Wine Goggles – my personal wine tasting notes App – update on progress

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.

winegog 1

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:-

winegog 2 winegog 3 winegog 4