Almost every time I use Delectable, I end up convincing whoever I'm with to download it right away. It doesn't take much pushing: this iPhone app does all sorts of things wine lovers want.
At its most basic, Delectable serves as an automated wine diary. It recognizes wine labels, making it easy to collect a list of wines you've tried without having to type in long producer or vineyard names. You just take a picture of a bottle you're enjoying, and through a little computer magic (well, a combination of label image recognition, algorithmic matching, and wine-smart people behind the scenes) the app knows what wine it is. You can rate the wine and take notes on it, tag the restaurant where you tried it or the friend you tried it with, and share to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram...or keep your list private if you're not the social type.
If you are the social type, you can follow friends you know in real life, or see what other folks are drinking...including, say, wine writers like Jon Bonné of the San Francisco Chronicle, or sommeliers like Thomas Pastuszak, wine director of The NoMad in New York.
There's more: Delectable also helps you track down that amazing bottle you tried at a restaurant or a friend's house—in fact, they'll arrange for the wine you loved to be shipped right to your door (if the state you live in allows such things.) They're not a retailer with an inventory; instead, Delectable serves as a 'wine concierge'—they know where to find the exact bottle you're looking for. In the app, you can click on the little shopping cart for any wine that's been posted and find out what that bottle would cost to purchase. If possible, wines are sourced directly from the winery or importer, otherwise there are trusted retailers who ship the wines.
Today, the Delectable team is launching a new version with spruced-up design and a faster photo-submission process, plus a few other cool features. If you tap on the name of a wine, you're taken to a profile that shows what everyone in the Delectable community has been saying about it, how different vintages of the wine have been rated by Delectable users, and all the photos taken of that wine.
For me, it's the community of users that sets Delectable apart from other wine apps. The new version offers a few new ways to find interesting people to follow. The lists of recommendations include a collection of sommeliers, another of people who work in winemaking (like Steve Matthiasson or Cathy Corison), a list of wine writers and educators (like Jordan Mackay or hey, me!), and those who work in the trade as importers, retailers, and distributors.
There are also a few new tools for figuring out what to drink next. You can see a chart of all the wines you've tried from France, for example, that shows which French growing regions you've explored and which you haven't tried yet. You can see which subregions in, say, Burgundy, you've tried or have yet to sample.
The 'Discover' section offers wines you might like that are similar to bottles you've tried; say, wines from the same region as something you tried, or the same grape variety, as well as wines that are different from anything you've tried in case you want to sample something new. You can also see a list of wines that are recommended by the people you follow, as well as some highly rated bottles under $25.
Are you on Delectable? Have you tried out the new version? What do you think?
Delectable 3.0 is available on iTunes today. (Sorry, Android users; they're working on a version for you, but it's not out yet.)