A fun new app – called Tipple – allows users to train their wine palate like a pro and share their favourite wine experience.
Ever wished you knew a little more about wine tasting? Now an innovative new wine app helps you not only expand your wine vocabulary, but learn how to taste wine like a pro and even relive your favourite wine experiences.
The concept is simple: Taste, Learn, Share. Tipple guides you through the process of creating your very own digital tasting notes in the palm of your hand. Once tasted, your memories are stored in your very own ‘timewine’ to relive and enjoy in the future. With handy how-to guides, magic table cloths and animated aroma wheels, it makes learning about wine an immersive experience.
App creator and former banker Andrew Sleath (32) was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and now lives in London. He bid a world of derivatives farewell to focus on his love of wine and is the proud recipient of a distinction in the WSET Level 2 course from Berry Bros and Rudd. His aim with Tipple is to make the wine journey a social, fun and accessible learning experience for all.
“Tipple brings wine out from the dusty cellars and into the 21st century,” he says. “I wanted to create a new way to taste and learn about wine, and share my favourite wine experiences.” What distinguishes Tipple from other apps is the fact it focuses on the emotive parts of wine. “This isn’t a scoring and numbers exercise,” Andrew says. “I want people to capture and record what they feel, understand why they love a wine and to enjoy their journey.”
WineLand asked Andrew about his ambitions for this unique wine app.
Q: Where did the idea for Tipple come from?AS: The idea for Tipple started back in 2007 when I went from being a student to working as a professional. There were a lot of situations where I wanted to learn more about wine. It became an all-consuming passion and hobby. I realised that in my peer group of 25-30-year-olds most people knew little about wine. So I thought, why don’t people want to learn more about wine? The answer is they do, but the information is buried away in obtuse cellar courses and there are barriers to entry. Initially I wanted to create a journal to track my tasting notes on wine through my wine exams and to measure how they evolve over time. One of the biggest problems people have is to try to remember what they actually thought of a wine. They remember their favourites and what they cost, but often little else. I looked online and there was nothing that really suited my needs. So I thought there’s an opportunity right there. After testing the initial release in the wine community, I released people relished the chance to ask the questions they had about wine – but were too embarrassed to raise in a formal tasting, or with traditional ‘experts’. That’s when I realised the role of Tipple, whilst initially conceived as a wine journal, was more about helping people learn about wine and develop their palates.
Q: What are the long-term goals and objectives for Tipple?
AS: The first phase was to translate my concept for a wine tasting app into a reality and take it to market. The version that is currently available is very much a self funded version 1.5 which is free and always will be. The objective is to make learning about wine fun and engaging. Downstream there are a lot of interesting new avenues we have planned and want to explore. The future development for these features are predicated on raising external investment for the project. One exciting prospect we want to introduce is the world’s first interactive wine game. The idea is that you can challenge your friends to see whose palate can get closest to winemaker’s notes or even go live in a head-to-head online battle against a sommelier. I think there’s a huge opportunity for people who see themselves as potential online wine critics but don’t have the platform to share their tasting notes. I would love to create a wine social network where people can publish videos and tasting notes for wines they taste. Other developments include a centralised news feed that’s curated for the most pressing topics and articles on wine delivered to your phone on a weekly basis.
Q: To whom would Tipple appeal most?
AS: The idea is that Tipple should be accessible to everybody. Tipple appeals on one level to someone who is starting out on their journey through wine and wants to teach themselves how to develop a critical appreciation of wine and formulate a structured tasting note. Once experience develops, the journal feature is more useful for sommeliers and advanced wine drinkers who want to document, share or relive their wine experiences.
Q: As someone who has travelled extensively, what are some of your most memorable wine experiences?
AS: I’m a keen runner, so I’ve competed in the Marathon du Médoc in France, which is a 42-kilometre race that takes you through scenic vineyards. Participants – in compulsory fancy dress – are expected to indulge in 23 glasses of the famed vintages en route. It’s great fun! This year we decided to ride behind the pack with a rented vintage tandem bicycle and do some publicity for Tipple. We got to the end and received a lot of high fives and cheers. Afterwards I started chatting to this one chap in the village. He asked if we knew the Château Cos d’Estournel. I said, “Yes, of course. It’s one of the biggest châteaux in Bordeaux.” It turned out he’s the curator of the wine cellar and he invited us to visit him at the château the following morning. It was one of the most spontaneous wine tastings I’ve ever had. It just shows you how making wine fun again can break down the barriers.
Download the free Tipple app from the iOS App Store. Alternatively, visit trytipple.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his journey on Instagram, @amazingwine.