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First sommelier wine app preparing inaugural launch in London

Published:  03 August, 2016

The "world's first" wine app which sets out to put a "sommelier in your pocket" is launching in partnership with its first restaurant this week.

For the last two years, a specialist app development company has been working to create WhatWine - an app which aims to recommend the perfect wine and food matches using a live database of restaurant wine lists and its Omnipair algorithm.

WhatWine is launching at Angelus Restaurant in London this week with a full London roll-out to follow in September.

The collaboration between CEO Matthew Gertner and chief wine officer Matt Day aims to provide wine pairing suggestions to sommelier-level quality.

Gertner, a wine-lover with a self-confessed lack of wine expertise, said the app has been launched in response to the growing consumer trend of "self-service" - and aims to place sommelier-level expertise at the fingertips of non-wine experts.

"The majority of wine drinkers aren't wine experts. In restaurants where there isn't a sommelier, you get given the wine list broken down usually by white, red and sparkling and also by price - which is no indication of how the wine will pair with food.

"Wine lists are slowly being moved into tablet format but they're just being transferred with no extra information."

WhatWine aims to fill in the gap by uploading some 4,000 wine lists to the app, which are then cross referenced with specially developed wine and food databases to give consumers pairing suggestions.

The databases have been put together solely by wine expert Matt Day: although as the app evolves, the team are looking to expand the number of wine experts giving pairing suggestions.

"Increasingly, we are living in a self service society," Gertner added. "Often restaurants don't have sommeliers or you will be looked after by one sommelier, which is only one opinion."

London is the first city to trial the app, with plans to expand to other cities in the UK and abroad also in the pipeline.