While I will never be mistaken for a wine expert, I absolutely enjoy a good glass of wine, particularly with a stellar meal. In an effort to track the wines I was drinking, and more importantly, to keep a record of those I enjoyed, I started using the Vivino mobile app last summer.
Learning and Enjoying Wines
The Vivino wine community website offers an up to date catalog with prices, stores, regions, grapes and reviews. Additionally, readers can check out features such as Wine News – which includes the current feature The Ultimate Galentine’s Day Music + Wine Playlist, Top Lists – examples include Best Wines Under $20 Now and Eco-Friendly White Wines, Wine Styles and Wine Offers.
Matua Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand  with dinner on a recent trip to Guam
And of course there is the mobile app. With the app you can take a photo of any wine label and instantly learn that wine’s rating, review, and average price; all supplied by Vivino’s 16 million users – the world’s largest community of wine drinkers. The app is available in the Apple, Google Play, and Windows apps stores.
Coffee and Wine Bar
At this point I have added forty-one wines. The app notes My Taste Profile is 34% Californian Red Blends, 21% Californian Pinot Noir, 12% Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, and 33% other. While I haven’t given any wines a 5 star rating, I have given a few – including Ghost Pines Pinot Noir , Matua Pinot Noir , and Opolo Summit Creek Zinfandel  – a 4.5 star rating. The lowest rated? Just 1.5 stars for Sutter Home Sweet Red .
If you’re a wine drinker and decide to check out the app, by all means, follow me and I’ll be sure to do the same. Salute’!
Stumbling Into a $391 Bottle of Wine
Update: Within a day of finishing this piece, the wife and I received a last-minute dinner invitation to our favorite restaurant, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. The wife of the couple we were dining with remembered a wine she had a couple years ago and asked the host if it was possible they had one in the wine room. It took the host a while to return to our table, but it turned out they did have a bottle … just one.
That wine? Gaja Barbaresco  Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy. The Wine Enthusiast offers the following: “Gaja’s classic Barbaresco is gorgeous in 2010, showing an intense perfume of violet, earth and ripe red fruits punctuated by balsamic notes. The palate delivers rich wild cherry notes layered with mint, cinnamon and eucalyptus. This is structured and elegant and will develop more complexity over time.” Indeed. This wine scored my first 5 star rating.
Although my friends were aware it was a pricey bottle of wine, they did not realize how pricey until the check came. While I would be hard pressed to part with $391 for a bottle of wine, it was a fantastic wine and a perfect accompaniment to my diablo shrimp, petit filet mignon – which is always cooked to perfection at Fleming’s – and an overall great meal enjoyed with friends.