Smartphone Apps Round 2: Whiskey and Wine

Before any new readers ask when Round 1 was it was over 2 years ago, so you didn’t miss anything recent. Not too much has changed in the world of beer apps since then. Well, Untappd has become the dominant force in the beer app universe. A few other beer apps have come, and gone, yet Untappd has remained supreme.

What else has changed is that I’ve gone from swearing off wine and rarely drinking spirits to enjoying both more often and becoming a more well-rounded imbiber. In my endless urge for capturing data to help me remember things, combined with having that data available in my pocket, I present the best apps I’ve found for both whiskey and wine!


When I began my adventure into wine Vivino (iOS/Android/Web) was the most discussed app for learning about, and rating, wines. I think it succeeded well in those endeavors and I remain a user of it. The big downside is Screenshot_2015-05-12-15-56-42that it wants you to take a photo of the bottle to search for it. A number of apps have tried this as an approach to searching for things and I find it rarely works well. If Vivino matches your photo it matches really well, but most of the time it fails on the first photo and I have to take another.

Luckily there is also a text-based search, but it is definitely not the way they want you to do things. Once you get to your wine the app shines. The results focus on how much it should cost, so you know if you’re overpaying, and what to expect out of the wine. Vivino provides a great wealth of information including food pairings. From there it moves on to allowing you to rate the wine then sharing that rating on the social network of your choice.


Distiller (iOS/Android/Web) is the best whiskey/bourbon app I could track down and I’ve been quite happy with it. It presents itself as a high-class app focused on rating what you drink then suggesting what to drink. I say high-class due to the design and presentation of it, it’s beautiful and in-step with the latest ideas about app and web page design. But this isn’t just a pretty face.

Like Untappd you type in the name, but instead of searching like Untappd it automatically starts filtering things down fast! It gives you a description and history of the spirit plus some extra awesome info as shown below.

Screenshot_2015-05-10-19-32-49 Screenshot_2015-05-10-19-32-40










One thing both these apps have in common is that they both stink at social media and sharing. Distiller doesn’t do it at all. Vivino does it, but it only pushes things to other social networks. They never feel like a self-contained social network like Untappd does. People on Untappd toast and comment on each other’s check-ins via the app or web page, Distiller, and Vivino both seem to lack that built-in network.

What are your thoughts on these two apps? Or what apps do you use for spirits and wines?

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