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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.

Read the full story.

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

Comments (4)

Kevin wrote:
05.12.06 at 7:05 PM

I think a simple kiosk in the grocery store would be better, but this is still intriguing. I'd prefer the default have been Pinot or Riesling, much more versatile choices than Chardonnay IMHO.

I don't eat tuna casserole, but if I were...I'd probably go with an Albarino or a dry Riesling from either Alsace or Australia.

Michelle wrote:
05.17.06 at 7:42 AM

I blogged about this a few days ago as well. I'm also sort of a gadget geek and am really intrigued by the idea. What bothers me about this particular service is that it is sponsored by Hardy's. Therefore the return replies read, for example, "Try a Hardy's VR Shiraz." I wish it was an independent entity, leaving the consumer to decide on their own branding. In theory, of course, the consumer will say "Oh a shiraz" and not worry about whether or not it is Hardy's.
I love the general idea though.

Blair wrote:
05.24.06 at 6:14 AM

It's kinda similar to the service that Epicurious has, in which a recipe is emailed to you from the website. It comes with a wine recomendation. The catch is that it is always a Turning Leaf wine.

Hello Vino wrote:
02.03.09 at 9:15 AM

We've just launched a wine pairing and suggestion service using text messaging at http://www.HelloVino.com - simply text the word "HELLOVINO" to the number 368266, and you'll receive a reply instantly, asking you a few simple questions to make a wine pairing recommendation.

We've also taken a lot of time to offer hundreds of meal options, since there are so many ways to cook meals (flavors, spices, sauces, etc.). Hopefully this helps anybody standing in the wine aisle with making an educated selection for their wine purchase.

P.S. Available in the U.S.A. !

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