iPhone App Review: Hello Vino

When it comes to wine, you might instantly think of snobbish upper-class winos at black tie gatherings holding their wine glasses gracefully with an extended pinky finger and openly comparing the Sauvignon Blanc to the Chardonnay. So when you’re standing in the wine aisle at the supermarket faced with a wall of bottles, or you’re perusing the menu at an Italian restaurant with a confused look upon your face, know that you are not alone.

But there is one saving grace: Hello Vino. Hello Vino is an iPhone app made for people just like you. For those who mindlessly stare at the wine menu at a restaurant on a first date, unsure of whether to order a red or a white. Or for those who feel bombarded with wine bottles at the store, ultimately choosing the wine purely by the label design. Or maybe for the guy looking to impress his girlfriend with a home-made dinner and a pricey bottle of wine that is worth every penny he paid.

First off, the best thing about this app is that it is free. There are a number of wine apps out there for the iPhone, but many of them need you to shell out in order to download them. I’m a “free app” junkie, however sometimes they disappoint. But not Hello Vino.

The functionality in this app is amazing. Honestly, I’d probably foot money out for it, but don’t tell the developers that! You have a few different options when it comes to using this app. You can either search for a wine and read reviews and determine food pairings for it; you can enter in what you’re eating and find a wine that would compliment it well; you can search for a wine based on it’s country or region or origin; or you can even search for a wine based on the occasion you are celebrating. Or, if you are already in possession of a bottle of wine (perhaps as a gift from someone else?), you can easily do a search and find out what foods and meals it would pair nicely with. That’s pure awesomeness right there.

My favourite is the pairing option. Say you’re sitting at a restaurant, about to order a nice plate of cod or haddock, and you’re considering a nice wine to go with it. Do you go red or do you go white? And which white do you choose? Hello Vino will quickly give you the best suggestions based on what you plan on ordering. In this case, Hello Vino suggests a Pinot Grigio, a crisp, citrusy white wine, specifically suggesting a King Estate Domaine Pinot Gris 2008, or a more budget-friendly option of Banfi Tuscany Le Rime Pinot Grigio 2009. If you don’t have these options available, you can ask for more brands and specifications, or you can simply check out their suggested list of other wines you might enjoy if you want to stay within the same flavour family. Hello Vino also suggests a Sauvignon Blanc or a Vouvray if you’re dining with white fish today.

Whether you’re a complete novice or are starting to learn more about your wines, this app will work for you. It’s a great app if you’re looking to venture outside of your typical pairings and are looking for something a little different than what you normally order at a restaurant. So no worries when it comes to finding that perfect wine. Hello Vino has your back. And if you can’t find a wine through the Hello Vino iPhone app, well, I guess you should stick with an ice water!


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