Wine Vintage Card App

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by iGoon, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. iGoon macrumors newbie

    iGoon

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    My app just went live a few days ago and I'm excited to talk about it and hear what other's have to say.

    It's a Wine Vintage Card that spans a decade and covers all the major wine producing regions across the New World and Europe. It's designed with everyone from the complete beginner to the savant in mind and emoticon driven. In short, it's meant to be unpretentious and intuitive. The ratings have been gathered from publicly available vintage information, direct reports from regions, news reports and weather and growing conditions. They are NOT built from personal opinion or tasting notes as those ratings are purely subjective and what I love you may detest, regardless of its quality. This is not to discount the value of tasting notes but my app is meant to be used a tool on your personal journey and help the user pick the best glass or bottle when confronted with multiple choices (at a shop, at a restaurant, etc...)

    A couple of words about what it is and what it isn't...

    It is a vintage chart, meaning it will tell you that 2007 was an amazing year in Germany and 2002 was pretty bad in Rhone. It is not a varietal or producer review. It won't tell you the difference between a Merlot and a Cab or if Domaine Leroy is a good producer. There are plenty of apps out there that will and they're great. But, what I'm trying to get away from with mine is sitting at a restaurant table and digging through tomes of information for 5 minutes to select a wine. Or trying to figure out what bottle to buy when I've got three or four picked out that sound good.

    My application is designed to be used quickly, easily and discreetly and will ensure you're picking a quality bottle under whatever circumstances you may mind yourself in. At a glance you'll have a good idea that you're going down the right path. In short, it's a quick reference tool, and I hope, a useful one.

    So, if that interests you, check it out. I'd love hear what people think.

    Wine Vintage Card
     
  2. iGoon thread starter macrumors newbie

    iGoon

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #2
    Also too... if anyone has any good site referrals for App reviews to recommend I'm all ears. As well as any good advice on spreading the word and advertising in general.

    Thanks again!
     
  3. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, USA
    #3
    I wouldn't direct your marketing toward iPhone app review sites but rather try to generate interest through sites dedicated to wine commentary etc.
     
  4. iGoon thread starter macrumors newbie

    iGoon

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #4
    Yeah, I'm trying to navigate that road too. The wine community can be a tough crowd and, I think it probably goes without saying, a bit on the uppity side.

    That said, my app is taking an anti-snob approach which can lead me to a few challenges in that particular community. Not that it's without its potential. I've had some surprisingly positive responses from people I was hesitant to show it to so that bodes well but ideally, I'd like to try to walk both paths.
     
  5. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #5
    Honestly........your app doesn't look very appealing visually. Based on the screenshots, way to "busy". Also, for something as simple as you trying to do in terms of knowing which regions had good years vs bad year, users shouldn't have to consult a "key" to decipher what it is you are trying to convey. Of course this is my opinion based on your screenshots.

    Also, by the way, i'm a wine lover myself and bought and own wine snob, wine pad, and corkz from the app store. I would buy your app, except the look and feel of it doesn't appeal to me.
     
  6. aluren macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #6
    are the smiley/frown faces really that hard to distinguish? i would agree with you if you say it's a little childish... but to each his own. it conveys the information i need, so i'd have to say it's a pretty useful software (being a wine noob).

    to the developer, can you get rid of the pop up screen when you first open the app? do i really need to choose new world or europe every single time when it's so easily accessible on the bottom?
     
  7. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #7

    How is it pretty useful software in the way it has been executed? There are basically 5 "levels" and who knows what or who the source of the "opinions" are. Not to mention, any good vintage chart will distinguish even between similar "levels" so there is a greater level of data available as well as information on the "maturity" of the wine itself. Do yourself a favor and google "wine vintage chart" and punch up a few REAL wine vintage charts, especially from noted wine authority Robert Parker, or even the link to wine magazine, or any of the other gazillion links and you will see that most if not all use a number scale, i.e. 0-100 with additional information on the maturity of the vintage. That my friend is a professional wine vintage chart. What i see of this app in the app store as i mentioned is a visually unappealing and yes, confusing and quite frankly useless app with smiley faces. Two regions with the same smiley face does not make those two regions equal for that particular year. There is a greater level of detail that could and should be conveyed for this type of app.

