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Snooth User: dhpaladin

Newbie starting a wine/beer app to help with menus

Posted by dhpaladin, Apr 23, 2014.

Hi folks! New member here. 

I'm mostly a beer buy, but I love European wines. Especially the cheap table wines.To each his own.  :)

I'm not sure if this is a good start to my membership here so forgive me if this is.

I'm building an app that I'd love some feedback on. It solves the problem that I've always had with wine - which are those intimidating wine lists you find at restaurants. When I see these I don't know where to even begin so I usually go for a red from Europe and end there. But that's a dumb strategy and possibly a waste of money. Beer I'm more familiar with, but I still have problems sometimes with the craft beers.

So I think this app that we're building can solve this in a way that even experienced wine lovers will be able to make use of it. 

Basically the app does two things

1. It let's you take a picture of a wine menu and get back information for each wine no the menu. Info like the wine rating, origin, and user comments.

2. Over time, as the app learns more about your tastes and preference it can highlight wines that you are more likely to like from the menu.

Is this a good idea?

Here's a link to the Kickstarter page where we are trying to collect consumer validation. Basically we figure if we can fund the project completely or get 2000 people to contribute at least $1, then it should be a pretty good indication people want this.




Reply by dmcker, Apr 23, 2014.

Good luck on that (meant sincerely, not in the least sarcastically). Looks like a fun project, but crowdfunding can be frustrating. 

How are you building your database--experts or crowdsourcing or...? There is definitely a need for what you are trying to provide, but keeping up with so many offerings from so many craft breweries, and wineries, is a daunting challenge.

Getting the app to learn what you like is a challenging feature that, with the complexities of wine and personality, is also something I'd be curious to hear more about.

Finally (for now), name recognition may become an issue. As a for-instance, here's a project that some people I know put out:

Reply by dhpaladin, Apr 24, 2014.


Crowdfunding has been challenging. The app is funded. We went on kickstarter to figure out if we have a market, but I'm not sure if we're going to get that information from the data we get from kickstarter. The response has been underwhelming on kickstarter, but overwhelming anecdotaly.

For beer we are working with and their data. In return we will be providing them search and recommendation technology as well as feeding our app data back into their database. They are an easy bunch to work with.

Getting data for wine is in the works. It's critical to being able to provide recommendations.

Recommendations come in two ways, the first of which we know how to do and have done before.

1. Linking user ratings into a collaborative filter. Basically if you like 5 wines and a buddy likes the same 4 wines, then your buddy is also likely to like the 5th wine you like. That is a good guess but a lot of error. But if you multiply it by many, many people then it gets more accurate. So if 100 people like these 5 wines and you like 4 of them, then you are likely to like the 5th one as well.

Since wine is of limited quantity and has vintages, this method is going to be a challenge. Beer will definitely work with this method.

2. The second method is to take user comments and look for taste words. Bitter, chocolate, sweet, coffee - these are common beer tastes.  For wine its maybe oak, berries, etc... Anyways you look for these words and associate them with each wine. And then you apply method #1 to that. This is our guess of how to best handle wine. 

If you know anyone with a wine DB who is easy to work with I would love to get in tough with them.

The page is beautiful. They finding much success?


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