Need to find a song? Log a workout? Identify a bird? Call a cab? Monitor your bodily functions? Yep, there’s an app for that. And just like there’s an app for every conceivable, measurable endeavor, there’s an app for every area of wine enjoyment, from searching for wine prices, events, and other enthusiasts to studying for (and acing) important exams and certifications, like the Wine & Spirits Education Trust or WSETⓇ.
Here at Brainscape, we go completely geeky over wine education, which is why we have engineered such a sophisticated wine app for anyone learning about wine … yes, even WSET level 4 diploma students. But we also appreciate just how useful many of the other top wine apps out there are, which is what inspired us to put together this list.
So if you’re in the market for a wine app (or several wine apps) that can help expedite and/or color your learning journey, please raise your glass to these, the best wine apps for WSET students and vino enthusiasts!
(Hey, check out Brainscape’s Wine Academy for a full library of free study guides!)
The best wine app for WSET students and sommeliers-in-training
We’ll start this list with the best wine app for students of any of the WSET’s suite of certifications, which is, by a long shot, Brainscape.
(What? I swear we’re not biased!)
Brainscape certified WSET flashcards
The reason we’re kicking off this guide with Brainscape is because there literally isn’t a more comprehensive collection of flashcards for serious students studying for a WSET certification.
Together with a team of top publishers, schools, and educators led by Advanced Sommelier, wine educator, and industry veteran, Sarah Looper, Brainscape has distilled down the courses offered by the WSET (and Court of Master Sommeliers or CMS) into collections of flashcards that cover the most important facts you need to know to pass their final exams.
Brainscape has flashcard collections for the following formal wine certifications:
- WSET level 1 for wine
- WSET level 2 for wine
- WSET level 3 for wine
- WSET level 4 Diploma, module 1 Wine Production
- WSET level 4 Diploma, module 4 Sparkling Wine
- CMS Introductory Sommelier
- More coming soon!
Pro Tip: Want access to ALL of these certified wine flashcards without having to pay for each one? Upgrade to Brainscape Pro for unlimited, lifetime access to Brainscape’s entire Knowledge Genome of certified and user-generated flashcards.
How does Brainscape’s wine app work?
Brainscape’s intelligent study system has been designed in accordance with decades of proven cognitive science to help you learn faster and remember longer than with any other flashcard app.
Brainscape distills any subject down into bite-sized facts (neatly organized into decks and classes), which are posed as question-and-answer pairs, compelling you to actively recall information from scratch. You then rate how well you know each concept on a scale of 1 to 5, and Brainscape determines the perfect time interval at which to repeat that flashcard again.
If you know the answer well, you’ll see that flashcard less often; if you don’t know it well, you’ll see it again and again, at frequent intervals, until it’s deeply ingrained into your brain. And it’s this totally unique combination of active recall, self-assessment (metacognition), and spaced repetition that is scientifically proven to help you to absorb the content twice as efficiently.
Also, being available on web or mobile, you can use Brainscape to study anytime and anywhere (even offline), making it the most efficient and convenient supplementary study tool for your WSET exams.
Other wine apps we really love (and recommend)
Okay, so you’ve got your formal WSET (and CMS) education covered by Brainscape. Now, here are some other really awesome wine apps for students and enthusiasts we enjoy…
WSET Tasting Notes
Whether you’re brand new to wine tasting or are working towards a WSET certification, the WSET Tasting Notes wine app is an excellent addition to your arsenal. Essentially, it provides you with a structured and consistent way to take tasting notes, which is aligned with the WSET’s globally-recognized Systematic Approach to Tasting® (SAT).
This is a particularly useful wine app if you plan on taking the WSET level 2 certification or higher—which has a practical tasting component—because it helps you to practice tasting, observing flavor and aromatic notes, and recording these notes.
The WSET Tasting Notes app also boasts a database of 300+ wine-producing countries and regions, 100 pre-populated grape varieties, a comprehensive lexicon of wine terms and flavor and aroma descriptors, and tips for guiding you through your tasting. So, it’s super useful for novices and up-to-level 2 WSET wine students.
