For many of us, wine remains an enigma. Selecting the right bottle at a wine store is an intimidating undertaking that typically boils down to just two decisions: red or white, and the price you are willing to pay. From there, the purchase may be predicated on which bottle has the nicest label.
A new app called Next Glass endeavors to make wine purchasing not only a whole lot easier, but also much more scientific. Next Glass works like this: When first downloading the app, you are asked to rate a few wines that you enjoy. During your next trip to the wine store, you scan the label of a wine bottle, at which point you instantly get a score out of 100. The higher the score, the greater likelihood you will enjoy the wine. And if wine is not your bag, do not fret: Next Glass also has a beer rating system.
To arrive at a customized score, Next Glass purchased some cutting-edge chemistry equipment that analyzes wine and beer composition. The startup tests upwards of 200 bottles per day. So far it has analyzed a total of roughly 15,000 bottles of wine and 8,000 bottles of beer.
By nourishing a computer with chemical data, Next Glass explains that it makes over 4 billion calculations to determine a tailored score for each user. Furthermore, Next Glass claims these scores are 96% accurate.
Next Glass is also equipped with clever features, such as social networking functions, allowing you to connect with friends who have also downloaded the app. If you are all at a restaurant together, Next Glass can even help you select a wine that everyone at the table will enjoy.
When scanning a wine or beer, the app will also recommend similar items that may suit your preferences. Additionally, Next Glass will even tell you how many calories are in a glass of the wine or beer.
Since Next Glass is still in version 1.0, there are some slight drawbacks. Pricing and looking for a good deal is still yet to be found on the app. The recommendations engine is a fascinating feature, but there is no photo to accompany the name of the suggested wine or beer—so good luck finding it in the store. The “discover” button allows you to search for wine and beer, but the list is not prioritized by what you will enjoy.