Wine Apps Worth Using: Delectable and Drync iPhone Apps

Ever discover a fantastic bottle of wine at a restaurant and wish you knew more about it? Today there are free apps that allow you to scan the wine bottle as you’re enjoying its contents, to learn about it and even buy it if you like.

Producers of the Delectable app (first developed in 2011, the newest version is 3.0) claim it’s the No. 1 choice of wine drinkers, with users approaching 1 million. Its database includes more than 2 million bottles. Delectable lets users snap a picture of a wine label, record their impressions, and buy it through the app if it’s available for purchase. Essential information is provided along with community reviews, and users can share their ratings with friends. The rating system is based on four types of faces with sad to happy expressions.

Delectable claims its image recognition technology is nearly 100 percent accurate, and as I worked with it, I found this to be true. Personalized recommendations are offered on what to drink next based on what you’ve drunk in the past. Ordering is easy, and shipping is available to all 50 states.

The main drawback is that identifying the label can take anywhere from several hours to 48 hours, so it’s not always possible to order quickly. That said, it correctly identified every label I photographed. Also, ratings of multiple vintages of the same wine were displayed. Since this app is well established, there are several ratings from users for a number of wines.

With the new iOS app Drync, you also snap a photo of the label to see price, ratings, and notes. The wine can be purchased in seconds using a secure e-commerce platform and easy-to-use checkout function in “Wine Cart.”

Drync identifies 1.7 million wines using image recognition technology that works on bottle labels as well as labels pictured in magazines, and on signs and computer screens. There’s also a text search capability to find wines by name. The information can then be shared with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and by email. Backup and synchronization is available to the cloud so wines can be managed on drync.com.

Drync was chosen as a top wine app by The New York Times, Mashable, Macworld, and other publications. The Drync app can be downloaded on iTunes. Expect an Android version coming soon.

I downloaded the Drync app and found a few drawbacks. The image recognition database doesn’t contain all wines, so not every label is identifiable, and occasionally the scanner identifies the wine incorrectly. The rating system (from 1 to 5 hearts) is based on users’ ratings, and since the app is new, there aren’t many in the database.