Which Drinking App is Right For You?

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Have you ever been overwhelmed by an extensive wine list at a restaurant, or wished you could serve your guests a more creative cocktail? Luckily, there are now apps that can not only help you make the right wine pairing decision when you are out on the town, but also those that can offer creative twists on cocktails for which you may already have the ingredients lying around the pantry. The following drinking apps are designed to help make you drink like a grown up, and not just opt for the cheapest booze on the menu like back in your college days.

The first drinking app on our list is for those who like to go out and enjoy a nice wine with their meal. Vivino is an app that is great for picking a winner from a wine list. With a community of over 11 million wine drinkers, you can upload a picture of a wine list and get instant ratings next to the name on the list. The database on Vivino contains over 5 million wines, which means you are more than likely to find a highly rated wine to go perfectly with your meal. Not only can you snap photos of wine lists to see ratings, but you can also take a picture of the wine label to see reviews, ratings, and the average price per bottle. This app allows you to be the wine aficionado at your table, regardless of your experience.

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Our next drinking app is one that is better suited for when you are at the store and wanting to pick out the right wine for your dinner party or holiday celebration. Hello Vino is an app that is best for wine pairing recommendations. Hello Vino will ask you simple questions to generate recommendations by taste, flavor pairing with meal, by occasion, or by region. The app also includes a wine label recognition feature which allows you to snap photos of labels and get information about the origin and flavors of that wine. You can also use this drinking app to create My Wines lists to save notes about your favorite or least favorite wines.

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For the beer drinkers out there that prefer a cold glass of suds over some fancy wine, Untappd is the answer. This drinking app allows you and other users to review and rank beers that you have tried, leaving you with a handy database of favorites. It is sort of like Yelp, but for beer. With over 600 thousand people using Untappd worldwide, the app offers suggestions based on your ratings, and shows you what popular beers are on tap at bars near you. With so many micro and craft breweries popping up in the past year, Untappd can help you filter through the clutter so that you never have to taste a beer that you do not like ever again, unless you just want to give it a bad review.

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Now that we have discussed apps for the wine and beer drinkers, what about those of us who prefer a nice cocktail? Mixology is a free app that also has a paid version that removes ads. Mixology includes a “liquor cabinet” feature that allows you to enter the ingredients that you have on hand to give you cocktail options. You can search by ingredients to find drinks that you can make with your favorite base or mixer, and then rate and review the recipes with comments. The ‘Top Rates’ section of the app changes every 30 minutes based on what ratings you assign to certain cocktails. Perhaps the most convenient part of Mixology is that it includes pictures so that you can see what the finished product is supposed to look like. If you find a recipe that you enjoy, add it to your favorites list and use it again at your next party.

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The Nerds’ personal favorite drinking app is 8,500 Drink and Cocktail Recipes Free. What this app lacks in appealing names or catchy headlines, it more than makes up for with its great library of cocktails with detailed instructions. You can search cocktails by name, scroll through an alphabetical list, search by ingredient, or based on category such as shots or martinis. The specific instructions walk you through each step, but there are no photos to let you know if the finished product looks right. This app is great for bartenders who are learning to make drinks, or for when there is a drink order that they do not recognize. Another feature of this drinking app is the ability to add drinks to your favorites list so that you can come back to them later.

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No matter what your drink of choice is, these drinking apps will help you narrow down your options so that you make not only a delicious choice, but also a unique one. By taking advantage of these drinking apps, you can start to drink like a grown up no matter how much experience you have when it comes to the responsible consumption of alcohol.

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.

Video Transcript

Marianne: …think it’s possible, and now they’re even making drinking better. Ken is with the Nerds on Call this morning.

Ken: Hey, now with Ryan Eldgridge, it’s always good to see you, buddy.

Ryan: Good to see you.

Ken: You always have great information, but I’m here to tell you, I don’t need any help drinking.

Ryan: Well we’re going to get you as sloshed as possible before your next segment, and Marianne will be like, “What did you just say? I can’t hear you.”

Ken: She’ll be like, “Nothing has changed. He’s exactly the same as he was an hour ago.” So there’s an app there, a series of apps that will help you keep your game up.

