My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Choose the Right Wine With Approach Guides

2010/05/17by Donna Hull

home-page-approach-guides-wineDrinking wine while traveling the world is a fun way to learn about a country and its culture. But how do you choose from a list of wines printed in another language with grapes or appellations that are unfamiliar to you? Baby boomers traveling to Italy and Spain now have a secret weapon — Approach Guides Wine app for iPhone and iTouch (works with iPad too).

Jennifer and David Raezer (who are also authors of the popular Approach Guides series of cultural travel guides) designed this handy app that downloads to your iPhone or iTouch. The database currently includes wine information for Italy and Spain, with plans to add Chile and Argentina soon. Baby boomers will especially appreciate that they don’t have to be connected to the internet to access the Approach Guides Wine information. But the beauty of the application is the strategy the Raezer’s have developed for choosing a wine.

From the Home Screen, select grape variety, style, food pairing or region to begin your search (there are no specific bottle reviews). No matter where you start, you’ll eventually end up with a list of grape varieties. Each grape profile includes the wine style, tasting notes and information on the regions where the grape is grown. You’ll also discover food pairings plus vintage ratings, based upon the Raezer’s independent research.

This video from Approach Guides Wine explains the process:

I found the Approach Guides Wine app simple to use. A guide on the Home Screen provides directions for using the app plus an icon key. And any time an “i” appears in the upper right-hand corner of a page, more explanation is available. A feature also allows users to email tasting notes or share with friends on Facebook or Twitter (of course you’ll need an internet connection).

As Approach Guides Wine adds more regions to the database, existing customers receive free incremental country releases. Next to be added—Chile and Argentina.

Alan and I can’t wait to try out the Approach Guides Wine app on a trip to Northern Italy later this year. Of course it will also come in handy at our local Italian restaurant.

Are you curious about the Approach Guides Wine app? Of course it’s available at the iPhone App Store ($3.99). But how about winning one? To help celebrate My Itchy Travel Feet’s 2nd anniversary, Approach Guides Wine  is offering a free download to one of our readers. Which will you be drinking, red or white? Enter the contest by leaving your comment at the end of this post. Please include your email address for contact purposes. Contest ends on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 11:00 p.m. Arizona Mountain Standard Time. Winner will be announced as soon as possible. Remember, according to our general contest rules, the winner must be a U.S. resident and respond within 48 hours of receiving the notification email; or we chose another winner.

Disclosure: Approach Guides Wine provided me with a free download for review and as a contest prize.

UPDATE: May 25, 2010, 11:01 p.m.. This contest has expired. As soon as the winner acknowledges receipt of my email, I’ll make the announcement.

A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

May 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm

A great idea for helping you navigate foreign wines! I was completely lost in France!


MelanieHaiken May 19, 2010 at 5:11 am

What about Napa and Sonoma? I'm surprised those wine regions aren't high on the list… I'd love to see behind the scenes what regions they're planning to cover and the logic behind it. Glad they're tackling Argentina, though; many of my favorite affordable wines come from there!


Mark H May 19, 2010 at 5:14 am

This sounds an excellent app. Wine in Europe is a foreign language of unknown regions, grapes and styles.


Gossipka May 20, 2010 at 11:42 am

This app is great and really helpful. Thanks for sharing. Italian wines are so good.


Rita M May 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm

A nice Pinot Grigio, thank you very much!


Alisa Bowman May 20, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I have trouble with foreign wines because I have no idea what their grapes taste like. I would really like an app that is like a personal wine picker outer. I say that I want a dry red with a lot of flavor that costs less than X per bottle. Or and that I'll be drinking it with chocolate, and it finds a few recommendations for me.


Approach Guides Wine May 21, 2010 at 2:35 am

Hi Melanie,

Thanks for your comment! Napa and Sonoma are high on the list; however since we are only a three-person team, it is just a matter of bandwidth before we can get to them :-)

We launched our app with Italy and Spain for two reasons: 1) they both have many indigenous grapes that many people may shy away from ordering because they don't know anything about them, and 2) their wines are produced by tens of thousands of small producers (who may or may not have been reviewed) and we want to make sure that consumers never miss a great bottle of wine, just because it hasn't been reviewed.

We will continue development of our app to include wines from Chile, Argentina, California, Australia, New Zealand, and of course, France.

I hope that you find our app useful in choosing wines!

Jennifer Raezer
Approach Guides Wine


Approach Guides Wine May 21, 2010 at 2:45 am

Hi Mark,
Thanks for your comment! I hope that our app is able to help you learn about some new grapes and regions and to try something new!


Approach Guides Wine May 21, 2010 at 2:54 am

Hi Alisa,
I agree – it can be really difficult to choose among foreign wines when you don't recognize the names or know what they will taste like. Our app will help you narrow down your choices, choose a wine quickly and confidently, and best of all, learn something in the process!


lilyk May 26, 2010 at 3:31 am

I will be drinking white wine.


Luis Vargas r May 26, 2010 at 3:38 am

Great App. Red wine is full of antioxidants.


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