Shopping for Wine and Spirits with Delectable
Putting the newly updated app to the test in a real-life buying experience, proving its speed and accuracy
Ever since writing about Delectable—a wine-cataloging app that recognizes and stores what you've been consuming from just a picture of the bottle—in October 2013, we've continued to use it with great regularity. More than just a tracker, the app maps out what kinds of drinks each user enjoys and why, with a simple rating system and the opportunity for commentary. Altogether, it makes purchasing (and simply ordering) easier because personal tastes are laid out clearly, with plenty of cross-references and suggestions—not to mention an opportunity to buy right from the app. (A social element allows users to follow friends and chart their favorites, as well.) With their latest update, released today, users can still do all that and now even more—with an educated quickness that stands the test.
Along the way, we learned that Delectable isn't just wine-specific. Users can snap an image of whiskies and vodkas, or any spirit that tickles your fancy—and the value offered is just the same with information auto-populating and plentiful user recommendations. But as we tested the beta version of today's release amid the extensive offerings at nearby Flatiron Wines & Spirits, we found that it's even easier to get a read on a drink before tasting it. A tighter, instant image-recognition pulls up the profile of any wine or spirit in question and guides users toward compatibility immediately—even the more obscure. It reduces the unknown and makes shopping an ease.
One of Flatiron's buyers, Dan Weber, took us around to share his personal recommendations based on our interests. Pointing out the Christophe Mignon Brut Nature Champage he shares, "Mignon is a unique vintner, working only with Pinot Noir. This champagne is articulate, vinous, crisp and delicious—and it's a great value for what it is." Delectable agreed, offering an eight out of ten rating, and similar reviews. The result was a digital cumulative connoisseur, which Weber refers to as "a great accessory with the reliability of friends and professional recommendations."
The user interface is cleaner, allowing for an easy shift between what users are looking into and what's recommended. The app is startlingly accurate. The comments were insightful. And everything was faster. Often times, especially on a busy Friday, wine shops don't have the staff needed for a thorough recommendation, and not everyone is as knowledgable as Weber. This app is a time-saving guidebook for beginners, a personal journal for experts and a catalog in all senses of the word.
Download Delectable for free from the iTunes app store.
Photos by David Graver, screenshots from the Delectable app