University of Adelaide wine staff and students have developed a free iPad app that will help consumers learn more about the wines they are drinking and keep track of their favourites.
'My Wine World' guides users through the assessment of wine appearance, smell, flavour, taste and the feel of the wine in the mouth. Users can record tasting notes and their own ratings in a searchable archive.
"We needed an educational tool to help our winemaking and wine business students develop their sensory skills," says Senior Lecturer of Oenology Dr Kerry Wilkinson. "This promises to be really successful as an e-learning tool, but then we thought, why should students have all the fun?"
The app was developed by Dr Wilkinson and fellow Oenology Senior Lecturer at the Waite Campus, Dr Paul Grbin, together with Viticulture and Oenology student Matthew Roussy. It is available to the general public through the Apple app store.
My Wine World starts with a wine tasting tutorial and uses touch tools with colour displays, sliders and input screens where wine drinkers can enter the sensory attributes of the wines they are drinking. They can add a photo of the label, and easily refer back and cross-reference at a later date.
"Traditionally, technical wine assessment involves recording detailed observations and perceptions of the sensory properties of wine with tasting notes usually recorded in a diary or journal. But these can be cumbersome, messy and easily lost or damaged," says Dr Wilkinson.
"This is an ideal tool for anyone who has a serious interest in developing their wine sensory skills, but also for those who just love wine but don't have much technical knowledge. And then there are plenty of people who simply like to drink nice wines but can never remember the ones they liked, or what they like about them.
"My Wine World makes it very easy to build up a searchable archive of your favourite wines, with star ratings and even photos of the wine labels."
Viticulture and Oenology student Matthew Roussy said he could have done with this app during his 10-year career as a sommelier.
"I knew that the need existed for a tasting note recorder and, now as a viticulture and oenology student, I realised I could help make My Wine World a very handy educational tool," says Matt.
My Wine World won second place in last year's Australian eChallenge, the annual entrepreneurial business planning competition run by the University's Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre. The app was developed with a small grant from the University of Adelaide's Wine2030 research network.
Explore further: Detecting and blocking leaky Android apps