August 22, 2013, 2:45 PM

Wine app Delectable uncorks features for vino lovers

The Delectable 3.0 version features personalized wine recommendations based on what consumers say they like.

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Delectable app

Wine lovers can now use their smartphones to learn more about and purchase that oaky merlot under $15 or the newest brand of Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. Delectable, a smartphone app for wine lovers, has added several new features and functions to help vino fans discover, learn about and purchase new wines.

The just-launched Delectable 3.0 features personalized wine recommendations based on what the consumer says she enjoys and her community of friends and experts she follows within the app. The app also enables consumers to snap a picture of a wine bottle label and then access a description of the wine as well as consumer and expert reviews on it. Delectable says it maintains a growing database of information on two million types of wine. Consumers can also order wine through the app. To buy a wine, a consumer taps a purchase button, selects her shipping state and desired number of bottles and is then shown a price. The shopper then enters her address and either manually enters her payment information or takes a picture of her payment card to complete her purchase.

Delectable is not a retailer. When a consumer orders wine via the app, the order is routed to the appropriate winery, retailer or importer and the chosen supplier ships directly to the customer, the company says. "In deciding the best possible provider for any given wine, geography, availability and wine-shipping compliance naturally factor in heavily," a Delectable spokeswoman says. "As wine is greatly affected by storage and shipping conditions, our commitment is to turn over every stone to ship wine to our users in a timely and safe fashion."  Some of Delectable's retail partners include Arlequin Wine Merchant in San Francisco and Crush Wine Co. in New York City.

"We've used technology to make the world a more delicious place," says Alex Fishman, founder and CEO of Delectable. "Wine has been harder for wine drinkers than it needs to be. With so many regions, varieties, vintages and styles, it's a challenge to find great wine on-demand and extremely difficult to understand what makes a wine special. We're taking the hassles out of finding wine, so that people can spend more time enjoying it."

Other features in the app include a map that displays the regions where a consumer’s favorite wine comes from, revealing the parts of the world her tastes gravitate to, and a beefed-up expert community to help consumers discover wine professionals and tastemakers from around the world. Consumers can also search and sort the wines they have stored in the app by type and other characteristics, and save their own ratings and comments on wines for future reference. Other features include the ability to store and access comments and reviews from both community members and experts, follow other app users and share wine experiences with them, keep a wine journal and tag favorite (or least favorite) wines.

"Wine has a reputation of being exclusive and confusing," Fishman says. "We believe that it should be enjoyed by everybody, and we've created a natural and approachable way for people to learn more about wine."

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