The future of choosing your wine

I confess. As I have become increasingly immersed in the pleasure of wine I find myself reading more about peoples perception of how a wine tastes (to them), interpretting their recommendations on whether the wine is excellent - good - or just OK, comparing multiple point scoring systems, and optimising differing drinking windows, to finally realise that I’ve probably just spent way to much of my time on not really still knowing if I should or shouldn’t proceed with a purchase. I generally class myself as adventurous in wanting to see the world through many different glasses of wine, but still have a hesitation every now and then as I want to make an informed decision and not feel like I’ve just ordered a bottle of red, white, or pink alcohol for the sake of it. In short I’ve come to realise that whilst that all these sources can loosely be classed as “wine data”, the premise of wine information availble is still very much driven my peoples aggregated perception.

So what if this decision could be driven from from something more scientific, something that was able to analyse and record the taste profile of a wine you liked, and then recommend something that is similar in character, but far from the same bottle? It’s frequently remarked upon that wine enjoyment is purely down to an individuals taste, so if the bottle of wine had a taste profile on the label that matched something that you had liked previously, would you still be as interested in what country / region the wine comes from, who the producer was, what grape variety was included, what vintage this was, whether I should drink now or sit on it for 10 years (totally impossible for me anyway)? For many this might possibly take the pleasure out of of researching and getting to know wine away completely. For the next generation of quaffers however the sheer immediacy of making a snap choice could be pivotal in wine sales of the future.

I stumbled across this gadget in the press that has made me realise that this is either the best wine gimmick going, or it’s a game changer in helping us choose our wine moving forwards.

What do you think to this device and concept?? Do you think the wine industry would benefit from this level of disruption??

My view is that the device is useless.

Firstly there is the obvious issue of needing to buy the wine before you can use the device to see whether you should like it or not.

Secondly, if you go into the details, the device merely measures light wavelengths - effectively the colour. Then it uses correlations to convert the colour into strength, acidity, tannins and maturity. I don’t doubt that correlations can be “scientifically” established as they claim, but find it totally beyond belief that any correlations are strong enough to be useful.


For me, this is where the problem lies. The beauty of wine appreciation for me is the sheer diversity of varieties, styles and age that can lead to an almost endless diversity in the product that ends up in your glass - I see that as opportunity for exploration and appreciation, not as a barrier to being able to enjoy wine with a similar profile.

I would suggest if someone wanted their wine to always be similar, then go with a mass produced branded product and leave the fun of exploring to others!

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