Allegrini 2018

What would the world be without Apps? From wine tastings to wine tourism, the must-haves

The latest arrival - among big data, wine lovers and producers - is called “Yes We Wine”. The most popular is still Vivino

What would everyday life be without technology? It’s hard to say, because nowadays there is no activity that doesn’t involve the help of a device, an app or the latest tech gadget. We start as soon as we wake up, with coffee machines that we can switch on and manage directly from our smartphones, without even getting out of bed. Breakfast is accompanied by the latest news, on TV or on the tablet, with apps from the major newspapers and blogs providing us with a comprehensive press review. And then we rush to work, in the car, in the middle of a fuel stop, paying without even getting out, and going back to change the radio station with voice commands. We haven’t even reached the office (or the cellar) yet, and we’ve already realized that we really can’t live without technology. Not even between the rows of vines, where viticulture 4.0 has become an additional weapon to allow winegrowers to manage their plants in the best possible way, remotely, without leaving the cellar.

In fact, dozens of apps are dedicated to the world of wine, especially on the consumer side, covering every aspect: buying, tasting, information, critics and so on. The latest arrival is “Yes We Wine”, which was launched some time ago but has only now become an all-round tool with which wine lovers and professionals in the sector can share their tasting notes, but also organize private tastings (in person or remotely), lead a masterclass from home and create and consolidate contacts between wineries and consumers. An innovative tool that is particularly useful for producers, wine event organizers, importers and winegrowers’ associations, allowing them to analyze tasting data on their own products or on wines they work within every corner of the world, so as to have a complete picture of market trends.

Wine, however, is also - if not above all - about experience, living and discovery. And it is precisely to wine tourists that more and more technological innovations are dedicated. Starting with “Enonautilus”, an Alexa skill that makes it possible to simplify and digitalize the work of welcoming producers, at the service of wine tourists, who need only a voice command to discover the wine and the best areas. On the corporate side, the skill developed by the Italian-American company Vanilla Innovations will make it possible to digitalize and simplify the work of wineries, enabling them to manage and centralize a series of activities linked to winery hospitality and marketing, such as booking experiences, checking in visitors, creating newsletters, sending text messages and WhatsApp messages to wine lovers and customers, as well as monitoring the progress of receipts and the status of payments.

This is not the only one of Alexa’s skills dedicated to wine, which can also count on “Vino Perfetto” (Perfect Wine), which guides the consumer, in a simple and intuitive way, in choosing the best bottle to buy, according to the occasion and the food pairing. To be advised by Alexa, all you have to do is say “Alexa, open Perfect Wine”, 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 food pairing, until you find the ideal wine to buy, obviously without leaving your sofa.

Speaking of territory and wine tourism, in the world of apps there are two that are worth mentioning and downloading onto your smartphone. The first is by Banfi, a leading company in the Brunello di Montalcino area, which has launched its “Banfi Experience”, which can be used via smartphone or a simple 3D visor and allows you to “visit” vineyards and wineries from home, virtually, or to enrich the direct experience among the rows of vines topped by the historic Castello di Poggio alle Mura with the tools of “augmented reality”. In another area that is a symbol of Italian wine-growing, Langhe, Roero and Monferrato, there is instead “Tabui” which, again using augmented reality, allows you to display 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 sport.

Remaining in the ecosystem of apps, the queen, the most popular and downloaded, but also one of the longest lasting is “Vivino”. It needs no great introduction: it is the most downloaded wine app (over 50 million downloads) and, by taking a photo of 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 around the world, including the opinions of those who have taken care to write a small review. A guide to tasting and buying, based, a little like TripAdvisor, on the opinions of users, and through which to buy the chosen bottle directly.

The “Wine-Searcher” app works in a similar way. It is the largest online database dedicated to wine, where you can find information on new and old vintages and, above all, the possibility of buying any bottle in any corner of the world. In fact, “Wine-Searcher” compares the prices of hundreds of online wine shops, from which to choose, guided not only by the opinion of wine lovers, but also by the opinions 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, which is why it is not surprising that among the most downloaded apps in Italy are “Winelivery”, which delivers wine, beer and drinks to homes in the main Italian cities in 30 minutes. But also “Tannico”, Italy’s largest online wine shop, which is aiming at internationalization starting from France, where you can choose from 13,000 different labels from 2,500 wineries. In the Android world, the apps of “Bernabei” (also available on iOS), the historic Roman wine shop that has focused heavily on online sales in recent years, and “Vinicum”, the online wine shop of the Gruppo Italiano Vini (GIV), are also quite successful.

From amateurs to wine professionals, for those who see in a bottle not only a form of pleasure, but also (if not above all) an investment, there are apps such as “Vindome”, which allows you to invest, without intermediaries, in a very rich selection of labels, starting from a hundred euros up to thousands of euros per case, putting producers, investors and consumers in contact with the rich market of collector wines, 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 wine lovers alike is “Vinitaly Plus”, the Vinitaly digital App with 15,000 wines at the click of a button in 10 languages and wineries from 35 countries, a direct and business matching tool for operators, buyers and the national and international press.

At a management level, Aplle’s “My Cellar” is worth mentioning, where you can classify wines, divide them by producer, country, region, year, type and more, with the possibility of viewing statistics and graphs, but also import and export a backup database. The same possibilities are offered by “Wine Cellar Database”, which, however, is only in English. The guides also have their own audience, as demonstrated by the thousands of downloads of “Bibenda” 2021, the guide by the Fondazione Italiana Sommelier (Fis), but also by L’Espresso’s “I Vini d’Italia” 2021, or Touring Club Italiano’s “Vini Buoni d’Italia” and “Vitae” 2021, the guide by Ais - Associazione Italiana Sommelier.

There is also room for those who want to learn and have fun, perhaps with the app “Wset Wine Game”, the official game of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust to test their knowledge, but also discover interesting facts and information about the world of wine. Just 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 the right song to each wine through a photo of the label, drawing from 2.5 million bottles and 4 million songs in the database.

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