One of my favorite ways to spend my free time is going out with friends to go wine tasting or trying new local craft beers. Most wineries give you a piece of paper detailing the selection of wines that you taste but I always manage to (soberly) misplace them. As someone who loves to organize just about everything in their life, I decided to find some apps for my phone that would help me track my favorite wines and beers. Here are my favorite wine, beer, cocktail, and non-alcoholic drink-related apps. The wine and beer apps are great for remembering your favorites, while the other three apps provide recipes for drinks that you can make at home!
Untapped is the perfect app for anyone who loves craft beers. The app allows you to document all of your favorite beers by writing notes, taking pictures, and rating the brew. You can also check-in to the brewery or restaurant where you’re having the beer. My favorite thing is that you can connect the app to your social media and see which beers your friends love (or hate) … and which of your friends might love beer a little too much.
I admit it: I love really good wine. Sure, I’m also a sucker for cheap bottles, but I love to treat myself to a really good (not necessarily expensive) bottle of wine.
We all collect things, right? Well, my name is Nicole and I love wine. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that I “collect” wine since I grew up in Sonoma. I use the word “collect” loosely. It really comes down to the fact that I have a few wineries that I really like and tend to hoard wine from them (aka joined wine clubs like I showed yesterday). One of the nice things about being in a wine club is that every now and then they throw in a really nice bottle of wine. The kind of wine that you keep around for another 5-7 years waiting for it to peak. Okay, I realize that this sounds a bit snooty but I really do love the idea of opening a bottle after letting it age for a while. So to avoid opening up one of those nice bottles, I try to keep my wine somewhat organize using these 3 guidelines
I keep all my nice bottles on the bottom row of my wine rack. That way I won’t accidentally open one up.
I put a green sticker on all of the bottles that can opened at any time (aka the 2 Buck Chuck’s of the collection
I keep all my wine in a little spreadsheet. I know: super lame. BUT my spreadsheet is the only thing that makes sure that I don’t open up one of those nice bottles before it peaks. If you’re interested, I created a copy of my wine collection inventory sheet for download (excel file). I keep track of the basics: winery, vintage (year), type of wine, and when I should drink it. You could totally add other categories to a spreadsheet:
Sweet or Dry
Body (light / medium / full)
Intensity of flavor
If you’d give up a foot for another bottle
All (especially the last) are totally legitimate things to consider.
A couple of weekends ago, we went out to Julian, CA after our camping trip in Anza Borrego Desert. The intention was to go out to one of the many apple orchards surrounding the town and do a little picking. Without knowing it, our trip matched up with the town’s Apple Festival – Apple Days. While it was cool to see the festival, the normally sleepy town and orchard was packed with more people than I could have imagined. In all, we had a wonderful time picking a variety of apples, checking out some of the local art, and doing a couple of wine tastings at two wineries within walking distance (I just couldn’t help myself). On a related note, have you ever tried apple wine? One of the wineries we went to was J Jenkins, and they had a fantastic apple wine (Dolcezza) that I just had to buy a bottle of.
Here are some additional pictures from our apple picking adventure. We have so many apples now! On Wednesday I’ll share a couple of recipes I’ve been experimenting with.