    In fact you might be better served to take some of the metioned wine vintage charts, convert into .jpg or some document format and save it to your iphone and view it as needed.

    hope that makes sense.
     
  8. aluren macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #8
    like i said, i'm a wine noob and that info is a good start for me when my budget for a bottle is only $20. but you're right, there's those details you mentioned that the developer should address and make an even more professional app.
     
  9. iGoon thread starter macrumors newbie

    iGoon

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #9
    Okay, you my friend are my challenge and with that in mind I'm going to try to address your comments. That said, I'm fairly well tanked up on a few glasses so cut me some slack where typos are concerned.

    First, if you read my very first post on the app it states quite clearly what the sources of the ratings are. Second, I'm am well aware of and respectful of Mr. Parker and consider him a invaluable resource. This application is not meant to hold your hand, it meant merely as a tool to guide you on your path.

    I'm going to defend my ratings here as a "real vintage chart" albeit in a format that is not conventional. Instead of rating things on a numeric scale I have, instead, chosen to go a more universal and intuitive route by using the emoticon. It is not traditional and it is, very much, off the beaten path. Your reaction is not one I haven't encountered already or anticipated and I respect your knowledge and insight.

    As stated, this is, for all intents and purposes, a new approach to a traditional system and, if looked at with an objective eye, ultimately no different than a more traditional wine vintage chart. It's just more accessible and appealing to a public that may be put off or intimidated by the existing system.

    I have to take issue with "it is visually unappealing" only insofar as design and concept ideas are concerned. This is an application designed for use in a darkened bar, restaurant or similar environment and the emoticon has greater power than a 1, 2 or 3. For intuitive use across the board it is universal. Everyone understands the difference between a smile and a frown whether they are in Tokyo or Iceland.

    Finally, I do agree with you that a greater level of detail is in order and I am working on that diligently where updates are concerned so that suggestion is duly noted.

    I don't want to come off combative so forgive me if I have but I believe in this strongly and want to do what I can to help promote a clearer understanding of where it's coming from and what its intentions are.

    So, with that in mind... thank you for the feedback! It is very much appreciated!
     
  10. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816

    iVeBeenDrinkin'

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #10
    I don't need to pay anyone money to help me pick out a good wine. I don't know if you have ever heard of corkage but, that is my insurance against bad wine.
    No offense, but, I will not be buying your app.

    If you would like my advice on Rhones, Spanish, Australian, or Italian wines, I am happy to help.
     
  11. iGoon thread starter macrumors newbie

    iGoon

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #11
    You good sir, have a profile name I can and do respect. :D In return I'd hope you'd grant me the bare minimum and presume I know what corkage is. For the love of god man, I've just launched a wine app.

    No offense taken where the app is concerned and I would love to hear any and all thoughts you have on Rhones, Spanish, Aussie and Italian wines.
     
  12. iGoon thread starter macrumors newbie

    iGoon

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #12
    Italy in particular would be of great interest. She is my weak spot. That said, I'm big on Fruilli and neighboring Croatia and Slovenia. They're doing some crazy stuff that I'm loving.
     
  13. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #13


    1) Regarding source of data for your apps. I did read what you wrote, and you couldn't be any more "vague". And I quote, "The ratings have been gathered from publicly available vintage information, direct reports from regions, news reports and weather and growing conditions." I find it hard to believe that you personally went out to an possibly infinite number of sources of public news reports and vintage information and somehow all that data agreed with each other in such a way that you were able to OBJECTIVELY aggregate that data in a clear cut black and white manner with no "grey" areas that allowed you to come up with your rating system. I'm sure you obtained the data, most likely from a single source or more than one source if you obtained data for French wines (from a single source) specifically vs. New World Wines (from a different source) for example. That is why I for one would like to ultimately know the source of your data. To simply state what you did in such a vague and broad stroked manner, will definitely not got anyone interested in wine to seriously consider your app.

