Natalie MacLean introduces bar code–scanning wine app for the wannabe sommelier
For some, choosing a bottle of wine from the LCBO can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. A new version of wine writer Natalie MacLean’s free smartphone app will make the decision-making process a little easier. The Natalie MacLean Wine Picks and Pairings app allows users to snap a photo of the bar code on a bottle’s label, which then pulls up corresponding tasting notes, scores, food pairings and recipes. The application contains information for about 150,000 different wines sold across Canada.
MacLean understands that sometimes consumers are picky about the bottles they buy, which often leads to select purchasing of a few tried-and-true favourite bottles: “I know I would have a tough time choosing wines if I weren’t tasting them all the time,” she told Reuters. “The choice is overwhelming, the confusion is great and the intimidation factor is huge,” she says.
Although earlier versions of this app have been available for more than a year, the new snap and click feature is meant to make choosing a wine even easier (although the bar code scan is currently only available to iPhone users—sorry, RIM). The app can also detect the location of the store the user is in, providing information about how many bottles of a specific wine are in stock and how many are available at nearby locations. The Globe and Mail asked MacLean if there’s anything the app can’t do. Her answer? “It can’t open the bottle for you, but that’s about it.” We’re guessing it also probably won’t pick up the tab.