Go ahead, be a wine snob

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Food editor Russ Parsons waxed poetic about his iPhone just after he got it and was checking out some food-friendly applications for it.

Ahem, Mr. Parsons, you may be a newbie to the iPhone, but I’ve had one since the beginning. No, I haven’t traded up yet (not until AT&T gets its act together re its 3G network), but I’m having fun rifling through the seemingly endless new iPhone applications.


One night in a dark restaurant, my sister whipped out her iPhone to read the menu — with the use of a $.99 application called iLight that turns the iPhone’s screen into a light.

OK, I need that.

So far, I’ve barely dipped into the hundreds of applications available, some quite useless. But, I am using Recorder, which works like a dictaphone, except that you can e-mail sound files to yourself or anybody else. I also came across an application called WineSnob that works pretty well to catalog tastings on the go.

Enjoying a great bottle of wine at someone’s house for dinner? Snap the label’s photo, look up that obscure grape varietal and enter your tasting notes and rating in the database, where it will be saved for future reference.

Forget using the application’s list of “tasting tags,” though, which are distressingly vague — floral, melon, cooked veggie, round, flabby, light, etc. Fortunately, you can type in your own tasting notes and leave WineSnob’s suggested adjectives in the dust.

There’s also a handy glossary for those who are stumped by terms such as aftertaste, carbonic maceration, legs or tartrates. And a section of wine quotes, should you be susceptible to, well, wine snobbism.

— S. Irene Virbila