Sometimes I really have to admit that I’m a simpleton when it comes to this whole wine writing thing. Sure, I’m better than the occasional binge drinker who has an attitude about everything and chooses to spout it on the Internet. 

On the other hand, not a week goes by that I realize my talents as a wine writer are miniscule compared to some of my friends out there who are legitimate journalists with years of wine-writing experience. This is one of those weeks where I know that I’m still writing on cave walls with a dirty stick compared to one of my wine journalist friends. 

This week I received an email from Natalie MacLean, a long-time wine journalist and certified Sommelier. Her book, “Red, White, and Drunk All Over,” is a fantastic read, and she is a regular contributor to her own blog, as well as several other well-known wine journals as a freelance writer.

Natalie has released her own smartphone application, which offers you the ability to search over 150,000 reviews of wines, find the right wine while you are standing in the aisle of the store and to know what the best pairings would be for the wine you are about to purchase. 

As I’ve shared in the past, one of the things that is forming the wine industry right now is social media. The power of Facebook and Twitter in the world of wine is reaching new heights every day. Natalie’s phone application allows you to share back and forth with friends your own tasting notes on the wines you find. 

The application also has a shopping list function as well as a personal wine cellar tracker. This is extremely attractive to someone like myself, who has no idea what I’ve got in my cellar at any time and only knows when I go digging through the wine boxes that are stacked up down there. 

I also appreciate the application’s ability to teach me a little more about wine. Being a “know it all” on the subject, I’m not one to ask questions for the sake of looking stupid. However, if a subject comes up and I don’t know what a particular method or piece of equipment is, I can rely on the application’s glossary function to bail me out. 

MacLean, who paired up with a company called Fluid Trends, built the application some time ago, and has been quickly filling it with content that is fun and informative. Quite impressive to me, the application is available through iTunes as well as through Blackberry App World.  

The only downside is that there isn’t an official application for Droid yet. However, you can run it on the Droid platform through her mobile website at

To become friends with Natalie on her Facebook, go to In order to follow her tweets on Twitter, you can get to her by going to Or, if you just want to check out and subscribe to her newsletter, I suggest going to


Rich Breshears, the East Oregonian’s wine columnist, is a commercial photographer and marketing consultant for the wine industry in Oregon and Washington. He lives with his family in Kennewick, Wash. You can reach him by e-mail at

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