Buy Wine After You Try: New App Drync Touted as Shazam for Wine

Categories: Unscrewed

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So your date was a disaster, but that bottle of wine was not -- it kept the conversation flowing long enough to make it to the Fernet-Branca ice cream sandwich you'd hoped would cap the night. But although you're going home alone, you can begin a long relationship with what you just quaffed: Wine app Drync lets you order a case of the wine you adored.

Five years ago, Drync-founder Brad Rosen had an epiphany in Italy (a not uncommon locale for a revelation, although such lightbulb moments generally involve retiring on a Tuscan vineyard rather than a call to action). After delighting in a bottle of wine at dinner and wondering how he could easily record it and buy it later, he decided to build an app that would do just that.

The app called Drync is a cross between Cellar Tracker and a wine shop; like Shazam, it allows the user to buy a wine immediately upon liking it and identifying it, whether it be at a dinner party or a wine bar. Although Drync is not an actual retailer -- rather a third-party marketer -- you can go through the motions of ordering wine from the app without dealing with another company.

To start, download the free app. Add your shipping info and credit card details, and you're ready to start scanning wine. From within the app, take a picture of a bottle label (or use the less fun, more tedious predictive type feature) to find the wine. Using image recognition technology, the app identifies the label from its 1.7 million bottle database and then cross-references it with the current inventory of Drync's retail partners. If that wine is in stock, you're in business. If not, the app will store your selection and automatically notify you when it's available.

The app -- currently only available for the iPhone but with a Droid version launching this Thursday--can scan more than bottles: It handles bar codes, pages in a magazine, and, supposedly, even billboards (although very few wine drinkers I know are swayed by interstate advertising). At present, you can only order wine from the app, but browser support is coming soon.

The app is theoretically genius, but it does have a few impediments largely due to lack of inventory spread among its retail partners. If you drink esoteric, somm-beloved unicorn wines, you'll have trouble finding them. The app is meant for more mainstream selections. Same with older vintages -- options might be available, just not the one you want. If your first choice of vintage isn't in stock, the app will find another that is, so double-check before hitting purchase, unless you're sure Burgundy's erratic weather in 2011 didn't affect the wine you're buying.

Drync ships to 42 states; orders are fulfilled within two to 14 days and shipped to your home or office. You must order a minimum of two wines (shipping costs are too high for a single bottle). Rates start at $9.99 for two bottles and go to $18.99 for six to 10, but shipping is free on 12 or more.

As a holiday gift to readers interested in testing the app, Drync is offering free shipping using promo code Villagevoice through January 10, 2014.





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