Samsung

7 Wine journaling apps & more

For the love of Wine, how to keep track of all the fine bottles, grapes, tasting notes, lest alone the places we have visited over the years. Smartphone users who have been searching for Android mobile wine apps, wine searches, food & wine pairing. On a regular base I’ll browse for new versions, check and use apps, recently I found some new ones and revisited former app. The apps are downloaded on my Samsung Note 3 device. Here’s an overview of wine journaling apps & more. Note: The wine apps use different scoring systems, most commonly given out of 100, 20, 10 or 5 points.

7 Wine journaling apps & more

1. Vivino wine scanner         Android frad;ee or paid version €3.99

Vivino Wine Scanner Android apps op Google Play

Vivino

I had used Vivino a few years back and at the time one of the major issues was that the camera had focus problems, rendering the search function in operable. However after hearing and reading positive reviews I have re-installed the app. True enough the image-recognition is working perfectly, with the feedback from users they have made improvements to the app. A new feature I like is the recommendation of ‘Best wines under €15 right now’ as rated by Vivino users in The Netherlands (location based) over the past month. For e.g. it recommends a Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2012 Casa Nostra, €12 ranked #10, based on 86 user ratings with a 4.6 score. For wines it uses a 5-point scale for scores, the above mentioned  wine is rated 3 stars. The paid Pro version promises wine cellar management with My Cellar for wine collectors, haven’t heard or read specifically feedback on this function yet.

2. Wine Notes                         Android free or paid version €0.74

Wine Notes Android apps op Google Play

Wine Notes

This app really feels like a wine journaling app, Wine Notes has a clean UI, the background is very dark which might lead to viewing problems if used in darkened surrounding or with mood-lightning settings. The wine journal is more comprehensive and allows you to catalog your personal impression on your favorite wines. I have only started using Wine Notes recently and the camera works but lacks a bar-code scanner. It features a dictionary with 100 key terms and uses the 100-scale system, which is based on the American high-school marking system, so the scale starts at 50 (rather than 0) and popularized by the Wine Spectator magazine. Which means that the same Valpolicella wine used as example above has a 83/100 rating using the 100 score scale.

3. WS Wine Secretary          Android free      

WS Wijn en wijnkelder Android apps op Google Play

WS Wine Secretary

The Wine Secretary is an impressive wine journaling and wine search app; with an enormous wine database, wine details, local database of 1000+ wine regions and 70+ varietals, on- and off-line use. On top of all that, adding your own wine notes based on wine style. Like Vivino and Wine fog app following next, the Wine Secretary uses the same 5-point scale for wine scores too. For Dutch readers click for review: Wijn en wijnkelder app Nederlandse beschrijving.

4. Wine fog                                 Android free

Wine Fog Android apps op Google Play

Winefog

The Wine fog app is a new discovery and the first impression just on looks is that it lies in between Vivino and Wine Notes and has the 5-point scale for wine scores as well. Different from the other apps, Wine fog backs up all of your data into the cloud in case you switch phones or use multiple devices and is suitable for tablets.

5. Winesearcher                        Android free

Wine Searcher Android apps op Google Play

Winesearcher

Another impressive app built around Winesearcher price comparison engine, listing almost 7 million bottles from 50,000 merchants around the world. Assisting millions of people locate, price-compare and purchase quality wines, beers and spirits. If you want to find the best vintage or a wine shop nearby, just type in a name or take a snapshot and their label recognition scanner will quickly present you with ‘location based’ recommendations with the best value bottles and answers. They have added a a camera for snapshots still in beta mode, in the settings you can modify your preferences. Next to the where to buy information, is an overview of wine details, wine producer information with even a price history and search rank based on Wine-Searcher popularity of last year. Under the vintages you will find the year with and a 100 score scale rating and if available an average price.

Food and Wine pairing apps

 6. Simply Wine and food      Android free

Simply Wine and Food Android apps op Google Play

Simply Wine and Food

For newbies to Wine and Food pairings with a new feature, adding desserts pairing and wine of the day advice.

7. Wine find                                  Buy €1.76

Wine Find Android apps op Google Play

Winefind

The beauty of this app it fills in the  gap of wine and food pairing with feathered and furred game dishes, it has a comprehensive section with recommendations. “The app, developed in partnership with Halesown-based Smartphone Media, works as both a training tool for hospitality students, a point of reference for industry professionals and a bank of knowledge for anyone who loves food and wine but isn’t sure how to get the best out of both”. Excerpt Wine matching app Wine find taken from the Daily Mail’s interview with the app creator Amy Hollier, click on the highlighted link for full article.

