There are times when reviewing an app is a pain. For this one, it has been a pleasure. Over the holidays I used the app to track the wines I would try during family and friends meals, which might not be the best use for the app. I liked Barista from the same developer -you'll love it if you have a expresso machine at home- and I'm a big fan of white wines, so this couldn't go wrong.
] is a wine management app that allows you to track the bottles you own and have drunk. It reminds me a lot of the desktop app Delicious Library
, where your collection of books and movies are presented on a shelf. In Cellar, You access your virtual cellar. Sort of a scrollable rack of virtual bottles.
Unlike your dirty real cellar, in the app a case of six bottles will be represented with one bottle, which saves space and let's you know how many you have left. Database apps like this always look good on paper, but let's see how they actually work. The critical point for me is how to enter data. Just tap the familiar plus sign to add a new bottle. The first menu, allows you to configure the appearance of the bottle in your cellar and to select the amount of bottles os this wine you own. Choose bottle shape, top colour, glass type and add a label from a picture.
In the Wine and Notes sections, you'll need to enter text, so it's easier to have a brochure with you instead of hunting for the info on the label. The text entry offers common choices, that sadly weren't too helpful with Spanish wines. However, Cellar learns regions and grape types, which solved the issue and felt more… like my own cellar.
When you have the iPhone on portrait you enter the search function, where you can drill down your collection, great to keep it handy. Let's say you are at a wine shop and want to know how much you paid for the same bottle… this is the app.
Eventually you will have a big selection in your cellar that you might have drunk. You can send it to the Garage or to the Trash for your records. The wishlist works in a similar way with a different background.
Cellar has a polished graphics that give it a lot of personality. Glasshouse apps knew how to make a different UI. It's a colourful and textured style out of Apple's guidelines, similar to Guided Ways'. You'll need to rotate, scroll and type (as less as possible), interacting with your wine in a way you just wouldn't with your bottles. Even for note taking, you only need to touch some predefined words, and not touch them.The search view appearing suddenly for the sake of it in portrait mode is abrupt, and the animations to switch libraries could be slightly overdone. But what the heck, this is innovative software, and the ability to customise every bottle to that extent got me convinced.
For wine enthusiasts, vintage collectors, or the average Scottsman
, this is a sweet app to have. This is version 2.0, I hope for the next update there is some internet database connectivity and/or some barcode scanner to input data. Thanks to the theiphoneblog.com
for giving away this app for review.