When I started to research for my "What's Appening: Food and Wine Apps" blog post, I was astonished to find so many new apps.
Mobile apps are available for iPhones, iPod touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. There are apps for many purposes. You can learn to cook, search databases of recipes, make shopping lists, and even check off shopping lists as you make your way down grocery store aisles.
While there are hundreds of food and wine apps, I picked out the best in the industry. Below are a few of my favorite food and wine apps that I currently use on my iPhone.
Best Food and Wine Apps
Restaurant apps encourage you to see digital menus, make restaurant reservations, learn about special events, chef’s bios. and link to e-clubs. Both individual and large chain restaurants have apps and more are being offered all the time. Most of these commercial apps are free but for some you will be charged anywhere from 99 cents on up.
Epicurious (mostly free): called the cook’s companion, you can sync your recipe box ($1.99 charge), find a recipe (out of 30,000), perform a food search for a main ingredient (if you have a pound of bacon, you can link to bacon recipes), keep a list of favorite recipes from Epicurious, and create shopping lists for their recipes.
Find Chocolate! (free): powered by chocomap.com, you can find over 2500+ chocolate shops all over the world. By giving the app your current location, the app gives you directions by way of Google Maps and you can also use the Review&Rate feature, add a favorite photo or a new shop.
Nat Decants (free):Natalie MacLean, wine journalist and registered sommelier, helps users pair wine with food. There are close to 400,000 food and wine pairings accessible from a drop-down menu of either food or wine. You’ll find Natalie’s articles, recipes, blog, glossary, a winery directory and more to be of top quality. Natalie knows her wines.
Open Table (free): top choice for making instant restaurant reservations and having them confirmed, includes restaurant suggestions and a map of restaurants.
Seafood Watch (free): this Monterey Bay Aquarium seafood app has Seafood Guides, Sushi Guides and Project FishMap, where you can add a good source for ocean-friendly seafood. The guides give you 3 categories: Best Choice, Good Alternative and Avoid. This app is quite helpful while at a restaurant or a fish market.
Sprinkles Cupcakes (free): this national cupcake chain opened the world’s first cupcake bakery in Beverly Hills, CA, in 2003 and has been baking ever since. If I want to see their special offerings, such as buy one, get one free, I call up their app. The app also has a bakery locator and you can virtually gift a cupcake!
Whole Foods (free): this national grocery store chain allows you to search for recipes by course, category or special diets. If tell the app a few ingredients you have on hand it will tell you what you can make, show you a store locator, and you can create a shopping list and favorite recipes.
WS/WineRatings+($2.99/month): definitive wine reviews of 270,000+ Wine Spectator ratings, including detailed tasting notes, release prices, and current auction information. Free content includes Vintage Charts with 3 components: score, drink recommendations and descriptions. And Wine Education includes how to taste various wines, how to store wine and how to order wine at a restaurant, among others.
For more food, wine and recipes, check out Sally Bernstein!