Wine Cellar Picks + Favorite Apps

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a perfectly crisp winter day at Scribe Winery}

It’s a rare day when I turn down a good glass of wine. While I know a respectable amount about red wines, I am trying to learn more about whites (I have all but given up on rosés – the person who can teach me to enjoy this light pink “perfect for a warm summer afternoon overlooking the Riviera” wine, will hold a special place in my heart. Come to think of it, they may hold an even greater place if they could throw in the Riviera setting…).

Anyhow, I digress. My love of wine is a passion I share with family and many close friends. That said, even I wish there were more resources to discover affordable and delicious wines. Of course, there are certain buzz words that any self-proclaimed win-o should understand (think: tannins, oak, appellation, oxidation), but there is also such a personal element of wine tasting that I think is often forgotten. The process of learning to enjoy wine shouldn’t be overly pretentious or intimating – it really is about figuring out what flavors you enjoy and then being able to articulate those to a sommelier (or just a friend who may know a thing or two).

In an attempt to share some of my favorite finds with an audience greater than a few friends (and quite frankly, I’m sure they are sick of the constant spamming), I’m introducing a Wine Cellar series. Below is the first list of a few labels I have stored in my own cellar (i.e. overflowing wine rack).

ZD Wines ~ 2012 Pinot Noir, Carneros ~ $63
Caymus Vineyards ~ 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford ~ $60
Piedra Sassi ~ 2012 Red Blend, Central Coast ~ $25
V Madrone ~ 2010 Chardonnay, Napa Valley

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For those of you who are handcuffed to your phones (and I will assume that is the vast majority of you), I’ve recently discovered a couple great apps that help you track wines as  you find them. Here are some of my favorites:

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1 ~ Vivino: Scan the labels of your favorite wines and Vivino will tag them in their library. If they don’t recognize the wine, they will go out and find it. Get ratings, reviews and price, store in your own online wine cellar and share with friends via FB or email.
*Personal Favorite
2 ~ Next Glass: Great for wine and beer lovers alike. Scan labels into their database to define your taste profile. Next Glass will provide personalized ratings that are scientifically tailored to the types of beers/wines you have earmarked in the past.
3 ~ Hello Vino: Built primarily as a recommendation and discovery app, Hello Vino will provide recs based on your meal, occasion, taste preference or grape varietal. While it also allows you to scan labels, they are more focused on curating recommendations rather than providing a home for you to track your favorite finds.

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