Viva il vino! Exploring wine with Vivino


Today many companies provide options to rate products. Some go a step further and turn user ratings into the service they provide. Vivino is an example of an app that does just that. I have used the app for a while now, mainly to keep track of the wine I drink and thereby increasing my extracurricular learning experience. Now I decided to have another look at the app and see with what kind of suggestions it provided me, something the app is also intended for…

How does it work?

It starts by manually adding a wine (although this function is a bit hidden away) or scanning the label of a wine manually. In case of the latter Vivino generally finds the wine you scanned within seconds, you then need to check whether it scanned the right variety/type, as the vineyard is most of the times properly recognized, the various wines per vineyard can sometimes be a bit more of a hassle. In case it is not directly recognized Vivino’s team will manually match it for you. After you scanned a wine you can rate it (using a 5 star rating system, with half star intervals), add public or private notes or update information about the wine manually, such as the grapes, price et cetera. This seems to be a powerful system. As the database now holds over a million wines and more that 4 million people using the app worldwide.

Recommendations
Based on the users ratings the user will receive recommendations for other wines. In the recommendations tab you see an overview of wines, with a note to it as to how many ratings you have in common with a certain person that likes the suggested wine.

Recommended for me
When I browsed through the recommendations I was a bit surprised by the ones that I got. I received a list of 50 recommendation. Out of these 50 recommendations only 22 contained a price indication (which are the ones I’m going to take into account for this review). The reason that price is something to consider in these recommendations is that most of the time I spend on average around 12 euro a bottle.

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Vivino returned me a 300 euro bottle of wine as the first recommendation, and the average price of these recommendations lies at 62 euro. Now this is something that could make me feel a bit flattered when it comes to what Vivino infers from the quality of my taste, but it is not something that is going to make me happy when it comes to discovering new wine. Some of the recommended wines were very close to what I already knew, getting more recommendations for Valpolicella’s and Rueda’s because I had scanned a few does not make a lot of sense for me. Also the feature where you can explore wines near you doesn’t give a lot of options with wines really near me (i.e. 9 km). Although I think the app is very valuable for me in keeping track of the wines I drink. However, combining my ratings with wines that have similar characteristics but not the same, with a related price tag, and moreover available in my favorite store would bring the recommendations system really to the next level.

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