enjoying the right food and wine pairing

I’m a born again hipster. After years of fighting the urge to enjoy things like craft beers and avocado on everything, I realised it was the hipster life for me. I expanded my horizons and I tried new things. That led to lots of new foods and flavours I never enjoyed before. When I combined all of this with quitting smoking and the rebirth of my tastebuds, guys, I was in flavour country. I turned into the kind of guy who wanted to make sure when he cooked dinner, he was pairing the right wines with the right dishes. The problem was, I had no idea what I was doing.

So I did what I always did. I turned to technology to find a way of picking the right wine, every time. That’s when I found Vivino.

What is Vivino?

Vivino is basically Amazon for wine. It’s the biggest online marketplace for wine, but also boasts a mighty community of wine enthusiasts, a community with over 30 million users. From everyday grape drinkers to the finest sommeliers, Vivino’s community has them all. So what? Well, Vivino’s community means you can not only buy a huge range of wines online and get some help from people that know a lot more than you. You can also use the app to scan barcodes in the local off-license and get an expert opinion on the wine in front of you before you hand over your hard-earned cash.

How Does Vivino Work?

Over the past few years, Vivino and its app users have been rating and reviewing wines. Vivino also cleverly built an app which is not only insightful but incredibly user-friendly. If you want to pair wine with food, you’ve probably already thought about the simple choices. Having fish? Pick white wine. Having steak? Pick red wine. But food pairings can be much more complicated than that.

For example, would you put a sauvignon blanc with pork? Or should you pop a pinot grigio in the fridge to compliment your roast chicken? I’ve Googled it, and I don’t think either of those is supposed to work. Ultimately, I have no idea and that’s why I love Vivino.

So, when you’re in the off-license pondering foods and wines, ponder no more. Just crack open the Vivino app, and scan the label of the wine you’re looking at. The app will quickly be able to tell you the exact wine you’re looking at, before going into absolute overdrive on the information you’ll need to buy the right wine for dinner.

Buy The Right Wine Every Time

The principles behind Vivino are very simple. Every wine goes into a big database and then gets reviewed by a worldwide audience of wine fans with opinions. Because there’s a large number of aggregate reviews, you’re generally safe enough if you want to trust the public more than yourself. I know I do.

Buying the right wine every time is much easier when you use an app like Vivino because the sheer volume of information it gives you, but in a digestible manner, is incredible.

Review and Price

Once you scan the label, you’re first greeted with a star rating for your wine of choice and the average price you can expect to pay for it. Straight out of the gates, you’ll know if you’re buying quality or plonk and more importantly if you’re getting a deal or being robbed blind.

For me, this is the quick flash validation. I do rummage through the off-license for the right wine, but I don’t consume all the details. Instead, I’ll rapidly scan a few labels looking for a high-rating and price I’m happy with.

vivino wine rating

Further down the screen, you’ll also be able to read through individual reviews and, if you prefer, reviews of people you’ve friended within the Vivino community. You’ll also be able to see how the wine ranks globally.

Hint of Hipster

Scrolling down the screen, you’ll quickly start to see the information gets much more in-depth. You’ll get insights into the taste characteristics of the wine you’re looking at. Even if you’ve never taken part in a wine tasting in your life, you’ll be able to lean on the taste buds of people who do this week in and week out. The app also breaks down what people said about the wines.

Were they full-bodied wines? What was the sweetness of the wine? Which fruits, flavours and aromas were available. This is the real genius of the app if you’re a wannabe hipster like myself who likes to impress at the dinner table. You get a headstart and can call these features out yourself if you want to be that guy. I always want to be that guy.

wine characteristics vivino

A little further down, you’ll also see lots of facts and insights about the wine region your wine comes from. If all that’s not enough, beyond the styles of wine, you’ll even be able to see which grape varieties were used in the making of many wines. This type of granular detail won’t always be available, but when it is, you’ve got the ultimate collection of wine knowledge conversation fodder for the dinner table.

Food Pairings

We’ve arrived at one of the most important elements of the Vivino app. You’re serving up a cracking bit of steak, but the wine you’ve scanned is better matched with chicken. Move on and scan again. The app will tell you which foods are considered a good pairing with the wine you’ve scanned.

wine food pairings

Vivino: The Verdict

Vivino is one of those apps that’s been on my phone for years. I don’t pay for it, but there comes a moment or two every month, where my mind immediately turns to the app. I’ve often been seen scanning ten or more wine labels, looking for the best food pairing I can. People don’t always compliment the subtleties of my work, but I always notice how well everything compliments each other.

So if you consider yourself a bit of a foodie, download Vivino this weekend. It’ll empower you to enjoy food in a fun and effortless way and give you lots of stuff to impress your next set of dinner guests. Well, either impress or convince them you’ve now gone, full hipster. One or the other.

Vivino is a free app, available from both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

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