For the past year I have been knee deep in HIPAA and all of its crazy rules, oppressive regulations and infantile vagueness. My plan for this week’s tip was to expose you to even more doom and gloom and then a serendipitous miracle happened: Google popped up one of those unsolicited ads that I usually detest. This time it was an ad for the Vivino app that suggested even a wine noob like me can pick out an interesting and tasty wine for any meal.
I like wine. Sweet, cheap and easy-to-drink wine. Beringer’s White Zinfandel ($8.99 a bottle) fits all of those requirements perfectly, and it is a mainstay in the Vanderbilt refrigerator. I find that White Zin is easy to drink; I don’t have to think about it, and it does exactly what I want a glass of wine to do. Some of our friends seem to look down their noses at me when I tell them I like the cheap vino, and last year those same friends invited Pam and me to Woodstock for some professionally organized winetasting parties. Though we had a blast, I had no idea there were so many different wines out there and found myself quickly overwhelmed with terms like “nutty,” “smoky,” “blueberry,” “earthy,” “white,” “red,” “Chardonnay”… the descriptions and types went on and on… who knew there was so much to know? Then when I found one I liked, documenting my impression of it so I could buy more was a chore.
When this Vivino app popped into my life I thought, “This might be the answer to curing my wine naiveté.” What could it hurt, right? AND it was FREE (obviously fulfilling my innate need for “cheap”). Walking into Total Wine on Barrett Parkway would no longer cause me to freeze in panic, knowing that I didn’t have a clue. That was my hope, anyway.
I downloaded Vivino from the Android Play Store (also available for Apple) and opened it right away. The app has a clean and well thought-out user interface that gently walks you through the task of simply taking a picture of the wine’s label. Then Presto!!! All the knowledge in the wine experts’ known universe was at my fingertips.
Of course, the first bottle of wine I photographed was the ole trusty Beringer’s White Zin. And to my amazement, there it was, everything I could ever want to know about this lovely bottle of adult bliss. Background on the vineyard, the type of wine it was, the year it was bottled, the types of grapes used, and even where I could buy another bottle at a local happiness store near me. These were only some of the facts and details about this bottle of fermented relaxation. Vivino presented all that in one easy-to-read “wine bio.” I could not only read others’ reviews of the wine, I could also give my take on its sweet goodness in the hopes of helping a noob more noob than myself.
As it turns out, Beringer’s White Zin can be paired with “Beef, Lamb, Pork, Rich Fish (Salmon, Tuna, etc.), Vegetarian, Poultry, and Goat Cheese.” This list about covers everything I would ever eat, so I had found the perfect wine without even knowing it! Complete validation of my taste buds! But there was MORE!
Now that Vivino knew that I liked this cheapo wine it began to assemble a taste profile for me and suggested some additional choices to explore: 30% “California Pinot Noir,” 16% “Italian Barolo,” 10% “Australian Chardonnay,” and 44% Other. The “Other” kind of concerns me, but I now had a place to start. Remember those wine tastings in Woodstock that Pam and I went to? Well one of the themes was “Wines from Around the World” and the main focus was Australian vineyards. I liked many of those we tasted and had no way to document my impressions. Now I do. A win for me going forward!
Vivino is a great app that will expand my knowledge and help me experience new and different wines. I will use the Vivino app every chance I get to help me better understand my taste profile and expand my repertoire of great wines. After all, it’s all about the research, right?
And BTW… Beringer’s White Zin goes great with pizza. The Vivino app said so.
With 25+ years working in the technology sector with a combination of educational and technical support consulting, Doug is committed to delivering the right solutions and services for clients and business partners.
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