Beyond WSET level 3, however, this wine app falls short of the more detailed and nuanced tasting notes demanded of that higher level of formal training. Still, though, it’s fun and it can help you get the SAT method down pat.
WSET Wine Game
The concept for this wine app—which also comes from the WSET—is enormously popular amongst enthusiasts: you have 60 seconds to allocate 10 wines to their country, region, and/or sub-region of origin on a digital map.
There are a number of levels of increasing complexity to test your knowledge (so it’s good for beginners and more advanced wine students). It also features additional information on all the regions and grape varieties you encounter, which reinforces your understanding.
Overall, WSET Wine Game is fun, engaging, and, without even knowing it, you’ll learn all about where the various wines of the world come from. Unfortunately, there appears to be a few bugs the developers still need to work out. For example, the maps can be a little small and there isn’t an option to play the game without a timer, which can be frustrating if you’d like to take your time learning and exploring the maps.
Otherwise, it’s a useful wine app for beginners to learn about the provenance of the world’s most notable wine styles; and for students looking to test their knowledge ahead of their WSET certification exam.
(Just remember, however, that Brainscape’s wine app offers a far more efficient approach to actually learning and memorizing the necessary information.)
[Informative read: ‘How to get a job as a sommelier’.]
Decanter Know Your Wine
Decanter Know Your Wine is a microlearning app that delivers short, hyper-efficient lessons (i.e. microlearning), which can be useful for wine enthusiasts, budding sommeliers, and wine students who need to learn and remember tons of information.
(Of course, we still ardently recommend the Brainscape wine app if you’re a WSET student, since our flashcard content is hyper-focused on the WSET certifications’ latest test plans and textbooks.)
Through a smart algorithm, Decanter Know Your Wine learns from your answers to the question it throws at you and then challenges you on your weaknesses, rather than wasting time testing you on your strengths. Actually, this is the same learning principle leveraged by Brainscape’s flashcards: spaced repetition.
What else can you do? Well, the app allows you to progress through a series of rankings en route to becoming a “Grand Master”, which can earn you bragging rights; although if you want to progress beyond the 10 free modules they provide you, you’ll have to cough up some dough.
Vivino: For logging your wine learning journey
Vivino is, without a doubt, one of the most popular wine apps on the market, catering to a staggering 50 million users and counting! Their schtick is to empower people everywhere to enjoy and discover wine by providing them with all the unbiased information they need to make the perfect wine choices. (This unbiased information takes the form of honest ratings and reviews left by other wine lovers.)
How Vivino works is simple: you take a photo of the wine label, restaurant wine list, or you can search by wine. The app then spits out that particular wine’s rating, reviews, price, tasting notes, and suggested food pairings (they have an ever-expanding catalog of 13 million wines). There are even links you can click to purchase the wines you discover.
Then, of course you can leave your own reviews and tasting notes, while building a library of all the wines you’ve tried on your personal profile. Naturally, the app then gets a feel for what you like and starts making recommendations that are catered to your tastes and budget. There are a couple of other bells and whistles, but you get the picture.
Vivino is really that quintessential wine app any enthusiast should have in their back pocket.
Wine Events: For locating food and wine events
I mean, do I even need to say how awesome and great this is? Wine Events is a nifty app that searches for and collates any and all wine and food events taking place in your neighborhood. You can also easily search for events in other cities in the world, which is super useful while traveling. Other functions include:
- Unearthing exclusive wine and food getaways,
- Discovering thrifty ticket deals,
- Adding events to your calendar, and
- Sharing events with friends (via the usual channels).
In summary, the Wine Events app is the ultimate way to keep a finger on the pulse of the wine and food industry, which is always up to something hedonistic and unmissable.
[Enlightening read: ‘10 Things everyone should know about wine.’]
