Parker’s Wine Advisor & Cellar Manager
WinoStuff readers! I’ve continued
on my quest to be the techno-geek of WinoStuff even though my brother-in-law,
Always-A-Wino John (aka Wino John) has the true techno background.
Unfortunately, due to our sponsorships which are on the level of
pro-lacrosse sponsorships (i.e. none), he keeps busy updating the site while
Wino Bob drinks and writes and drinks and writes and …. Well, you get the
this week I decided to review a product that I had wanted to obtain for quite
some time. Robert Parker has been a
hero to many in the wine industry because he tries to taste every wine on the
face of the earth and doesn’t take any advertising for his efforts.
Parker has a newsletter, The Wine Advocate, which I have subscribed to
for about 15 years (not bad since it was first published in August 1978).
He’s also an attorney who gave up his law practice to follow his nose
for wines and survives quite handily rating wines.
thought that the Wine Advisor and Cellar Manager was a program for those of us
who had a substantial wine cellar. Well,
you can use it for that, and I’ll discuss that later, but the best part of
this software is the Wine Advisor part. The
Wine Advisor has a search feature that allows you to find any wine by typing in
text and hitting the search button. The
wines are indexed by: producer name
(winery), label name (Reserve, Special Select, etc.), Variety (Cabernet
Sauvignon), Vintage year, wine producing country, wine producing region
(California, Bordeaux), and wine producing location (Napa, Pauillac).
If you type “mondavi cabernet sauvignon” you will find all Mondavi
Cabernet Sauvignons. If you type
“mondavi cabernet sauvignon reserve 1994” you will find only the 1994
Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
software allows for even more sophisticated searches using the “find”
feature. For example, if you click
the “advanced search” button, you see a “find” window.
Inside the “find” window are several blocks for search criteria.
These blocks include: keyword,
producer, year, label, country, region, location, variety, rating, cost, and
notes. You can then select the
categories you want to find, for example, all 1995 Rhone wines costing $20 or
less and having a Parker rating of 90 or more.
you find a group of wines, their characteristics appear in a wine table, which
lists all wines appearing as a result of the search.
For information on a particular wine in the table, you can click on that
wine and find even more specific information in the Wine Form, available for
each wine. There are also over 50
predefined reports available. Moreover,
the software allows you to custom design your own report including changing
reports’ appearances. Many of the
wineries have web links that enable you to go to the winery website after
clicking on the web links icon from the individual wine selected in the search.
Wine Advisor part is slick and is another reason why Wino Bob needs to keep his
day job (actually, Wino Bob may want to review newer wines which take a year and
a software update to get reloaded into the Wine Advisor database).
The hardest part of the software is the Wine Cellar Software that allows
you to create a visual cellar. I
don’t think I’ll spend a lot of time on this part of the review since many
of you don’t have cellars yet. The
power of the software is that it allows you to create an unlimited amount of
cellar areas. Each cellar area has
at least one rack (storage unit). The
racks contain bins arranged in rows and columns.
You must specify how many bottles of wine each bin can hold. You can specify rectangular, square, or diamond shaped bins,
which tend to correspond to 99% of all storage racking that I’ve seen.
Once you’ve defined your cellar, you can add your wines to the various
bins. What’s neat is that if your
wine is listed in the database, you can click on that wine, specify the quantity
and location (bin) and you’re on to the next wine.
Later, once you’ve built the cellar, you can color code the Parker
ratings on your visual cellar view so that you know where you keep the good
bought my software before it was updated for the 2000 Parker reviews.
It requires about 70Mb of disk space and they estimate that each year
upgrade added will require an additional 7Mb.
You can purchase the software at some catalog retailers like the Wine
Enthusiast, or you can order it from Parker’s affiliated company, Wine
Technologies, Inc., at www.winetech.com
(see our link also).