The world of wine and spirits can seem overwhelming and intimidating at times, but it doesn’t have to be. Thankfully, the following apps and online sites are there to ensure you’ll never be stuck for what wine to pick, cocktail to make or bar to visit, all without cramming for a sommelier exam.
Red or white? Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon? With a seemingly endless variety of wines to choose from these days, a little guidance can come in handy for matching the right wine to the right moments and to avoid ever having to drink a bad wine again. This app enables you to scan any wine label, restaurant wine list or wine brand name and instantly get wine ratings, reviews, average price, tasting notes and food pairings. It even enables you to purchase your favourite bottles online. We’ll drink to that. Available on App Store and Google Play for free.
Is there a budding mixologist buried in you somewhere? Whether you like your drink shaken, stirred or even add your own twist, this handy website enables you to get inventive and build your own cocktails at home from the ingredients you have on hand. You simply add an ingredient, hit enter and it generates the cocktails you can try with a full recipe list and instructions on how to work your magic and come up with the desired taste. With so many options, you could easily spend hours on this website, it is addictive, and before you know it you’ll be opting to spend a good night in, at the hands of your own bartending skills, rather than another shoddy night out.
App: Bar Roulette
Put a little spark of adventure in your life as this app plugs into Uber and Yelp to whisk you away to a random (highly rated) bar, keeping the destination a secret until you arrive. You just confirm your location, they send an Uber to pick you up, and once you arrive the name of the bar is revealed and you have a drink, or two, or three … you get the idea. Available for free download on the Apple App store.
Blog: The Alcohol Professor
The blog’s tagline reads “The class you always wanted to take” – and for those who fondly recall discovering their love for a tipple or two while in college, that line will most likely ring true. Of course it’s never too late to study or learn something new and The Alcohol Professor’s classes include everything from cocktail recipes and distillery walk-throughs to beer and wine lectures and even how-to videos. Suddenly the idea of attending class seems a whole lot more persuasive.
YOUTUBE: Distinguished Spirits
As YouTube drinking channels go, this one is incredibly well done, in both production and how clear and easy it is to follow. Learn how to make your favourite cocktails with these simple step by step videos that are narrated by possibly the coolest sounding man alive, who, by the way, remains an enigma. There’s even an entire series on how to drink like James Bond – and if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, the effortless cool of the narrator surely will. Could even be Bond in disguise. Remember, it’s shaken, not stirred… Cheers!