Picking the perfect wine to go with your meal isn’t easy.
Now a London startup has developed an app that aims to help you find the ideal red to combine with a steak or the perfect white to go with your lobster.
The app, known as Corkscrew, draws on two databases — one for wine and one for food — before recommending some potential matches.
“We’re able to actually generate a percentage compatibility between any arbitrary dish and any arbitrary wine,” said founder and CEO Matt Gertner.
Gertner told Business Insider this week that he came up with Corkscrew partly to eliminate the feeling of dread that wine amateurs feel when faced with a restaurant wine list.
“The idea for the app really came from a pain point for me personally because I like good meals and I like good wine but I didn’t know very much about them,” said Gertner.
The app, which is available to download for free on iOS and Android, can be used in restaurants or at home.
In order to get restaurant wine recommendations, users must first find and select the restaurant that they’re in before selecting the food that they intend to eat. That could be a slight issue at present as the Corkscrew app currently only features a few dozen restaurants in London, but it does include the likes of Duck & Waffle and Caravan. The company also plans to start adding menus from restaurants across the city, the UK, and the rest of the world over the coming months.
After the user has selected the dish (or dishes) they want to eat, they must then tap a button that reads “Give me the best wine.” A couple of seconds later, the app will bring up a number of wines that are available for purchase in the restaurant and tell you how well they go with the food you intend to eat. A number of filters can be applied to narrow down your results based on price, colour, and volume.
The app can also be used at home by describing the dish that you intend to eat. This can be done by tapping on labels such as “fish,” “pasta,” and “cheese.”
How the app decides which wine to pair with dishes
In order to help the app decide which wine to pair with which dishes, Corkscrew has hired Matt Day — who has been working in the wine industry for 20 years — as its chief wine officer.
He ranks each of the wines on the app based on their acidity, sweetness, alcohol level, fruitiness, and body, before assigning them a particular “flavour.” Certain wine flavours are then assigned to certain dishes and given a compatibility ranking, which is stored in the app and shown to users as a percentage.
Corkscrew has been backed by investors with close to £1 million. It currently employs a small team of five people and has been downloaded by a handful of investors and journalists that have been shown the app over the last couple of months.