& More

Just Wine

Just Wine Android apps op Google Play

Just Wine

This is a new app which I had downloaded a few months earlier, at first glance you’ll notice immediately the use of rich feature images very appealing visuals. However I was very disappointed with the QR scanner not working and not able to add wine notes, I decided to remove the app for now. Left a review comment on which I received promptly a reply from the developers.

Mobility Quotient 3 december 2014

Thanks for the feedback. The QR scanner works with url supported codes, unfortunately not every wine producer uses these. You can add your own wine notes from the main menu. Please check back soon, we’re adding tens of thousands of new wine records to search!

It is a promising app worth to mention and hopefully the feedback will speed up the next version with improvements.

Which of the above wine apps are you using already, share your findings and experience or your favorite by sending a comment on this post.

Apricot Almond Cake recipe

Apricot Almond Cake slice

Seasonal fruit in abundance, the fragrance, the colors, the shapes, taste and textures everything awakens all your sensory feelings. The thought of biting into juicy fruit stimulates a neurons overflow of flavors, watering my mouth instantly. In a flash sparking all the creative possibilities of how-to cook, bake, stew, grill, with knowing taste buds enjoying foresight of a gratifying experience. Mmmhmm….

Still contemplating on choosing the right recipe and ultimate dish, I started first by macerating the fruits in a little bit of sugar. While it is not necessary I like to add a liqueur to enhance flavor. The choice was made on the first bottle in direct view an almond liqueur this time, but other favorite choices are Cointreau or Grand Marnier both combine and infuse well too.

Over time I also experimented by using Cremoncello di Sicillia Mandarino liqueur, while enjoying Limencello original mostly in the summers this is a very nice surprise. Limoncello and other fruit variations are traditionally served chilled after meals in Italy, it is quite popular around the Mediterranean coasts. 

A sprinkle of sugar draws out their juices and mixing the fruits starts blending the liqueur, it creates a syrup and as you can see it coats the fruits with a beautiful gloss. After 20-30 minutes when you transfer the fruits on top of the cake batter, save the infused syrup as a glaze for later.

Fresh apricots, macerating fruits

Choosing  between Apricot-Almond Clafouti recipe by Eating Well and a Cake I choose the latter, since I started preparing in the morning. A Cake can be enjoyed cold anytime of the day, but a Clafouti is slightly cooled right after dinner enjoyed at its best. While Cherry clafouti is one of my favorites, haven’t tried yet using Apricots another reason to follow up soon while this fruit is at its peak.

Apricot Almond Cake

When I started mixing I discovered too late that I hadn’t had enough self-rising flour so I had to do a little improvisation by adding flour and one teaspoon of baking soda, it worked out just fine. After creaming the butter with sugar I added the eggs one by one and finally a drop of vanilla essence, when I realized I could have used almond essence too, will leave that for the next bake. Normally milk is one of the ingredients but I only had soy milk and used it without a problem in the batter. Having done that I need to mention that I used a commercial brand not my own homemade unsweetened soy milk which has a more pronounced bean flavor. For the inexperienced tasters it can have an impact on appreciating the final result in complementing tastes. Press the  apricots into the batter and drizzle a bit of the juice syrup on top and pop it into the heated oven.

Apricot Almond Cake - Springform

By the time the bake is nearing its end our kitchen is filled with an incense and I…..

“Heaven… I’m in heaven,
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak.
And I seem to find the happiness I seek,
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek.”                  – Cheek to Cheek by Irvin Berlin –

Apricot Almond Cake Recipe

This is one of my favorite recipes, without fail it turns out great every time with all stone and soft fruits. Once you macerate the fruits, the batter is easily mixed under 10 minutes since the magic happens during baking which takes around 50-60 minutes depending your oven. Just check towards the end with a wooden skewer whether it comes out clean.

The Springform straight from the oven, say no more, say no more. Let it cool slightly than brush the syrupy liquid on top of the fruits to finish off with a beautiful glaze.

Apricot Almond Cake - Plate

My hubby was in a hurry he didn’t realize that the baking paper lining was not yet peeled off the bottom. That didn’t stop him to cut a slice on the go and munching happily away.

 

Food photography: The images in this post were all made with a smartphone camera, Samsung Note 2 model. Pixlr image editing tools was used; to crop and a vignette no color or enhanced editing on the images.