Vivino: A Beautiful Wine App In An Era of Exposure

VivinoIt's certainly clear to me and it ought to be clear to anyone else considering the issue that human beings are positively inclined to share the details of their lives as broadly and widely as possible.

Interestingly, we didn't know this until very recently. Or, at least we didn't have solid evidence it was true. The ease with which social media tools, mobile broadcast platforms and simple publishing platforms allow us all, individually, to broadcast what we think, what we do, what we love and hate, what we observe and, yes, what we drink has surely been the catalyst for unleashing what has always been a pre-dispositon to expose ourselves to friends, family and strangers.

I couldn't help thinking about this obvious little revelation as I sat with Heini Zachariassen, founder of VIVINO, a mobile app that allows wine lovers and wine drinkers to easily snap photos of the wines they are drinking, buying and cellaring and automatically retrieve, store and broadcast information about them.

VinTank, a wine industry digital marketing firm, is very high on VIVINO. There are upwards of 600 different wine related mobile apps. VinTank has looked at, evaluated and reported on a number of them. To-date, VIVINO is VinTank's most highly rated wine app.

The VIVINO App is certainly convenient to use, well designed, possesses an intuitive user experience and has the potential to be be the go-to mobile app for those wanting to keep track of and SHARE their wine drinking experiences.

This is all good and all consequential. But it's also a product indicative of the very swift and Vivinophonegame-changing exposure of the truth that wine drinkers, like consumers of most other products, want to tell others—as many others as possible—what they are consuming.

It's important to note that this compulsion to broadcast one's tastes in and experience with wine went unfulfilled just 20 years. At that moment in time and prior, if one wished to expose their wine drinking habits to others, it was necessary to look them in the face or write a letter (or an early email) or undertake the fairly herculean task of publishing a newsletter that would probably be mailed or faxed, which was a very expensive proposition. In other words, the desire to tell as many other people as possible what we think and do—including what wines we drink and keep—is, I believe, an inherent part of the human condition that only recently has been exposed and given the means to be undertaken by anyone, anywhere.

Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Blogging Platforms, Pinterest, Mass Email platforms, Mobile Phones with their Social Apps, and, yes, VIVINO, have given us the means to fulfill our desire to show off the most mundane and intimate details of our habits, desires, whims and thoughts.

Wine is truly a social-oriented product. More so than most others. We aren't likely to share a soap with a gathering of friends. We are unlikely to reach into our collection of pasta in the pantry and bring it to a dinner party. Though I've not checked, it seems unlikely that many technology developers have created upwards of 600 apps concerned with providing an education about, a means to communicate about and platform for recording our interactions with plastic bags.

Wine-related apps like VIVINO remind us that this inherent compulsion to share the details of our lives with as many people as possible tends to find its greatest expression around topics that we believe define us as individuals. Some products and some subject matters serve as the self-created garb and masks that announce we belong within various social tribes and particular communities of believers, and mark the spot where we have built personal walls around and placed open doors into self created identities.

Like the wines we choose, its the places we visit, people we associate with, the process of adorning our habitat, the celebrities we whom we identify, the technology tools we use, and the political groups we both despise and appreciate that are among the more likely subject matters we use to define ourselves and that are now broadcast to others far and wide.

VIVINO and other wine-related apps have enormous utilitarian potential. VIVINO is extraordinarily convenient for those who wish to track what they drink, find more of it and find others that do the same. But it is also another in a long line of new tools that give wine lovers another means to express themselves in ways they've always wanted to but, until recently, were only able to do so in very intimate settings.

Social Media and new broadcast tools are continuing and quickening the pace at which intimate communications are giving way to full exposure.

7 Responses

  1. Mark Buckley - July 9, 2012

    I’ve been using it for some time and think its well done although It does have a tendency to crash on my Droid more than other apps. But, one of the best wine apps to date with its easy of use. One thing they could try adding is the ability to share it into the app from the Gallery or camera application. Currently you have to be with in Vivino to import a picture. This is easy to do with Instagram and many other apps, but if I’m taking a bunch of wine bottle shots its not as easy to do this, especially when you are at a large tasting

  2. William Allen - July 10, 2012

    I respect you and Paul greatly, but I am afraid I am going to disagree on this one, after my first go around. (Hopefully not stepping on a mutual client of yours.)
    I see some major things lacking that give it little use for me personally.
    1. You can ONLY scan a bottle. What if I want to look up something by the glass and/or add notes on something by the glass. You can’t – which inhibits it in a big way.
    2. I think somewhere I read where you posted it has a large user base, maybe 500k. That pales to Cellartracker (and You need a LARGE user base to be of any value, especially for people not drinking mainstream all the time.
    3. It doesn’t integrate into Cellartracker, the leading Social Media wine information site. I have 1200+ bottles stored there, integration into paid reports, and much more, which i benefit from via
    4. I did a test of a 3 wines, some a bit obscure, vs UPC scan which found 2.
    I have seen apps like this before and they all failed – an app based on crowdsourcing, even in part, has a huge barrier to overcome.
    I will leave it on my front page and play a bit more, but right now its headed for the other 3 folders of wine apps on my iPhone I never use, save

  3. Xuveronica - July 11, 2012

    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve been searching for a good wine app for a while. Just downloaded this one, looks pretty handy!

  4. Cass Jenis - July 11, 2012

    I don’t have a smartphone, but my Dad has this app and he’s obsessed.

  5. Arnold Waldstein - July 17, 2012

    Most wine apps have been a huge disappointment to me. I work on the social web and am a wine blogger so I’m the perfect market. So far, nothing that finds itself in use weekly.
    I’m hopeful though.
    One point.
    Sharing without an embedded transaction to buy with a click is less than half the process to me.
    We all get lots of referrals. The work and frustration of locating where to buy is a major hurdle yet to be overcome.

  6. Jana - March 20, 2013

    there is new android wine application. 101CORKS rich wine database is based on EAN codes, which provides instant and faultless matching. At the moment wine catalog stores thousands wines with details approved by sommelier and many new wines are added every day. Each wine has its description, simple or complex (based on Parker’s 100 points scale) rating, photos and comments. You can scan the bottle and read reviews or filter through the wine database.

  7. Winederlusting - November 5, 2014

    This application has grown by leaps and bounds since this was originally posted (close to 6,000,000 users now). The functionality has improved greatly, and even back when this was written it was the most highly rated app. I’ve met some incredible people and shared my drinking experiences with them, and the “competitive” features of your profile being ranked make this application even more fun. I like to keep track of wines I try by the glass and this is a quick way for me to notate my experience on the fly.


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