Let's wrap up this week with a quick look at a couple of wine-related computer programs I've recently spotted on the Web. (I have no connection with these programs or their producers, but pass them along on the assumption that we all like wine and know how to use computers, or else we wouldn't be "talking" here today.)
First, a report from my pal Randy Resnick - an American in Paris who loves wine and knows a great deal about computers - who highly recommends AvosVins for Windows, a Quebec-built shareware program that can be used to keep track of your wine collection or, if you don't collect wines, to organize and save tasting reports on the wines you've enjoyed.
AvosVins for Windows makes organization easy, Randy says, by using "customizable graphic racks" that create a virtual wine cellar on your computer screen, showing the actual locations of wine bottles and a user-friendly interface for entering information. "You can insert or pull bottles when you buy/consume them," he said, adding, "The tech support is excellent. They answered E-mail immediately and solved a minor problem within a day."
A downloadable trial edition (4.09 megabytes) is available in English, French or Spanish. Cost to register the shareware program is $54.95 Canadian, about US$35 or 39 Euros. The AvosVins for Windows English-language home page is:
The second program looks interesting enough to make me almost wish I hadn't discarded my old Palm Pilot in favor of the PocketPC. The Wine Enthusiast Guide 2002 for Palm OS is a collaboration between LandWare, a New Jersey software company, and Wine Enthusiast, a wine magazine that has been earning increasing respect in the past few years.
This program operates on handheld computers using the Palm operating system. It offers a quick and easy-to-use database containing information from Wine Enthusiast on more than 9,000 wines from around the world including ratings, retail prices and reviews. It also features an extensive dictionary of wine terms, and a program to help you keep track of your own wine collection or tasting notes.
With its capability to search quickly for specific wines using any combination of wine type, grape, region, price or rating to zero in on just the wine you want, this could be a handy tool to have in your pocket at the restaurant or wine shop.
Wine Enthusiast Guide 2002 for Palm OS is available on CD-ROM for $29.95 (available for Windows, Macintosh or Unix desktop) or on a rewritable Palm expansion card for $34.95. A demonstration model (1.42 megabytes) may be downloaded from the Website,
Both these programs are included among New and Noteworthy items recently added to our Favorite Wine Links,
You'll find lots more wine-software Websites listed there in the "Software" category,
If you have other favorites to suggest for review, please drop me a note at email@example.com and let me know.Administrivia
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All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.
Friday, April 19, 2002
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.