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05.12.2006

Wine Pairing Advice Via Text Message

texting_wine.jpgSo how many times have you found yourself standing in the supermarket with the ingredients for a dinner wondering just what wine would be a good match? Whenever I'm in the grocery store, I always like to watch how people do their shopping in the wine aisle. I see a lot of bewildered staring, biting of lips, and tapping of feet as people scan the shelves looking for something they're not very sure about. I have to restrain myself from running up to them, throwing my arms around them and saying, "Look, it's gonna be OK. I'm here to help." People really struggle with wine pairing.

I'm not sure this is the answer to their prayers (heck, I'm not even sure if it works) but thanks to a tip from Luxist, I learned that it is now possible for some UK consumers to get wine pairing advice by SMS text messaging.

As a bit of a tech geek, I think this is pretty cool if it actually works right. Apparently you type in some ingredients or the name of a dish, and send it off to a special number, and within seconds it sends a reply with a particular varietal of wine. Nifty, eh? They've apparently got it programmed so that the default recommendation is Chardonnay, so even if it doesn't recognize what you are eating, you get something back.

I'm optimistic that this sort of technology may eventually be really useful to folks, especially as computers get better about understanding our mis-spellings. Of course, when the dishes get complicated (seared horse mackerel over snow pea broth with pork sausage polenta and crispy shallots) even your average wine store employee would be hard pressed to make a decent recommendation. But for a large number of people who wouldn't have the foggiest idea about what to serve with tuna casserole, this could be just the ticket.

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Come to think of it, what DO you drink with tuna casserole?

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud