September 24, 2010, 1:17 PM

New iPhone app helps consumers understand and locate wine

Snooth’s app offers access to a vast database and features image recognition.

Lead Photo

The Snooth app enables consumers to snap a picture of a wine label and receive information and reviews.

A new iPhone app for wine shoppers aims to help aspiring oenologists or those consumers who simply need to find the perfect Cabernet to bring to a dinner party.

The app comes from Snooth, a wine information, social networking and store location service that operates Snooth.com. The stand-out feature of the mobile commerce app is image recognition. A consumer can snap a picture of a wine label using his iPhone camera and the app will search the Snooth.com database and display information about the wine, including which stores carry it.

“Six out of 10 American adults drink wine at least monthly. It’s a secret mass market product,” says Philip James, Snooth’s CEO and co-founder. “Yet when you walk into a store you’re confronted with hundreds or thousands of wine labels—the wall of wine. The Snooth app is basically your portable wine expert, which makes it easy to cut through the clutter and find a bottle that you’ll enjoy.”

The app enables consumers to read expert and consumer wine reviews. Consumers can browse wines by color, price, country and other parameters to find the perfect bottle. The app also offers a search feature that helps consumers pinpoint a particular bottle. Along with information, the app shows the online retailers and nearest bricks-and-mortar stores that carry the wine.

Consumers can buy the pro version of the iPhone app for $4.99 through Apple Inc.’s App Store, or download a free version. Unlike the pro version, the free version has advertising, and it does not include the image recognition technology.

The app also features a Virtual Cellar where users can store favorite bottles of wines or wines they hold in their personal collections.

Retailers can list their products for free with Snooth.com, which receives 1 million unique monthly visitors, the company reports. For the most part, the company does not receive affiliate fees for sales, but makes money through advertising. Snooth does receive some fees for the sale of wines from featured retailers.

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