The Hello Vino wine pairing app, available for iPhone or Android, is a great app that I find handy for use at home or when shopping for wine or food. The app looks at pairing from several different directions, as shown on the home page (photo right).
One of the challenges to precise wine/food pairing is that not all wines made from the same grape or that come from the same region are identical. One winery’s Merlot can vary significantly from a Merlot produced just a short distance down the road, even when the grapes are grown in the same appellation or area. On the other side of the equation, not all steaks, burgers, pasta or other food are the same. Any food could be mild, spicy or have any other attribute that is dictated by the specific recipe used to prepare it. Hello Vino does a very good job of taking as many of these variables as practical into consideration when providing pairing recommendations.
Here is an example. I navigated through the app starting with “Wine with a Meal/Food” then clicked on “Meat” then “Beef” as shown below in the screen on the left. I chose “Filet Mignon/Tenderloin” (types of beef screen not shown) to get to the wine recommendation screen on the right. Hogue Cellars (Washington State/USA) came up as a highly rated wine, while Stag’s Leap and Robert Mondavi from nearby Napa Valley came up as Hello Vino’s Picks. A trick to this app is to use the “Get More Recommendations” button (bottom of screen on the right). I typically buy local, so I’ll keep hitting the button until local wines are displayed.
Use any of the home page buttons to search for wines appropriate for special occasions or other purposes.
The core function of this app is its pairing guide. There are other features available that could turn it into a place to keep tasting notes or assist with shopping. Accessing the full range of these features is the up-sell that seems to require label scanning. You can buy 5 scans for 99 cents or unlimited scans for $4.99. I recommend comparing Hello Vino to other apps that are more suitable for cellar management if that is your goal. For help with wine/food pairing at home or in the store, try the Hello Vino wine pairing app.