real life

The app that makes it seem like you understand wine (when you really, really don't).

While you scroll through pictures of over-saturated green smoothies on InstagramI’m unearthing the best Chardonnay within five kilometres for less than $20.

Is it a little bit sad I use a wine app more than I do my calendar? Maybe. (Definitely.) But it’s adding so much value to my life that I’m willing to overlook any criticism, and ignore anyone telling me I’m ‘probably an alcoholic’ (keyword is ‘probably’).

Vivino has 22 million users worldwide. And it makes wine just… so easy.

This is not a sponsored post, either. I just want to walk you through the app that’s changed my life this Summer.

It’s not a simple ‘database’ of information… it’s a fluid, moving community built around an appreciation of wine. Everyone helps each other. Rich or poor. Red or white.

If you’re after more Summer recommendations – for everything from apps and podcasts, to Netflix and novels – the Mamamia Out Loud team have you sorted. (Post continues after audio…)

Vivino offers four services that will make your relationship with wine the best it’s ever been. Here’s a run-down of all four:

1. Wine list scanner.

Open the app. Hover phone screen over wine list. Rating pops up next to each wine.

Oh. My. Goodness.

You can then tap each rating to get a description of the wine, a comparison of each vintage (year) and a taste profile, as well as reviews from other people who’ve recently tried it.

It’s basically an unbiased sommelier in your pocket.

Wine list scanning feature. via Vivino.

I went for dinner last week and because I think I speak wine, I picked one 'by the glass' I thought I'd enjoy. A 2013 Shiraz. I hovered the Vivino scanner over the list before ordering, to review my decision. Lo and behold, it had a 2.4/5 rating.


But the scanner revealed a 3.9/5-rated Cabernet Sauvignon from 2015 sitting at the bottom of the menu I had completely overlooked... which was actually cheaper.


As well as scanning wine lists, you can also scan wine labels. An entire profile of the scanned wine pops up with images, ratings, notes, and average prices - by the glass and by the bottle. It's like taking a sommelier with you to the bottle shop.

Wine label scanner. Open the app, scan the label, know everything there is to know. via Vivino.

2. Top wine charts.

I'm on a budget and I was having ten people over for a barbecue a few weeks ago. Honestly, walking into a liquor store would result in a stab in the dark. A random yank off the shelf. And probably disappointment.

Opened Vivino. Went to 'Top Wines Between $20 and $40'. And ordered the #1 rated red.

via Vivino.

Not only did it help me find the wine... I clicked 'buy', and ordered it directly through the app. Simples.

3. Personal wine diary.

For those obsessed with cataloguing, like me, Vivino allows you to log and rate every wine that touches your lips.

It's easy too.

  • Scan the label to bring up the wine. If you're drinking by the glass and don't have the bottle, search the name and vintage.
  • Enter a rating.
  • Take a photo, leave a comment, and note how much it cost (if you wish).

That wine, along with your photos and feelings, stays linked with your profile. You can re-visit it anywhere, anytime.

4. Wine explorer.

Don't have a particular wine in mind? Feeling adventurous? WELL...

Wine explorer feature. Choose your own adventure. via Vivino.

What are you feeling like? Red or white? $7 per bottle, or $700? Sparkling or rosé?

The explorer lets you expand your horizons... while remaining blissfully within your preferences.

For myself, the app was a stepping stone... from newbie to amateur in the wonderful world of wine. But it really is just as spectacular for the alcohol aficionados - the wine wankers - among us.

One day, I hope to be one of them.