Deciding which wine to buy can be a daunting experience, says Real Time Wine (@realtimewine) founder Andy Hadfield (@andyhadfield) – which is why the 140-character wine blog has now become a fully realised mobile product, including free smartphone apps. “It’s a smooth, sexy and extremely useful mobile experience,” says Hadfield, “a giant leap forward from the blog-style pilot we started with.”
Catering to the market
“Most wine buyers are not wine experts,” Hadfield points out. “The challenge of discovering new wine at the right price is so great that we tend to stick to the old and familiar. Real Time Wine makes the process of choosing, drinking and sharing wine easy. It’s a real tool for a particularly fun hobby!”
The free app allows users to browse short reviews by other everyday wine drinkers, check prices, contribute their own pictures or reviews and share the experience on social media.
“The more reviews a wine has, the more reliable the rating will be,” says Hadfield. “So we’ve made it as easy as possible for people to contribute their own opinions. Just tap an icon to add a Yum, Hmm or Yuk rating, or if you feel moved to say more, you can check in when you’re drinking the wine and add a review.”
Keeping it real
There’s a catch, though: Real Time Wine bans wine review clichés and jargon. “Words like ‘bouquet’, ‘compote’ and ‘sweaty saddle’ are just wine snob waffle,” says Hadfield. “If one of our users tries to slip in a banned word we’ll gently suggest an alternative. We want real words from real people.”
Real Time Wine is available free for most smartphones at http://realtimewine.com, or as a standalone app for iPhone and Android users. It can be found on the Apple and Google Play stores currently. Downloads from other local app stores (Samsung, Vodacom) will be available soon.
Hadfield says the app will ultimately become a “social wine discovery” tool. “People can track and explore their own tastes, find others who have the same tastes and discover new wines to try. Wine is one of the pleasures of life – we want to take away the anxiety and focus on the fun.”
The app has been developed in partnership with Prezence Digital (@prezencedigital) and with support from AngelHub (@angelhubza).