Allegrini 2018

Discover, learn, buy: wine runs on digital apps and voice assistants

A journey, obviously virtual, with WineNews, among the most interesting apps: Vivino still at the top, guides and online wine shops are doing well

Make everything more accessible and at your fingertips, by nimbly sliding your fingers on your smartphone or, even better, through voice commands. Digitization, thanks to apps and fast internet, has changed and improved our daily lives, making available to us an almost infinite amount of information and possibilities, but also tools capable of making us enjoy our passions to the fullest. And that goes for any sector or aspect. Music lovers are well aware of this, and when they enter their homes they have already set up a playlist - through Alexa - even before taking off their shoes. Or soccer fans, who have at their fingertips, at all times, results, live broadcasts, soccer market negotiations, to which dozens of apps are dedicated. And things are not too different for wine lovers. Whether in Google or Apple, it makes no difference, they can count on a myriad of services, starting with the skills of Alexa. The latest arrival is called “Enonautilus”, and it is the first computer ecosystem to simplify and digitalize the work of welcoming producers, at the service of wine tourists, who will only need a voice command to discover wine and the most suitable territories. On the business side, the skill developed by the Italian-American Vanilla Innovations, will digitalize and simplify the work of wineries, allowing to manage and centralize a series of activities related to the reception in the cellar and marketing as the booking of experiences, the check-in of visitors, the creation of newsletters, sending SMS and WhatsApp messages to fans and customers, but also to monitor the progress of receipts and the status of payments.
A new tool, which passes through Alexa, the virtual assistant that, with “Vino Perfetto”, already guides the consumer, in a simple and intuitive way, in the choice of the best bottle to buy, according to the occasion and the gastronomic pairing, starting from the labels of three great realities of Italian wine: Marchesi Frescobaldi, Marchesi Antinori and Terra Moretti. To get advice from Alexa, just say “Alexa, open Vino Perfetto”, and then let yourself be guided by filtering the options according to your preferences, such as a special occasion, a romantic evening, an aperitif with friends, a business dinner, but also according to price and gastronomic pairing, until you find the ideal wine to buy, obviously without moving from the couch.
Talking about territory and wine tourism, there are two novelties, in the world of apps, that can be downloaded on your smartphone. The first one is signed by Banfi, a leading company in the Brunello di Montalcino area, which launched its “Banfi Experience”, usable via smartphone or with a simple 3D viewer, which allows to “visit” vineyards and cellars even from home, in a virtual way, or to enrich the direct experience among the rows surmounted by the historic Castle of Poggio alle Mura with the tools of “augmented reality”. In another territory symbol of viticulture in Italy, the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato, there is “Tabui” which, again through augmented reality, allows you to view on the screen of your smartphone information about what you are looking at: points of interest, villages, routes or other information, from art to culture, from food and wine to sports.
Remaining in the ecosystem of apps, the queen, the most popular and downloaded, but also one of the most long-lived is “Vivino”. It needs no great introduction: it is the most downloaded wine app (over 50 million downloads) and, by photographing any wine label (there are 13 million labels in the archive, from 213,000 wineries in every corner of the globe), it gives us all kinds of information, uploaded by millions of users all over the world, including the opinions of those who have taken the trouble to write a small review. A tasting and buying guide, which is based, just like TripAdvisor, on the opinion of the users, and through which it is possible to directly buy the bottle of choice.
The app of “Wine-Searcher” works in a similar way, that is the largest online database dedicated to wine, where to find information about new and old vintages and, above all, the possibility to buy any bottle of wine no matter where you are in the world. “Wine-Searcher”, in fact, compares and arranges the prices of hundreds of online wine shops, from which to choose, being guided not only by the opinion of wine lovers but also by the opinion of international wine critics, from Robert Parker to Antonio Galloni (Vinous), from Wine Spectator to Wine Enthusiast, from Jeannie Cho Lee to Jancis Robinson to Tim Atkin.
The most important aspects for wine lovers, as it is easy to imagine, are purchase and home delivery, for this reason, it is not surprising that among the most downloaded apps in Italy there are “Winelivery”, which delivers wine, beer and drinks at home in the main cities of Italy, in 30 minutes. But also “Tannico”, the largest online wine shop in Italy, which aims at internationalization starting from France, where you can choose among 13,000 different labels from 2,500 wineries. In the Android environment, the apps of “Bernabei”, a historic Milanese wine shop that has focused on online services in the last years, and “Vinicum”, the online wine shop of Gruppo Italiano Vini (GIV), are also successful.
From amateurs to wine professionals, for those who do not see in a bottle only a form of pleasure, but also (if not above all) an investment, there are apps such as “Vindome”, which allows investing, without intermediaries, on a very rich selection of labels, starting from a hundred euros up to thousands of euros per case, putting in contact, on the rich market of collectible wines, producers, investors and consumers, between long term investments and buying and selling. Among the many opportunities, there is also the opportunity to buy the great wines of Bordeaux en primeur. At the service of companies, and more so of wine lovers, is “Vinitaly Plus”, the digital app of Vinitaly, with 15,000 wines at the click of a button in 10 languages and wineries from 35 countries, a direct tool and business matching for operators, buyers and the national and international press.
As far as management softwares are concerned, to be mentioned, for Apple, “La mia cantina”, where it is possible to classify wines, divide them by producer, country, region, year, type and more, with the possibility of viewing statistics and graphs, as well as importing and exporting a backup database. Same possibilities are offered by “Wine Cellar Database” which, however, is only in English. Even guides have their own public, as demonstrated by the thousands of downloads of “Bibenda” 2021, the guide by Fondazione Italiana Sommelier (Fis), as well as the guide by L’Espresso “I Vini d’Italia” 2021, or “Vini Buoni d’Italia” by Touring Club Italiano and “Vitae” 2021, the guide by Ais - Associazione Italiana Sommelier.
There is also room for those who want to learn and have fun, maybe with the app “Wset Wine Game”, the official game of Wine & Spirit Education Trust in order to test their knowledge, as well as discover interesting facts and information about the world of wine. As well as for those who simply want to enjoy a good glass of wine while listening to some music, with “Wine Listening”, the app that matches, through the picture of the label, the right song to every wine, fishing among 2.5 million bottles and 4 million songs in the database.

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