Ryan: All kinds of stuff. So I’m not a big wine person, but I like to look good while I’m looking at a wine list. You know, “Oh, this is a good one. This is a good label.” So the first one we’re going to talk about is over here on the monitor. This one is called Vivino. And the cool thing about this is you can scan wine bottles. It will give you ratings of the kind of wine that it is and give you recommendations. Also, you can scan wine lists. This is the best part. It’ll give you ratings and prices, so you can see if you’re getting gouged on the wine lists. I think that’s pretty cool.

Ken: That is pretty cool.

Ryan: So another cool thing you can do, is if you go over to…this app is called Hello Vino.

Ken: Okay.

Ryan: This one you compare wines based on what you’re going to do. For example, we have Thanksgiving wine picks and you can say “Oh, turkey preparations. Oh, I’m going to have dark meat.” What is that going to be like? And it will pair wines for you.

Ken: Is this the wine you’re supposed to drink while you’re preparing the turkey or both?

Ryan: Both.

Ken: Okay.

Ryan: Yeah, just drink it up. And this will give you, again, ratings, let you know what it’s like. You can also order it online.

Ken: Okay.

Ryan: It’s a huge database of over 11 million wines.

Ken: Wow. I have to say that is one area where I’m really intimidated, when it comes to wine. So that would be really useful.

Ryan: Well if you’re better at beer drinking, here’s a great one. This is called Untappd. And the great thing about this is it will not only show you great beers, but it will also show you where you can get them. And so you can say, “Oh, I want to check out the nearby bars and what do they have on tap.” And it’ll show you what’s popular.

Ken: Oh, this sounds fantastic, Brown Sugar.

Ryan: And so you can create a list of ones that you like or ones that your friends like. And so that way you know, “Hey, I like this.” And then once you’ve rated something, it’ll start telling you, “Oh, here are other beers that taste similar to that. And so you might want to try these out too.”

Ken: I like it.

Ryan: That’s pretty cool.

Ken: I like it.

Ryan: And so the next one we got here, let’s pull it up here real quick, is Mixologist. So I’m a budding bartender at home. And that’s where we set up our stuff over here. Mixologist is a great app. It allows you to go all kinds of different recipes.

Ken: Oh yeah.

Ryan: So here’s the big problem is everybody’s got a different wine or a different liquor cabinet. And so you can put all your different ingredients into the app, and it’ll spit out a bunch of recipes at you.

Ken: Oh wow.

Ryan: And so you can make these kinds of drinks.

Ken: That’s awesome.

Ryan: Or if you have a particular flavor you like, like my wife really loves cosmos.

Ken: Sure.

Ryan: She loves cosmos. And so what you can do is it’ll give you other recommendations and things that are like cosmos.

Ken: Yeah.

Ryan: And so we’re going to make one of these on air.

Ken: All right.

Ryan: So first things first, though. This is the one called a Chocolate Martini. This is her new favorite one. Essentially, it is Godiva Chocolate Liqueur. We threw a little bit of Peppermint Schnapps in there, just to give it a little Christmassy taste, and some vanilla vodka.

Ken: Let me smell it.

Ryan: And then we rimmed it.

Ken: And you rimmed it with the peppermint…

Ryan: We rimmed it with some…

Marianne: Well how cute is that!

Ryan: Candy canes and chocolate.

Ken: You can smell the mint and the chocolate.

Ryan: Oh, it’s good.

Marianne: Wow.

Ryan: It’s up to you if you want to give that a shot.

Marianne: It’s fancy. Hey Ken, what’s that over there? Hey, oh look. The poor just…

Ryan: Oh, no. Look at that.

Marianne: Oh. Hey. ASAP.

Ryan: But if we make a cosmo…

Ken: Very chocolatey, very minty.

Ryan: This is a great recipe for…

Ken: We’re going to wrap it up here. Are you going to make a cosmo?

Ryan: Yeah, we’re just going to throw in a little Cointreau, we’re going to throw a little…this is a great cranberry vodka…

Ken: Oh, it’s a cranberry vodka.

Ryan: Yup, you throw a little bit of that, about an ounce and a half of that in there, a little cranberry juice and lime juice. And you’re going to make up a great quick cosmo.

Ken: Oh, you’re going to take the lime juice in here, all right.

Ryan: Oh yeah. And you’ll go like that.

Ken: And so all these apps, the information going to be linked to our site at gooddaysacramento.com. You know you need some help to make it through the holidays with your in-laws…

Ryan: Oh, yeah.