    2) As for you point in regards to the design of your app and the usage of emoticon icons to denote ratings, and the fact that it was a conscious decision to be less traditional......I understand your point. However, you also mention the following reason for your non traditional design choice as, "It's just more accessible and appealing to a public that may be put off or intimidated by the existing system." I don't agree with your statement. I believe that most wine afficionados if not all who are serious and passionate about wine would demand and require that traditional approach simply because it offers a far greater level of detail and information that your "simple" system cannot match. When I select wines, yes, I would like to know what regions had "great" years but also some additional data on if that particular year has now matured or is still immature and needs to sit in my cellar for another year or two for example. And to the public who are turned off by the traditional approach, they probably don't know enough about wine or care enough about wine to want to or even know how to consult and apply the data from a vintage chart in selecting wines. They will probably roll into a wine store and just purchase anything based primarily on price and possibly what the store owner might recommened. To expect them to purchase your app, then you're marketing your app to the wrong crowd.

    also, to say the look and feel of your app is to assist people in darkened bars, I don't even know how that creeped into your thought process. The iphone/itouch screen is plenty bright, there will be no issues with anyone with any app in a darkened environment.

    Finally in regards to your point about emoticons having "greater power than 1, 2 or 3." and that "Everyone understands the difference between a smile and a frown whether they are in Tokyo or Iceland." How can 5 levels of distinction as you have in your method have more "power" than a numeric scale from 0-100? You have me at a loss with your thought process here. As I mentioned in my previous post, with your method, you basically assume and imply that two regions in a given year or across years with identical "faces" would essentially have the same resulting wines with no greater level of distinction. However on a numerical scale, the difference between those two regions or years could have a significant point swing (if i was to convert your 5 level system into a 100 point system, we are talking about a possible 20 point swing within the extremes of any given level) and that is a huge difference that cannot be overlooked or underestimated. Also, yes, everyone understands the difference between a smile or frown worldwide, but seriously now what exactly is the quantifiable difference between a smiley face with teeth on your scale vs a smiley face without teeth showing? It means very little to me, and is confusing at initial glance. But i guarantee you, everyone will understand the difference between an 80 pt region/year vs a 98 pt region/year much more effectively because not only does the higher point region/year imply "better" wine but also provides a point of reference in terms of by what margin the higher point region/year is better than the other region/year being compared against.

    With all of the above said, I do honestly believe your approach is flawed because there really isn't a market for non wine lovers for this type of app (and it seems your scale was designed primarily with this non existent market in mind), and for your most logical market, the wine aficionados of the world, you really need to provide a more detailed scale as well as additional data on maturity for example.

    I can google quite a number of sites, robert parker, wine magazine, wine enthusiast, etc. among them and download a .pdf version of their "respected" wine vintage charts and transfer it to air sharing or datacase for quick access on the go, and have a much more effective and robust wine vintage chart vs what you are offering. And I don't have to worry about the validity of the data and I can get all this for free. For you to charge money, I believe you need to at least equal this and possibly offer more. And by more, I mean search capability where i type/select a region and/or year and app returns appropriate data and/or ability to access/filter from multiple sources as opposed to just some big graphic chart with your way over simplied rating system that I would need to scroll around.

    However, all of the above is just my personal opinion and I wish you luck.
     
  14. iGoon thread starter macrumors newbie

    iGoon

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #14
    I appreciate your feedback and respect the fact that this isn't for everyone. I'm dedicated and hopeful and sincerely want to try something new with the knowledge I have gathered which is ever evolving, what I believe to be respectable and, I hope, ultimately helpful and genuine.

    In the end, I'm grateful I've garnered this much attention. It's a compliment and I welcome it. All things considered, I'm kinda jazzed we're having a wine geek conversation on MacRumors if you want to know the truth. ;)
     
  15. iGoon thread starter macrumors newbie

    iGoon

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #15
    Thank you for your feedback... I want this application to be useful to everyone from the beginner to the more advanced and if you find it helpful it's on the right track...

    I'll keep your comments on the pop up screen in mind and, since you mention it, put it out there to people for a vote. I'd assumed some navigational tool at the onset was necessary but maybe not?
     

Share This Page