Use These Free Wine Apps and Never Overpay for a Bottle Again

There is so, so much wine in the world. More choice is almost always a good thing, but all that inventory can result in a lot of questions, even when you know what kind of wine you like. If you have a great wine store with knowledgeable and honest employees, that certainly helps. But if you’re braving it alone, a great wine app with an abundance of information and reviews from critics and fellow wine drinkers is the way to go.

I’m still getting my sea legs when it comes to picking out wine, and the local package store tends to make my eyes cross. Armed with these excellent and (mostly) free wine apps, I have become a more confident wine buyer, finding better wine that’s in my wheelhouse and discovering new varietals. And since most of these apps let you compare wine prices both from online and local vendors, you’ll never overpay for a bottle again.

These are our three favorite wine apps for 2022.

Read more: Best Wine Clubs for 2022

Screenshot by David Watsky/CNET

Why we like it: The most crowd-sourced reviews and ratings along with tons of information in a user-friendly app. Plus, it lets you order wine for delivery.

I will never walk into a wine store without this app, and you shouldn’t either. There are a number of apps that let you scan a wine label to get information about the wine, but we found the Vivino Wine Scanner app provides the most useful information. It also has more users than any other app (the website says 11.3 million), so you’re getting extremely valuable crowd-sourced ratings and reviews, even on some pretty obscure bottles.

After you take a photo of a label, it gives you an average rating and price so you know if you are holding a good wine at a good price. You can also scan the text of a wine list should you find yourself clueless in a restaurant. In addition to rating and price, Vivino provides notes about the type of grape used in the wine, info about the winery that made the wine and a variety of additional rankings for that wine within its winery, region, country and world.

You can read reviews from other Vivino users and add your own, but what I find fun and interesting are the winemaker’s notes (as in, “hints of toffee, cherry, fig, chocolate”), vintage comparison (how it stacks up to other years’ wines), and food pairing suggestions (beef, lamb, spicy food). The wines you scan are saved to a My Wines list and will eventually build a taste profile, and the app will recommend other wines that fit your profile. You can also build a feed, where you can follow friends who use the app as well as wine enthusiasts and pros. It also recognizes the labels for beer and spirits but with less success than wine labels.

And since I last looked at the app, Vivino has added the ability to buy wine through the app or web platform and have it delivered to your door. Shipping generally costs between $12 and $15 per order but is free if you spend a certain amount. The free shipping benchmark varies based on the seller but is typically around $160.

Vivino Wine Scanner is available for iOS and Android.

Screenshot by David Watsky/CNET

Why we like it: No account sign-up required, and it’s skilled at scanning beer and spirits in addition to wine.

The free Wine-Searcher app lets you get to scanning right away. Some apps force you to pay for scanning privileges and most require you to create an account. With Wine-Searcher, you get free and immediate scanning capabilities. It shows you the average price for the bottle you scanned along with information about the grape, region and food suggestions.

It also shows you critic scores and will list any prizes the wine has won, but you’ll need to pay $8.99 a month via an in-app purchase for the Pro-level app if you want to scan more than 50 labels and get more critics notes and prices from more than just sponsored merchants. It also recognizes beer and spirits labels and was better at recognizing spirits than Vivino.

One of my favorite features is that this app directs you to both online sellers and local brick-and-mortar merchants that carry the wine you’re looking at and allows you to easily compare prices before you buy.

Wine-Searcher is available for iOS and Android.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Why we like it: Wine Spectator is the Bible of wine ratings. If I ever begin to amass a wine cellar’s worth of wine, the WineRatings Plus app from Wine Spectator magazine will prove useful. Signing up for the monthly subscription ($2.99, £2.29, AU$3.79) gets you Wine Spectator’s ratings and reviews, useful how-to articles and videos, as well as interesting vintage charts and a feed of wine-related news articles

I like perusing the vintage charts to see if the bottle I’m considering buying is from a good year for that particular region and grape. Since I’m a wine novice, I found a number of the how-to articles and videos to be illuminating, particularly those on how to pair wine and food.

Wine Spectator WineRatings Plus is available for iOS.

Editors’ note: This story was originally published on Feb. 9, 2015 and has been updated with new apps and information.

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