April 14, 2011

Looking in Your Pocket: The Best of Wine iPhone Apps

As you may remember we recently published our two year retrospect of our company, To and Fro and some of the cool projects, campaigns, and companies that we were lucky to be included on. Along with that retrospect we also served out several predictions for the 2011 year and a key component of that was the Mobile Market, which represented a large segment of our predictions. Well we took it upon ourselves to evaluate all 452 wine related application available for the iPhone. That is more than six times the amount of wine related applications that was available on our last iPhone Report over a year ago. Each application went through an expansive 20-point inspection that surfaced strengths and weaknesses of their model, UEX, innovation, consumer value, winery value and much more. Apps that were more expensive were judged harsher to give consumers a better value to price assessment.  Due to the large amount of these application available we had to place them in categories to ensure that we were comparing Apples to Apples (pun totally intended!). Most of the categories are pretty self explanatory with the exception of the Combo, which entailed two categories as a major feature set of the app that combined to form a more powerful combination. e.g. Food pairing plus journaling.

You will also notice that we chose do a visual representation of all the data collected, because let’s face it, not only is our attention spans less with amount of content that requires our attention but also because infographics are pretty cool and definitely the trend to display deep rich amounts of numbers, information and data! Most models are self explanatory as well but here is a key to few of the more obscure models:

  • 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.

After all that analysis it was clear to us that there were definitely leaders in the mobile space that showed the most promise. It is important to note that some of due to our deep reach within the wine and technology ecosphere, we have professional or personal relationships with a majority of the Top 26 that have been outlined. This however, does not change our view about how exciting it will be to see how all of them continue to improve their platforms and in fact, we excluded many other app companies that we also work with.

The Top 26 spectrum chart is an interactive version where you can learn more about each application and download their app directly should you choose to do so, or if you don’t already have it. Go ahead give it a try!

As you know we at VinTank are huge proponents of the mobile space and what it has done for the wine industry. The consumer is more empowered than ever before and with the increase in mobile usage the value of focusing on this key channel becomes increasingly important.  Mobile is here to stay and it has put wine in every consumers pocket!

We have to give a huge shoutout to our the designer of the infographic, Randy Krum (@rtkrum) of InfoNewt as he was instrumental in visualizing our business intelligence and analysis!

Click on the images below to enlarge and interact!

Iphone App InfographiciPhone Wine App Report

Top 26 Wine iPhone Apps

As you can see we chose 26 apps as the “most promising’ over stating “the best.”  There was no “perfect” app in any category or overall.  Instead we chose the 26 based upon innovative features, interesting business models, consumer value, winery value, social integration, social feature inclusion, and more.  Some only had key interesting features that stood out above the others in the category or represented tremendous value for the price (often free).  Despite their promise, many of them suffered from less than optimal UI (user interface) and UEX (user experience) and many also had no discernible (or scalable) business model to earn revenue: a key factor in them being able to survive and flourish.  However, out selections are the ones we think will most likely invest in improving (and many of them have already demonstrated that commitment) and we see the potential for a good portion of the 26 to emerge as the the category leaders.  There is already a clear lead in users from HelloVino, Drync, Nat Decants, and Springpad.  In the upcoming weeks we will publish a post with an overview of the top 26 highlighting WHY we chose them over the others.  We will also give more details of challenges with wine apps in general, the categories, consumer and winery app needs, and more.

PS – the total cost to download the most promising 26 apps is $26.25 (but we figure you’ll only need one journaling app which makes the price far less).

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  • On your next update be sure to also review & include our recently launched iPhone app called “Tasting Pass Finder” http://bit.ly/dEVpLs

    Since its launch it has quickly moved into top 10 most downloaded apps under the categories of “Napa Valley” “Sonoma” & “Wine Country”. This GPS enabled app makes it easier for visitors to find tasting passes from nearby wineries, get directions and redeem offers directly from the app. Soon will also be available on Android & Blackberry.

  • LOL. So much to learn about wine apps.

    Are wine apps for the wineries? The consumers? VinTank seems to know all, so tell me????

    I’m not a customer of VinTank or Cruvee. (Psst…they don’t have any stake in me like they do in some of the 26 PROMISING APPs)

    Meanwhile, if you want to know what you’re gonna pay for a tasting room fee and what you’re going to get for that fee, download my app. Just don’t tell anybody like the hundreds of others who have.

    If you want to stop randomly driving around looking for tasting rooms and waste gas, go for one of those “promising” apps.


    IT COSTS 2.99, an AMAZING amount of cash.

    A cup of Joe.

    A glass of beer.

    A hamburger and fries.

    I am embarrassed for charging that kind of money for an app that delivers tasting room fee and tasting room menu information on nearly 1,000 NorCal wineries, including Napa and Sonoma, Sierra Foothills, Lodi, etc.

    I am so sorry that it HAS NO iADS, Google Ads. No B.S. to clog up your search. No worthless coupons. No EMPTY PROMISES of being PROMISING.

    It was created by a professional JOURNALIST, former food and wine editor of the Sacramento Bee.


    RISK $2.99 and find out.

    It will guide you to winery tasting rooms in Northern California where you WANT TO BE:


    or DROID andorid.com/market.

    It tells you what I know about what you’re going to get for your tasting room fee. I know that’s not very valuable.



  • Thanks again to Paul and the Vintank team for including Nat Decants Wine Picks & Pairings among your top 4 wine apps! I’m looking forward to trying some of the other apps here … such terrific energy and innovation. Thanks for spurring us all on to continue to improve.


  • Thanks again for all the hard work and analysis, and of course for including Daily Grape in your list of Top 26. Echoing Natalie’s comment, it really is an exciting time for the industry with mobile apps playing a huge role in that. Kudos to everyone involved for leading the charge in changing the wine world for the better.

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  • Lizzy

    Wonderful work, Paul, very useful! I’ll recommend it to my friends, wine lover and iPhone-lovers.
    Wel,, and now, what about app for…iPad?? I do not have an iPhone. But I have an iPad! Ok, I use app for iPhone on it. But I’m not satisfied. I need your suggestions!

    • Anonymous

      We wanted to do iPad but there is only a few apps there so far with the leader being Cor.kz and Wine.com – hoping to see some innovation there soon.

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  • Very unique application i ever see.

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  • Louis

    ooohhh this is great Paul! thanks

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  • Kristjan

    Paul, that’s great work! in your view how many downloads in average can those 26 apps get and how much turnover and profit might best ones generate?
    Thx kris

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