Alex Fishman is the founder of Delectable, an app that helps you track and organize wine by way of anti-terrorist technology.
Formerly of prominent defense contractor Palantir Technologies, Fishman is using the same data integration technologies the government uses to track and capture bad guys, except he's using them to help people find their new favorite wines.
Instead of building a database of people with these techniques, Delectable aims to build a database of wines. "It's no problem for Amazon to get a database of all TVs currently being manufactured," said Fishman. "But wines present a unique challenge because there are so many wineries out there, big, small, and in between."
Delectable is much more than a really big wine list, though. Here's a hypothetical use case that I loved:
You're out at a restaurant with your significant other and you really love the bottle of wine you had with dinner. In fact, you'd love to get more of it, but you can't get any useful info off the label. This is a common problem, Fishman told us.
"There's a big difference between wine and beer, and a lot of wine labels can be hard to read. Ask someone to point to the name of the producer and they very well may not be able to. Info about wine really only comes through a few channels. Let's democratize it."
Using Delectable, you can take a picture of that enigmatic label and the app will kill any mystery surrounding your vino. It will tell you the vintage, the winery it came from, and it may even have some notes from the winemakers themselves. Now you've got some fun details to impress your date.
Here's the best part – you can order that wine right inside of the app and have it show up at your house a few days later. Fishman calls it the "Uber of wine" – scan the label, tell the app where to send your wine, and there you go. Delectable makes a small commission on the sale, and this is (by design) the only way the company generates revenue. By staying on the consumer side of things instead of hawking sponsored wines from the makers, Fishman said that this lets the company add value right away.
It's reminiscent of an app called Untappd, a similar app for tracking beer. Delectable serves the same purpose in the wine world and adds the bonus of being able to purchase new wine inside of the app. Delectable even has arrangements with a few very prominent winemakers to make their wines available through the app. Turley is one such outlet, and its wines are hard to acquire – there's a waiting list just to get on the company's mailing list. But Delectable worked it out that Turley wines will be available for purchase through the app.
Fishman recommends Turley's White Zin, which he calls "an ironic take on supermarket wine that's actually a beautiful rosé zinfandel."
Delectable is a free download from the iTunes App Store. Get it here.
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