Wine apps are a dime a dozen these days. Snap a shot of a bottle label with your smart phone and you can call up oodles of info about the wine (including where to buy it), share it, write notes about it … The same apps let you keep track of all the bottles you have in your cellar (or, let’s be honest, your closet) back home, and much more. But my newest favorite wine app doesn’t let you input, organize, or track anything at all. It aims to teach. And would that old-fashioned classrooms were this amusing.
The subject is Washington State wine; the instructor, comedian Greg Proops—a.k.a., The Recommendeuer. This is an app as complex as a good wine itself, anchored by hilarious Proops videos, where Ricky the raccoon lurks. Sadly, he’s dead—a state apparently self-inflicted when he was forced to drink a wine that wasn’t from Washington. Woven among the acts are pages of solid facts about winemaking in the state. You can take dives as shallow as you like (a list of the state’s main grape varieties) or as deep (to the ancient geologic history that created promising soils, or the diurnal temperature swings that produce intense, ripe fruit that still has vibrant acidity).
In my case, the app is preaching to the choir. I’m already a huge fan of this second-largest wine-producing state in the country (behind California—admittedly, by quite a bit). I’ve criss-crossed the Cascades to kick the dirt in the vineyards in the dry, eastern part of the state, which produces the bulk of the wine. I’ve sipped my way from tasting room to tasting room in the terrific wine town that is Walla Walla. Still, I couldn’t stop clicking my way through this app, a completely entertaining refresher course for those already familiar, a dynamite intro for everyone else.
Developed initially for the iPad, “The Recommendeuer” can be downloaded free from Apple’s iTunes store: https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id727365646?mt=8
A version for iPhones is on its way.