Ken: …and relatives. I’m just saying, speaking truth here people.

Ryan: And then you just make a cosmo, and then you just…

Ken: Oh, look how beautiful it looks, though.

Marianne: Shaken, not stirred.

Ken: And then you rimmed it with the cranberry cosmo stuff.

Ryan: Yeah, cranberry cosmo for the rim. It just gives it that nice little sweet taste.

Ken: I have to say, even though they’re not very manly, it’s a beautiful color and it’s a really good… it’s a tasty beverage.

Ryan: I’ve seen guys at bars that will pour it out into a regular glass, so that nobody knows what they’re drinking.

Ken: Exactly, so nobody knows.

Ryan: I’ll drink a cosmo any day of the week. Those are good.

Ken: Always good to see you, Ryan. Thank you so much. Marianne, back to you.

Marianne: All right, very good. Looks tasty. All right, coming up here at eight, the hair doctors…

Video Transcript

Stephanie: Holiday party season is just about here, and that’s why we have our tech expert, Ryan Eldridge here to talk about apps that will help you drink like a grown up for the holidays.

Ryan: Yeah.

Stephanie: Tell me what you have.

Ryan: You know, so many of us are used to drinking like we are still in college where we are just drinking the same old things all the time, and when we go to a store or look at a wine list, we just glaze over, and we always defer to our friend who knows so much. Well, now we can be the one that knows so much, and be really nerdy about this stuff.

Stephanie: So we don’t have to go, “Oh, Mad Dog, Boone’s,” or that kind of thing.

Ryan: Oh yeah, I’ve heard that before. That must be good. So this is a great little app that you can use. It’s called Vino, and you can get it for your iPhone. It works really great because here’s what you can do with it, is that you can scan a particular label of a wine and it will give you ratings, as well as prices, and here’s one of the cool things is, you can scan a wine list. You take your picture of a wine list, and it will give you the ratings and also the average prices that you can get it, so you can see if you are getting gouged while you are looking at the price list or while you’re looking at the prices.

Stephanie: This is so cool.

Ryan: Isn’t that pretty cool?

Stephanie: Okay, I’m getting that.

Ryan: There’s 11 million users that use this and there are 5 million wines in the data base, so the chances of you being able to pick a bad wine and not look like an expert is pretty small.

Or you can also use this, let’s say you’re at the store, like I go to Costco, and they’ve got so many wines there and you go, “How do I pick a good one?” This is a great little app that will allow you to pick wine for occasions, or by region, or by taste. This one is called Hello Vino and you can get it at hellovino.com, and you can type in, well, I want to look at something in this particular valley, or this particular region, or I’m going to have fish, what do I pair it with, and it will give you recommendations, as well as ratings and prices. So it’s kind of a cool little app.

If you are not really a wine drinker and you are more of a beer drinker, and you’re thinking, “How do I pick out the 72 different micro brews that around me? How do I pick out one and not have to taste all the duddy ones?” Well, this is called Untappd, and it’s like Yelp, but for beer. So what it will do is it will give you different bars around the area and tell you what’s on tap at those bars, and then you and your friends can rate those beers and create a little list of ones that you like and ones that you don’t like. And it will also give you suggestions about other beers if you don’t know of certain kinds, based on the tastes that you have.

Stephanie: And Portland’s Brewvana, so this would definitely come in handy around here.

Ryan: Yeah. Now my house, I’m an amateur bartender. I really like to make mixed drinks. I’m not a big wine or beer drinker. So I found this app. It’s called Mixology. It’s free. You can also buy an ad-free version for $0.99, and this is great because it’s got a liquor cabinet feature where you can put all the different alcohols and different mixed drink things that you’ve got in your cabinet, and it will spit out recipes for you so you don’t have to do a lot of thinking.

Or if you like a particular kind of taste, like my wife really likes Cosmo, and if you like that kind of taste it will give you suggestions on different kinds that she’ll also like. And it will give you ratings and different ideas of what to choose, all in the app itself.

Stephanie: Ryan Eldridge, from Nerds on Call, thanks for those tips on how to drink like a grown up.

Ryan: Yeah, you’re welcome.

Stephanie: We have a link to his website on our website, kptv.com/moregdo.