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Twitter tastings

Don't know which wine will go best with your meal? There's an app for that – as well as websites and Twitter.

by: Leslie Gevirtz: Reuters | 20 Jul 2009

The number of ways to discover the most suitable wine for a particular dish can be as overwhelming as walking into a large wine shop.

More than a dozen apps claiming to be the equivalent of a sommelier in your pocket are available for iPhones and iPods. And there are others for the BlackBerry and other mobile devices.

But among the most popular for both are Nat Decants Food & Wine Match and HelloVino. Wine blogger Natalie MacLean also provides the same information on her website

If you want to find out which wine will go best with lamb vindaloo, MacLean, who has almost 400,000 wine and food pairings, recommends Shiraz for red or a white Chateauneuf-Du-Pape. She also suggests food pairings with beer, whiskies and cocktails.

HelloVino is a free app that suggests Zinfandel for lamb shanks, and even advises how to pronounce it. It also chose wines such as California Zins that cost almost $100 (R803) a bottle.

But some selections were more reasonably priced such as Chinon and Pinot Noir for grilled lamb or lamb stew that ranged from $10 (R80) to $22 (R176).

If you want to have a wine tasting without leaving home, the website uses Twitter to bring winemakers and U.S. importers together.

Started by three 30-somethings from Massachusetts who designed websites for wineries, tastelive tries to select wines that are widely available and not too expensive.

"We knew from using Twitter that people sure liked to talk about wine, but no one seemed to be tasting it," said co-founder Craig Drollett.

The website posts which wines will be tasted and when. Anyone with a Twitter account can give their opinion.

"And the winemakers love it. We had Etienne Hugel (the French winemaker from Alsace) up at 2 a.m. tweeting from his kitchen with folks in California."

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