A little shameless self-promotion never hurt anyone, right? Here goes: If you’re not currently using the Vivino App on your smartphone, let me give you three good reasons to do so: Me, me, and me. (Just kidding.) In all honesty, though, Vivino is the single best app for wine lovers, bar-none. It allows you to read reviews, post your own, catalog your cellar, share your favorites, and a litany of other cool features. It categorizes your wine by country, by cost, by maker, by rating, by food pairing, or any other way you’d like, and it allows you to share your great wine experiences with other people. It’s easy to use, with a sophisticated scanning device that adds the label of your wine to your collection with one click, thereby pulling up all of the pertinent information from its exhaustive online database, and best of all, it’s free! All of this in addition to the fact that I (Mark) am one of their featured users, and once you’ve downloaded it you can follow me just by seeking out my name (Mark Gudgel) and adding me to your contacts.
When I use Vivino, personally, I’m doing it to get a sense of what others think of a wine I haven’t had before I buy it, or else I’m keeping track of my own thoughts in regard to what I’ve had for future reference. “Chardonnay” can mean a lot of things, so the notes that I an others write about it being oaky, buttery, etc. are really helpful when selecting a wine. I also investigate possible food pairings, and I can easily ensure that I’m not overpaying while I’m at it. However, since I became “featured” I’ve started to take my reviewing even more seriously, doing my very best to offer useful feedback on wines that I think you might like to try, helping you avoid those you probably won’t like, and going out of my way to add rare and special wines to the already extensive Vivino catalog. Yesterday, in addition to some lovely if relatively easy-to-find vintages, I added a wine from Armenia (Zorah Karasi Areni 2012) that was absolutely fantastic, and a wine from Iowa (Vine Street Cellars Noiret N.V.) that I really liked as well. This helps get the word out about these special wines, hopefully alerting other wine lovers to them, and it also helps you, my follower, to discover something you might otherwise not have encountered. What can I say? I’m a giver!
Currently, we have some exciting stuff down in our cellar, including an array of fortified wines we’ve picked up all over the country in places like Kansas, California, New Hampshire, and others. We also have some rather exotic bottles in the cellar right now, including (but not limited to) wines from the Great Lakes region of Africa in nations like Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, all brought back from Mark’s last trip overseas. Sonja and I are certainly looking forward to enjoying these wines, and in particular to sharing them with good friends. But for those of you who can’t make it to one of our upcoming dinner parties to try them in person, I hope you’ll at least be able to share them with me via Vivino.
PS: As of this post, I’m currently ranked in the top one hundred users in the United States at #95. (Not that I’m competitive or anything!) If you do follow me, and you find one of my reviews to be useful or insightful, I hope you’ll “like” it, as this is one factor that plays a part in our rankings. Thanks in advance!