Best Wine Apps to Help You Pick a Perfect Bottle

Updated Oct. 27, 2023 8:00 a.m. PT

Written by 
Matt Elliott

David Watsky

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Matt Elliott Senior Editor

Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he’s not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.

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David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen

David lives in Brooklyn where he’s logged more than a decade writing about all things edible, including meal kits and meal delivery subscriptions, cooking, kitchen gear and commerce. Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he’s toiled in nearly every aspect of the eats business from slicing and dicing as a sous-chef in Rhode Island to leading complex marketing campaigns for major food brands in Manhattan. These days, he’s likely somewhere trying the latest this or tasting the latest that – and reporting back, of course. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.

Expertise Kitchen tech, cookware, small appliances, food innovation, meal delivery and meal kits.

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Wine shopping can get overwhelming due to the wide variety of options available in the market. Having a local wine store with knowledgeable and honest employees certainly helps, but not everyone has access to professionals. Fortunately, there are tons of wine apps out there that are packed full of information and reviews to help you find the perfect bottle for any occasion. To help you make the most of them, we’ve rounded up the best wine apps currently out there, to help you choose.

I’m still getting my sea legs when it comes to picking out wine, and the local liquor store tends to make my eyes cross. Armed with these excellent and (mostly) free wine apps, I’ve become a more confident wine buyer, finding better wine that’s in my wheelhouse and discovering new varietals. And since most of these apps let you compare wine prices both from online and local vendors, you’ll never overpay for a bottle again. 

These are our three favorite wine apps for 2023. 

Read more: Best Wine Clubs for 2023

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Why we like it: The most crowdsourced reviews and ratings along with tons of information in a user-friendly app. Plus, it lets you order wine for delivery. 

I will never walk into a wine store without this app, and you shouldn’t either. There are a number of apps that let you scan a wine label to get information about the wine, but we found the Vivino app provides the most useful information. It also has more users than any other app (the website says more than 61 million), so you’re getting extremely valuable crowdsourced ratings and reviews, even on some pretty obscure bottles.

After you take a photo of a label, it gives you an average rating and price so you know if you are holding a good wine at a good price. You can also scan the text of a wine list should you find yourself clueless in a restaurant. In addition to rating and price, Vivino provides notes about the type of grape used in the wine, info about the winery that made the wine and a variety of additional rankings for that wine within its winery, region, country and world.

You can read reviews from other Vivino users and add your own, but what I find fun and interesting are the winemaker’s notes (as in, “hints of toffee, cherry, fig, chocolate”), vintage comparison (how it stacks up to other years’ wines), and food pairing suggestions (beef, lamb, spicy food). The wines you scan are saved to a My Wines list and will eventually build a taste profile, and the app will recommend other wines that fit your profile. You can also build a feed, where you can follow friends who use the app as well as wine enthusiasts and pros. It also recognizes the labels for beer and spirits but with less success than wine labels.

And since I last looked at the app, Vivino has added the ability to buy wine through the app or web platform and have it delivered to your door. Shipping generally costs between $12 and $15 per order but is free if you spend a certain amount. The free shipping benchmark varies based on the seller but is typically around $160.

Vivino is available for iOS and Android.

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Why we like it: No account sign-up required, and it’s skilled at scanning beer and spirits in addition to wine.

The free Wine-Searcher app lets you get to scanning right away. Some apps force you to pay for scanning privileges and most require you to create an account. With Wine-Searcher, you get free and immediate scanning capabilities. It shows you the average price for the bottle you scanned along with information about the grape, region and food suggestions. 

It also shows you critic scores and will list any prizes the wine has won, but you’ll need to pay $9 a month via an in-app purchase for the Pro-level app if you want to scan more than 50 labels and get more critics notes and prices from more than just sponsored merchants. It also recognizes beer and spirits labels and was better at recognizing spirits than Vivino.

One of my favorite features is that this app directs you to both online sellers and local brick-and-mortar merchants that carry the wine you’re looking at and allows you to easily compare prices before you buy. 

Wine-Searcher is available for iOS and Android.

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Why we like it: Wine Spectator is the Bible of wine ratings. If I ever begin to amass a wine cellar’s worth of wine, the WineRatings Plus app from Wine Spectator magazine will prove useful. Signing up for the monthly subscription ($3, £2.29, AU$3.79) gets you Wine Spectator’s ratings and reviews, useful how-to articles and videos, as well as interesting vintage charts and a feed of wine-related news articles

I like perusing the vintage charts to see if the bottle I’m considering buying is from a good year for that particular region and grape. Since I’m a wine novice, I found a number of the how-to articles and videos to be illuminating, particularly those on how to pair wine and food.

Wine Spectator WineRatings Plus is available for iOS.

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Editors’ note: This story was originally published on Feb. 9, 2015, and has been updated with new apps and information.

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