How many of you have found yourself stock piling bottles after a successful trip to BevMo for their infamous 5 cent wine sale? I know I definitely have! And I wind up with a plethora of interesting wines to explore for the coming months. The problem is I put all of these wines either into boxes, or spread them out into the various small wine racks that I’ve gotten over the years. Or more recently I get to throw them all into the 144 bottle wine refrigerator my father gave me when they couldn’t fit it into their new place (score!).
But eventually I end up with a bunch of bottles everywhere and no real order to them. So I find myself, night after night, rummaging through the house, pantry, storage, etc looking for a good wine to pair with the amazing dinner that my fiancée is cooking up. Can anyone relate?So I started searching the internet for good ways to manage the madness and catalog what I currently have in my house and hopefully tie in some reviews as well. After searching for not a very long time, I found CellarTracker.com! (NOTE: The newer Beta version of the site is shown below) I was really blown away by the features they offered, and pretty much everything is FREE!
By creating an account, I was not only able to add all of my wines into my own online cellar, but I could check out community reviews, average prices (even discovered I got some occasional really good deals!), share my latest discoveries with Facebook, create my own wish list, and a bunch of other stuff! It took me a bit to finally get all of my previously bought wine entered into my online cellar, but once it was done WOW it’s been great!
Now when I want to find a wine, I simply log on and search my cellar for my current zins, cabs, or whatever else I want to narrow in on. Then I can do a deeper dive if I want and check out other reviews and pairings to see if it’ll fit just right. Once I’ve made my decision I simply look up where I’ve placed it and BAM instant wine awesomeness! I’ll admit though, logging onto the net every time I want to drink a bottle of wine can seem a bit much. I mean, sometimes I want to be lazy and I don’t really want to boot up my laptop simply to find a bottle and mark it as opened. So after my initial burst of excitement my usage began to drop. Slowly but surely, my online cellar became more and more out of sync with what I actually had and where it was. So I did a little more searching and much to my surprise, CellarTracker has actually teamed up with a number of companies which allow user to access their data via a mobile device!
So I tried out the Cor.kz iPhone or Android app and it is amaaaaazing! The app pretty much has all the features that the CellarTracker website does and they’re adding features all the time so if you find something that’s missing, I’m sure they’re working on adding it. The coolest part about this is that they have a bar code scanner! So when I’m in a store and I’m staring at a wine and wondering, is this any good? I can simply whip out my phone, scan the barcode, and check out some reviews.
A quick note about the reviews. The free account only gives you community reviews from other users, but by donating $36/year (which in my opinion is chump change for the value) you get professional reviews as well from various different sites like Wine-Searcher.com.
I will be absolutely honest, that using this site and these apps have revolutionized my wine drinking experience. Another cool feature about Cor.kz is that you can compare wines right on the app. Not only can you compare wines that are in your cellar, you can compare wines in your cellar to wines outside your cellar or any combination thereof. The app makes it really easy to do so as well, so you’re not starting at your phone for an hour in the store just trying to look at two wines side by side. I swear I don’t know what I would do without this app.
Recently, Eric LeVine (the founder of CellarTracker) sent out a newsletter which advertised the new iPad app, CellarVU. The app is really only meant for viewing your own cellar so it doesn’t have as many features as Cor.kz (which btw is iPad friendly as well) but it’s got a really creative twist on viewing your cellar. It ties into CellarTracker‘s data as well so signing up is a cinch and you can instantly thumb through all of your wines, sort them by pretty much every category, and view all of your bottles with details and reviews.
So if you keep finding yourself in a similar situation as myself and are boggled by which wine you have and where it ended up, I would definitely recommend checking out this site and it’s various counterparts. Even if you don’t store that much wine and are more of the buy it tonight, drink it tonight type; I would still recommend it because the mobile experience is so rich and convenient.
If you currently use CellarTracker or decided to give it a shot after my posting, give me a shout out! I’d love to hear your opinions as well! And with that, I’ll leave you with my latest thumbs up awards.
Costco’s Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)