Never feel like a “wine-idiot” again with the help of this wonderful and informative Food & Drink app — Pocket Wine. This iPhone and iPad application works as a handy Table Wine guide that delivers a comprehensive (but not too dry) look at table wine styles and how to choose the appropriate style to compliment all your meals. Pocket Wine focuses on 86 major grape varieties and blends, is a great reference source, has a simple note taking functionality, and provides a mini test to discover your own wine taste preferences — all presented in a mellow and relatively simple user interface. This app is packed with valuable information, and best of all Pocket Wine doesn’t push any wine brands, nor try to sell you any wine — it just educates you so you’ll be a better wine connoisseur.
The iPad Pocket Wine version displays its information in 3 separate (but connected) vertical boxed sections on the screen. The main categories are stacked one over the other in a column along the far left (1st section). Whatever category you choose will effect what shows up in the middle section (2nd section) and also effects the 3rd section, which is a text viewing area for reading and exploring information, and taking notes. However, the developer recommends a good place to start is the “Info” area (icon top middle) where you’ll get a thorough understanding of what this Food & Drink app holds in store for you, how to use it to your best advantage, along with some trouble-shooting tips. The “Info” section also provides you a good foundation and understanding of what Table Wine is, the major grape varieties and the importance of individual grape varieties and blends. It sounds like it might be overwhelming, but all the information within this app consists of a few short paragraphs of solid information — not too much, not too little. Here, I learned that “90% of all wine produced in the world is Table Wine.”
With a basic understanding under your belt, you’ll have a much better appreciation for the other sections. The far left (1st section) consists of the main categories: Style, Grapes, Food, My Taste, Place, Glossary, and More. Whatever category you explore in this 1st section generally opens a list format in the 2nd section (most likely alphabetized and with a search box function), which then follows with text information (based on your selections) for reading in the 3rd (far right section). The Styles category refers to the 6 types of (White and Red) Table Wine: Aromatic, Crisp, Rich, Fruity, Smooth, and Powerful along with a brief overview summary for each. Section 2 allows you to explore the specific grape varieties and section 3 includes additional sub categories (icons) for wine characteristics, regions around the world the wine comes from, food pairings, and a note taking feature. Another noteworthy thing to point out is that the developer provided a phonetic pronunciation of the grape types in the descriptions — to help us all look smarter (too bad they didn’t do that with the different regions/places). The Grapes category gives basically the same information found within Style category, but lists the grapes in an A-Z list and provides a search functionality for grapes, region and food types.
I love the main Food category because it makes selecting a complimentary wine a snap. Pocket Wine gives food pairing suggestions by some popular categories like Meat, Seafood, Pasta, Pizza, Ethnic, Vegetables, and Salads — and also helpful Do’s & Don’ts, as well as a Quick Guide to Food Types. Pocket Wine makes it so easy to pair by providing more specific sub-categories — down to even 100’s of specific dishes. Just out of curiosity, since Thanksgiving is just around the corner for us here in the United States, I checked out the suggested wine style for roasted Turkey — Pocket Wine suggests “Crisp and Rich whites or Fruity and Smooth reds.” I was a little surprised because I always thought white wine was the only appropriate choice.
The My Taste category provides brief information on taste buds, smell and gender differences, and even helps you to identify your own taste preferences (after creating a “profile”) by taking a mini (12 question) test to see how your taste preferences compare to other verified wine enthusiasts in their database. You can create a profile for you and others as well and share. There are taste-related questions like: “Which type of apple do you prefer,” “Do you take sugar in tea or coffee” — and my favorite — “Which smell do you like most” (flowers or Cigars). After some calculations, a bar graph shows your degree preference (percent) across the 6 Styles of Table Wine. I had a strong preference for a Rich White Wine and a Smooth Red. That’s not a surprise since I like Cabernet Sauvignon. Places provides a list (A-Z) of geographic regions and grape types for that area. There is a wonderful A-Z Glossary filled with wine terms like “aroma” and “balance” and “zymology” (the science of fermentation) to help you get in the swing with the right lingo.
The only minor complaint I had with this app was the lack of a “Home” button to quickly put me back at the opening screen because the “shifting” between categories and subcategories threw me off a bit. Aside from that, Pocket wine is a really great Food and Drink app to educate you on the 6 Table Wine styles, grape varieties, food pairings, and helps you identify your own personal wine taste preferences. All this empowers you to make more informed and confident food pairing decisions. I’m pretty sure you’ll pick out that next bottle with confidence — and that, my friend, deserves a toast.
Pocket Wine iPad App Download