Rise of the Machine

Taste BuddyThis weekend I’ve been in grocery stores, close to the spice racks, sneaking whiffs of cardamom, anisette and vanilla pods; migrating over to the butcher to smell steak and game and blood, before finding my way to the fresh fruit section to smell berries and fruits of all kind. Indeed, I’m calibrating my nose and palate for next three days in London: The London International Wine and Spirits Fair, where the Grape Thinking team will be hot in attendance, and bringing daily coverage to our readers from Tuesday through to Thursday. Will any of our readers be in attendance? 1500 producers all in a space the size of two football fields, simply aching for you to sample their stuff, sounds like heaven and to be honest – I don’t know if three days is enough.

I’ve just received a notification from http://www.tastingbuddy.com/, a new and innovative site that I learned about just this minute. It compels visitors to the site to use their new service which uses unique software on PDA devices to rank wines according to your preference. We’d been discussing a similar concept a couple months back at Grape Thinking, and while we were still thinking about it, the idea of a pocket-tasting guide has come into realization. It seems that the wine industry is assimilating to the digital era at an unpredictable speed, and if you have an idea, you need to act on it now, because someone else may get there before you. Tomorrow, there will be in excess of 1000 PDA’s walking around the London International Wine and Spirits fair, all using the Tasting Buddy Software on their PDA while connected to the Tasting Buddy database. Can you imagine the impact of this on the wine world? Tasting Buddy is going to build up an amazingly diverse and broad database of opinions over the next few days, and this is going to revolutionise wine scoring. In fact, they’re opening up a Top 100 Rose’ competition to the PDA’s, and for the first time in history, the Top 100 will be ranked in accordance to instantaneously logged user reviews.

I see this catching on big time. Over the next few years, perhaps wine makers will no longer bother submitting their wines to Wine Spectator for one person to taste… Instead, if you place your wine in an international tasting room attended by hundreds of people with software akin to Tasting Buddy, every person present will have the ability to score the wine on a wide range of attributes right the way through from packaging to actual profile and we’re likely to see many more meaningful recommendations emerging as a result. Such tastings en masse will also be revolutionary, in that it will give people the occasion to grow their knowledge, taste widely and gather in the same room as thousands of other people with a similar interest. I’m not sure if Tasting Buddy exists yet in the USA… but somebody better get onto the concept quick.

There are limitless applications for this. In fact, instead of filling in stock-standard customer satisfaction surveys, as PDA’s become more frequently used when the i-Phone is launched (where wine taste and music taste will perhaps become correlated), methinks that customer reviews will explode. You could rate a restaurant at the restaurant, as well as get a recommendation for a wine, movie or book at the spur of the moment when you get to a new city. By having a profile that allows you to share opinions with a global community of like-minded people, travel will be enhanced, as you will be able to have a local perspective wherever you go in the world. This means that ‘tourist-traps’ will suffer, whilst local industries will thrive… and we’ll all be on our way to being a community of people who think globally, and have the power and to act locally. Cheers to that!

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Posted in Wine | 10 Comments »

  • bluescientist

    Drats! It’s not available for palm treo??

  • bluescientist

    Drats! It’s not available for palm treo??

  • http://www.vinography.com Alder

    It’s hard enough jotting notes in a notebook while holding a glass at a big tasting, let alone trying to use a PDA device. Are these things waterproof?

    Haven’t seen the thing myself, so can’t comment more than that. I’d be surprised if it had any effect on the industry.

  • http://www.vinography.com Alder

    It’s hard enough jotting notes in a notebook while holding a glass at a big tasting, let alone trying to use a PDA device. Are these things waterproof?

    Haven’t seen the thing myself, so can’t comment more than that. I’d be surprised if it had any effect on the industry.

  • http://www.grapethinking.com Greg

    I think it will work once people own a PDA for themselves and access a site through their device to rate wine, food, and anything else. http://www.winelog.net is working on some mobile rating technology that works well for wine

  • http://www.grapethinking.com Greg

    I think it will work once people own a PDA for themselves and access a site through their device to rate wine, food, and anything else. http://www.winelog.net is working on some mobile rating technology that works well for wine

  • http://www.recipe4living.com Nancy

    I love this idea. I find it hard to remember to bring paper to a tasting, and now I can just download it. Another winning technology!

  • http://www.recipe4living.com Nancy

    I love this idea. I find it hard to remember to bring paper to a tasting, and now I can just download it. Another winning technology!

  • http://www.pinotage.org Peter F May

    I tried the Tasting Buddy software last year. The idea is good but there are a number of serious limitations imo.

    See my comments — with replies from the Founder of Tasting Buddy — at http://www.wine-pages.com/cgi-bin2/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=009577

    As for “Tomorrow, there will be in excess of 1000 PDA’s walking around the London International Wine and Spirits fair, all using the Tasting Buddy Software on their PDA while connected to the Tasting Buddy database. Can you imagine the impact of this on the wine world?” — so how many did you see in use Ruarri? Did you use it? How much impact ?

  • http://www.pinotage.org Peter F May

    I tried the Tasting Buddy software last year. The idea is good but there are a number of serious limitations imo.

    See my comments — with replies from the Founder of Tasting Buddy — at http://www.wine-pages.com/cgi-bin2/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=009577

    As for “Tomorrow, there will be in excess of 1000 PDA’s walking around the London International Wine and Spirits fair, all using the Tasting Buddy Software on their PDA while connected to the Tasting Buddy database. Can you imagine the impact of this on the wine world?” — so how many did you see in use Ruarri? Did you use it? How much impact ?

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