Wine Ring: For discovering other wines you might love
So, we’ve already covered an app that makes recommendations based upon your previous ratings but THIS wine app takes that to the next level.
Wine Ring essentially connects you to wines you’ll most likely love using its vast database of wines and a particularly savvy technology patent. How it works is, you taste a wine and then rate it as either a “Love”, “Like”, “SoSo”, or “Dislike”. Their smart algorithm then learns your unique preferences and makes hyper-personalized suggestions, giving you a smarter way to buy.
In other words, Wine Ring gives you a really personal, easy, and convenient way to discover and buy wines. They’re also kind of a big deal, having appeared in all sorts of publications, from CNBC and the Washington Post to Food & Wine Magazine's ‘7 Crucial Wine Apps’.
What other features are there? Well, you can:
- Filter by red or white, geography, preference style, or food pairing;
- Take a photo of the label and literally ask the app “will I like it?”;
- Keep a journal of all the wines you’ve wrapped your lips around; and
- Add your own notes and photos.
But of course the greatest benefit of this wine app is just how well it gets to know you and your tastes, which saves you from wasting money on wines that look like they check all your boxes, but actually kinda miss the mark.
Tipple: For improving your palate and nose
Engineered for all levels of wine nerds, Tipple guides one and all through the process of wine tasting and, in doing so, builds your ability to identify industry-standard descriptors of aromatics, flavors, colors, texture, and more. (An intuitive interface prompts you to select descriptors for each characteristic a wine is typically assessed for.)
The Tipple wine app also demystifies wine industry jargon, which can be more confusing than IKEA furniture assembly instructions. And, of course, it acts as a sort of wine journal, cataloging and recording your tasting notes and photos, which it displays via an interactive “TimeWine” (a scrollable visual history of the wines you've enjoyed).
I love a good play on words.
So, if you want to master a more structured approach to taking notes, Tipple is definitely the wine app to try! For WSET level 2 students and higher, however, we do recommend the wine app we talked about earlier—WSET Tasting Notes—since it’s grounded in the Systematic Approach to Tasting (SAT) your certification exams will be testing you on.
[Controversial read: ‘What’s in wine besides what it says on the label?’]
My Wine Society: For connecting with fellow wine lovers
Have you ever sunk your mouth into a delectable, peppery Rhône Syrah and wheeled off a couple of tasting notes only for your friends to scoff at you? A love of wine will do that, particularly when said friends prefer cheap beer and cocktails.
Well, if you’re on the hunt for a circle of wine friends, My Wine Society is a really great app to check out. It’s actually a kind of social media platform, where wine lovers from all over the world can find friends, make new ones, set up their own private chat rooms, connect with wineries directly, track and share their tasting notes, and just generally build a community.
There are curated chats, where you can join discussions around certain topics; tons of content to explore; events and experiences to sign up for; and your very own newsfeed, where you can post photos and tasting notes, etc. of your own wine journey.
My Wine Society’s experience is really tailored around a sense of community so if that’s what you’re after, give it a go!
Final Note: Some additional resources for your wine learning journey!
So, there you have it! The best wine app for WSET students and general wine enthusiasts—Brainscape—and a suite of wine apps that cater for just about every aspect of this rose-colored world, from learning about the provenance of the major styles of wine to connecting with like-minded wine nerds.
There are, of course, many more notable wine apps but if we had to cover them all, I’d still be here at the age of 80, writing about them.
I do just have one last thing for you to check out and it’s Brainscape’s additional (and totally free) wine learning resources! We’ve assembled a library of study guides and advice videos, which provide tips on excelling on your wine journey, whether you’re just interested in learning about wine for yourself or are preparing to take a WSET examination.
You’ll find those on Brainscape’s Wine Academy and Wine YouTube Channel. And don’t forget to check out Brainscape’s Certified Wine Classes to find complete sets of flashcards for your particular certification program.
*Disclaimer: Brainscape has worked with top wine experts to supplement the official publications and preparation offered by WSET. We are not officially endorsed by or connected to WSET itself.