I have two interesting wine sites to share with you today, both European and both tackling the ever puzzling how-to-describe-wine-in-a-way-that-makes-sense-to-normal-people issue in a unique way.
Aromicon (don’t mind their German) uses icons and animation to visually represent the wines in its database.
Click on a wine—the Lurton Syrah Rouge Les Bateaux 2007, for example—and we see that the wine tastes like swirling cartoon strawberries, blackberries, schokolade, coffee and three rotating almonds. Or are those the aromas? In any case, we also learn that the Syrah is rather sweet, has mild tannins and goes well with sleeping cow. Cynicism aside, this is actually an interesting concept. My main problem with it is that seeing a picture of a strawberry isn’t all that different than reading it on a label. I still don’t taste strawberries. For truly evocative wine imagery, I’ll stick with Chateau Petrogasm.
Dutch 94wines allows you to take a quiz and create a personal WineID, which then helps you choose from among their selection of French wines, each wearing only a color and a number.
I think the idea is that numbers and colors are easier to remember than names of wines. I think. I like the quiz and ID part, though, so I took their test. The first question made me choose between sushi and steak. The second between yogurt and chocolate. WTF? That’s just cruel. Obviously, you have to answer these questions not about your general taste preferences, but rather assuming you’re in the mood for something right then and there, so I took the rest of the quiz based on how I’m feeling this evening (steak, yogurt). My WineID is currently 1-crispy, 23-bold, 52-rich. Just like a wealthy old lady wearing a teeny bikini at the beach. Hm. There’s also this fancy thing where you can digitally attach a gift message to the bottle. Your friend just goes online and types in the code to see the message. Or you could, you know, write a regular note. One that can be hung on the fridge.
Glad to see these creative approaches to taste!