expanded with Cruvee) can be an info leader in this space. Tell us why some of these made the list. No offense to the hard-working creators, but the 426 that didn’t make the list (myself included) are probably pretty confused by some of the choices.

      Respect and peace to all 452 teams!

      • http://viniculture.pl Maciek Gontarz

        @Thomas – actually using catch.com (https://catch.com/learn-more/mobile/iphone) you can easily take a picture (but not a barcode) and than add voice note. To me it works really good!

      • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

        Thomas,
        We take your post especially very close to heart. We spent a lot of time valuing the apps based on two key factors: consumer value and winery value. Many did try to solve a problem for both but far less for the latter which explains why most are underfunded and not realizing much profit.

        We will expand the list and why we chose them. There was NO perfect app, but the ones we chose had the gestalt of multiple factors to make them promising and UEX (as limited as it was with even the 26 apps) played a significant role in how felt the entire package was delivered. There were MANY apps that had strong engines, or singular amazing concepts but didn’t deliver enough in there entirety, had bad price to value ratios, were not continuing development, etc that we were forced to leave out.

        Understand that we recognize the blood, sweat and tears it takes to launch a product (we are all former or current product people) and our analysis is based on math, comparison against the competitive set, and more. We want to see all the wine apps get better and serve both consumers and wineries and are cheering each and every one of the 452 who believe in adding value (not trying to be part of the App gold rush).

        Later this week we will add a blog talking about multiple aspects of the report, highlight flaws in the market, and pointing out reasons we chose the top 26. Hopefully it will help other developers like yourself to see opportunity and capitalize on it more.

        As a side note, we think highly of WBTB. You are even one of the platforms we have partnered with for VinPass.com. As we have spoken to you about via phone, your app would have stronger penetration w/ better UI, UEX, and possibly branding to really penetrate the market. Your model to serve local retailers is really clever and rare in the market but there are some core features that are probably under the hood or need to be added to really ramp the app up. And as almost all the Apps, you suffer from the same challenges of being under-financed, slow customer adoption rate, etc which would really help you show your programming skills and bring something new to the market.

        Lastly, ALL apps are suffering from content collection efforts that waste 30%-50% of their resources which should be better spent on building features, improving UEX, and sales and marketing efforts. This is a major problem in this category for wine to succeed in the digital arena at all. Wine and winery data are the greatest (and most expensive) friction point for wine in a digital world.

  • http://www.viniculture.pl Maciek Gontarz

    Great job Paul!!! I’m really impressed by research, as Sarah said – hopefully you will give us some detailed information on reasons of your picks.

    I just want to add two important (I think) things:
    – design – most of the apps you presented have something bad in common – ugly design, not user oriented, not following usability best practices (I know, I know, this is something very subjective). There is no point to list these apps here, because it could just start useless discussion, but it’s worth to underline, that this is a problem.
    – in the category “journaling” you put “springpad” app. I understand your intention was to give some tools for quick taking tasting notes or something like that. If so, than you should add “evernote”, “plaintext” and finally my favorite one “catch” (catch.com).

    • http://www.viniculture.pl Maciek Gontarz

      forgot to add one more thing – some of the apps which are helpful in making wine tasting notes additionally allow users to take pictures + voice records. hope some of you will find something useful for yourself:]

    • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

      Maciek – agreed about the UEX. Even some of our returning star apps could use a good face lift and strong UEX. However, since no on seems to fund wine tech companies enough, I understand their lack of resources.

      I will add more about the top apps as in the upcoming weeks.

      Finally we didn’t add “open note” platforms (even though a few of the ones you mention are great – especially evernote and I’ll check out catch) but instead offered Springpad because it was the only one that has a dedicated category to wine.

      • http://viniculture.pl Maciek Gontarz

        @Paul – yes, you’re right concerning lack of funding for UEX, design and other things for “wine industry” category, especially for mobile platforms.

        I prefer catch over evernote mainly because it’s easier, faster and allows to share notes.

        thanks for explanation.

  • Robert Ehlert

    I think I am the only app out there for iPhone and Droid that searches wineries based on tasting room fee and menu. I have over 1,000 NorCal wineries in my list and profiles for each one: not just name, phone, etc. When you create a list on my app it can navigate you to the Winery. Doesn’t leave you hanging with a pin cushion. I am the former Food & Wine Editor of the Sacramento Bee. I pride myself for accuracy, and though nobody or no app is perfect, I make it right when you say it’s wrong.
    Wine Tasting Tab
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wine-tasting-tab/id398142510?mt=8
    For Droid
    android.com/market.
    We have corresponded in the past, but I guess you didn’t think my app very promising.
    Well, it sells for $2.99.
    I am working on my first 1,000 downloads. Hope everybody on here gives it a look.
    Best to you All
    What if there was an app that finds wineries based on tasting room fee, menu.
    There is: Wine Tasting Tab.
    You know what the wine room’s fee is, range of $ for wines.
    Later
    I support NorCal wine.

    • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

      Robert,
      We did find your app interesting and we are watching it closely. Pls remember also that we judged apps harder that had higher SRP. We will divulge our key factors in a blog post later this week and are open to any questions.
      Best,
      P

  • http://www.1winedude.com 1WineDude

    It’s interesting to see how many of these apps include wine/food pairing, given the reducing role this is playing in our lives (for various reasons). Of course, it’s still helpful to have it, but I wonder what the next innovation will be… wine + events/occasions, perhaps?

    • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

      Joe, I totally agree. There were lots of missing features and the categories of journaling, reference, travel, and food and wine pairing were pretty much saturated. Since journaling was so prevalent we did a deeper dive into the psychology of what makes a good journaling app that we will blog about soon (and that included experience, music, people, gaming, etc).

      • jeff massey

        Hey Paul, have you had a look at the new wine guru app from gloo studios in Vancouver? I think it does a great job of food pairing as well as logging favourites etc.

  • http://nataliemaclean.com Natalie MacLean

    Funny you should mention that Joe! Our app does pair wine with occasions, from birthdays and weddings to July 4 and Christmas :)

    Cheers,
    Natalie

    http://www.nataliemaclean.com/mobileapp

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  • http://www.vinopigro.it Lizzy

    Hi Paul, and all you guys of VinTank, thanks a lot for this great work!
    I’ll present it during my training courses for wineries on the use of new media.

    L.

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  • Julien

    Hey, nice article but have you ever heard of the free wine tasting app called “Taste A Wine”? Give it a try, it was made by and for true wine enthusiasts.

  • Martin Weinert

    Dear Paul,
    thank you very much for your very interesting information.
    Next weeks I will stay at the Loire valley and test three apps, relating to wine (“Vins de Loire”, “Loir-et-Cher” and “French Wines” by Hachette). Afterwards I will publish a paper about the real benefit of using apps for the winelover. Are you interested in the resulats?
    Best wishes from Germany
    Martin

  • http://www.jvhtreasuresforless.com jonathan

    does anyone know of a tool that can create these types of data views? particularily the green one that reflects # of apps by price model?

  • http://n/a Ruedi

    maybe i’m too simplistic…
    …the main thing i would like to have in an app is access to a good rating-database of wine.
    e.g. i’m in the store and see 50 interesting bottles, i’d like to quickly see what others say about these wines
    the only app, which somewhat does this is cor.kz – yet the UI is not that great and the DB sometimes does not have all wines i look at
    => what other apps can you recommend in this category of rating-databases?
    thanks

  • http://www.winestein-usa.com Jeff Murray

    Paul,

    This is excelent information. We are in the process of building an app and it would be great to be included and to get your feedback.

    Thanks,

    Jeff Murray
    WineStein Pro for iOS

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  • http://winemob.me Bret C. – WineMob

    Great review.

    IMO an important thing that is overlooked by most wine social networks and apps is that the users are not able to price and locate reviewed wines, locally. We think it’s tasting that matters so that we have published an app to solve that problem.

    WineMob is integrated with wine-searcher.com to provide pricing and merchant info of any reviewed wine. We also take advantage of social sharing, user can choose to add reviews to their FACEBOOK TIMELINE, Twitter and WeiBo – China’s largest social network. We hope that when a user shares a review, other members can try it if they like the wine/review.

    BTW, our app is FREE – you can download via this link http://winemob.me

    Bret C.
    WineMob Team
    Wine is better when shared.

  • Manish

    Another good app is the All Vineyards App for both iPhone and Android (http://www.allvineyards.com/apps) – allows users to find wineries/vineyards around the world.

  • http://itunes.apple.com/kr/app/wain-opeo-for-iphone/id517196743?mt=8 Ran
  • http://www.wineamore.com Sergio Cocco

    Hi Paul,

    thanks for posting your review, it is really interesting.
    As I read that you will perhaps look also to iPad apps, please consider also our WineAmore app (free demo on iTunes), a Digital Wine List for restaurants, wineries and wine-bar.
    Ciao!!

    Sergio

  • Julie M.

    There is a new iPhone app for recording your tasting notes called WineAlbum (www.zeode.com/winealbum). I think its worthy of your list!

  • http://www.wijnrekkenwebshop.nl Wijnrek

    Wow very good app! Thanks a lot!

  • http://dhenwinez@gmail.com dhenwinez