The quest for the best wine tasting notes app goes on. I’m eagerly awaiting the opportunity to be a beta tester on the new, improved version of Wine Notes. In the interim I thought I’d have a crack at designing my own app for the purpose and so Wine Goggles, now in V2.4, is the result.
Screen shot of Wine Goggles data entry form running on an iPad Mini 2 Retina
Wine Goggles is based on the popular database HanDbase which – although there’s a massive learning curve as it’s very full-featured, plus the originator’s support system is, frankly, worse than useless – pays off if you persevere, particularly as there is a long list of very generous users who have made their own database apps (for infinite purposes) freely available to anyone purchasing HanDbase, currently priced around a tenner, plus a fiver for the bolt-on goodie, Form Designer.
Wine Goggles has built on the experience of a couple of these guys, main difference being, it’s aimed at the heavy-duty wine taster, rather than the enthusiast who tastes a small number of wines with the aim of adding a few to his cellar.
The new version of Wine Goggles works on my Macs, desk and laptop; the iPad and the iPhone. It was principally designed for the iPad mini, which I consider the best balance between size, portability, readability and ease of use by podgy fingers.
Information it stores includes: Classification of Tasting; Date; Name of Wine; Vintage; Appellation (for France only at the minute); Region; Country; Cépage; ABV%; Price; Appearance; Bouquet; Mouthfeel; Palate; Finish; Comments; Score/Award and Stockists – this last is important to me as in Ireland we have easily 100 independent wine outlets and typing their names into copy is a considerable chores for me. Others may not find this important. The default scoring system is the 20 point system (in half point grades) which is the one Martin and I use in our Sunday Times tastings. Wouldn’t be difficult to re-vamp as 100 pointer.
To aid input, Wine Goggles makes maximum use of pop-up lists and most info may be added with no more than a finger dab or two. Compared to most of these apps it is very fast to use. Also, most of the pop-ups are user editable so you can add your own personal aromas or flavours – “dad’s 3-year old squash shoes” or “fruity and full-bodied”, no problem.
It has other useful facilities, not least the ability to e-mail a wine’s record. Plus a comprehensive “search” feature. And you can also take a snap of the bottle label from within the program.
Not bad for a beginner, methinks. I doubt Wine Goggles will ever see the light of day as a commercial proposition as there are so many apps of this kind already in existence – my move to Palo Alto is on hold! Nevertheless I do think it matches any wine tasting app around for speed of use and outdoes most of them for comprehensiveness.
Wish list? Yes, it’s a bit of an ugly duckling. I’d love Wine Goggles to have a more sexy, tactile feel like Wine Notes with its pretty graphics and novel features, like the sliders that allow you to capture a wine’s colour. But, given that I’m already at the outer limit of my technical universe, it ain’t gonna happen.
Here are some more screen shots:-