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Posted: December 02, 2009

iPhone your wine

This app puts a wine cellar at your fingertips

I'm deep in the throes of upgrading to either an iPhone, the Droid or a Blackberry as my Holiday present to myself. Actually? That's not true. I'm not bothering with the Blackberry. It's not sexy. It's like trying to decide between a 2009 candy-apple red Dodge Charger convertible or a mini-van.

There's no decision to be made.

In fact, as I pretend to weigh the options, just know that I'll be getting the iPhone purely for its cool factor - and the apps. I know that makes me superficial and I'm okay with that. I read every week in the New York Times about some guy who sat up nights in his basement and wrote a killer app for the iPhone - something that does something cool and makes him some cool dough in the process.

Enter Emilio Navarro, a Lima-Peru native who now resides in Denver, Colorado. Navarro owns and runs Group MegaByte (www.gmbyte.com) and launched an iPhone application called "Wine List Pro." There are other iPhone wine-centric apps, but "Wine List Pro" is unique in that Navarro originally built it for himself, to enhance his lifelong love of wine.

Built from the developer's childhood experiences with family and wine, there's personal passion behind the Wine List Pro. "My family used to get together on Sunday and my father would pour some red wine in my glass for me to try," Navarro says. "It was a great experience because it included good wine and a great family atmosphere. Years went by and I got into technology and forgot all about what I loved to do when I was a child and during my adolescence - until now."

So Navarro built a "technology wine cellar," one that helps him keep track of the wines, collecting detailed information about each one and offering 141 predefined set of varietals. Food and wine pairing is included in the application, and users can create their own blends.

"Wine List Pro allows users to share wine information with other people via e-mail," Navarro says. "The e-mail sent from Wine List Pro includes data about the wine and the picture of the wine as part of a ‘cellar.' The RSS functionality also allows users to be informed about news coming from our company in reference to Wine List Pro. Future Wine List Pro releases will include the Spanish version of the cellar as well as other exciting features like cellar backup capability and add pairing information."

Concerning other wine apps available for the iPhone, Navarro makes note that some of those applications are commercial-based. That is, they only do promotional, pre-determined wines and/or restaurants that carry a certain brand of wine - a sort of slick, wine infomercial, if you will.

These apps are seductive, like paying for ring-tones. Wine List Pro sells for a mere $2.99 at the Apple Store and though Navarro expects the price to raise in future releases, today's price remains "forever" even as more functionality in future releases expands the options.

It's true that knowledge is king. Having detailed wine info - a wine library, actually - at one's fingertips is enticing and helpful.

And while I'm sure the Blackberry and the Droid have apps for vino people everywhere, I'm still getting the iPhone for myself for Christmas. Partly because it's got the cool, candy-apple red Chrysler factor, and partly because minds like Navarro's make the appliance continually interesting and exciting.

If that makes me superficial, fa-la-la-la-la.

Word o' the Week

Geo Location: A 21st century, iPhone phrase that means "map," Geo Location affords Wine List Pro users the option of locating the place where they purchased their wine on a map so they can remember at a later timefinding where their favorite wines come from. Learn more at http://www.gmbyte.com/Products.aspx.

One Winning Wine Tasting

Wine and champagne aficionados can learn about sparkling wines at the Sparkling Wine Tasting held December 4, 2009, at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Highlands Ranch.

Highlands WineSeller hosts this social hour with a variety of sparkling wines and appetizers from Whole Foods Market. Attendees are invited to browse the Tattered Cover Bookstore, and the community holiday celebration "Hometown Holiday" will be held outside at Town Center. There are two sessions: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Attendees must be 21-years-old or older to attend. Call 303.471.8859 for further information.

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