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Free app Delectable: Follow a who's who of wine experts

December 06, 2012|By S. Irene Virbila
  • Alexis Davis, head sommelier at the Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa, California, picks from her feed on Delectable, a wine app for the iPhone.
Alexis Davis, head sommelier at the Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa, California,… (S. Irene Virbila\Los Angeles…)

So I noticed a tweet in passing from Lou Amdur, founder of Lou wine bar, about a free wine app called Delectable for the iPhone. The name is a bit twee, but I thought I'd check it out. Little did I know I was signing up for a social network app.

It took my name and then instructed me, "tell the world your life story, in the form of a short bio." I didn't want to tell the world anything, particularly, and it turns out there's no option to just skip that part.

Okay, I give in. Next it asks me to connect via either Facebook or Twitter. No other options. I was thinking/hoping this could be an app to organize and store my notes and photos of wines encountered. Delectable does that, but you also are required to connect. I chose Twitter.

Then you have to find other Delectable users by connecting to your networks. I chose skip, and tapped the button "Find People." I find a lot of people I don't know, but also Shelley Lindgren, owner and wine director of A16 restaurant in San Francisco. Okay, she's someone I'd like to follow. Ditto for Chris Deegan, wine director of Nopa, and Yoon Ha, master sommelier and wine director at Benu. Also Vinny Eng, GM and beverage program co-curator at Bar Tartine. All of the above in San Francisco.

Aha, so it's not just wine geeks with too much time on their hands. A few winemakers, too. This could be interesting. But where's the L.A. contingent? Maybe I'll find them by clicking the Twitter button. That's where I turn up Jill Bernheimer of DomaineLA; Eric Asimov, wine writer for the New York Times; and Rajat Parr, wine director for Michael Mina restaurant group.

I decide to follow all of them. But here's where it gets interesting. Just like Twitter, when you click on someone you can see who they're following and pick and choose from their list. Shelley Lindgren isn't following anybody, but I can see the 12 wines she's added as a grid of photos. Each wine has a short comment, and then others on the app chime in with their comments. Nifty.

Vinny Dinch follows 25 people, and I decide to add Eric Danch, importer of the wines of Hungary and greater Central Europe through his Blue Danube Wine Co. Somehow I find Matthew Kaner of Bar Covell in Los Feliz and follow him, too. I'm thinking, actually, this could be fun. I'll keep you posted.

Oh, to enter a wine, simply take its photo with your iPhone. The app then identifies the wine and you add a short comment. There's also supposed to be a button that directs the user to where to buy the wine. But I haven't found one yet. Maybe the wines I'm seeing are too obscure.

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