Be Your Own Wine Critic

My main problem with most wine critics like Robert Parker Jr., and magazines like Wine Spectator is that they have specific tastes that don’t always correspond to my own. Another problem I have, even as a wine professional, is remembering all the wines I’ve tasted, what they tasted like, and whether I liked them.

Two new relatively new websites, Snooth and Cork'd solve these problems and do a bit more. On these sites, you can create a profile, which allows you to record your tasting notes and review and rate wines, find wine ratings from other users, see what your drinking buddies think, and receive recommendations and buy wines from a retailer. They also both act as online communities that unite oenophiles across the world.

After tooling around on them for a morning I found them to be quite similar to one another, and your choice should be based on personal preference. However each does have strengths and weaknesses:

Snooth has a considerably larger database

  • Search for Sangiovese, for instance, and you get thousands of results on Snooth and 364 on Cork'd
  • Type in the producer Billecart-Salmon (one of my absolute favorites), you get 94 results on Snooth and two on Cork'd
  • Enter "Bulgaria," and you get hundreds of results on Snooth but only four on Cork'd

For many, the ratings for Cork'd are easier to understand Snooth’s recommendations are based on your own, and it rates wines on a 1- to 5-glass range. Recommendations from Cork'd are based on the much more commonly used 100-point system.

Snooth generates recommendations automatically On Snooth, recommendations are made based on how you’ve rated other wines and on Cork'd they come directly from other members.

It's much easier to purchase wines on Cork'd With Snooth, I found the Purchase These Wines option impossible to use. However, Cork'd had a venerable list of wine stores, with current pricing, and made purchasing intuitive.

No matter what your choice, the most useful aspect of these sites is the ability to store your personal tasting notes because, after a few glasses, even the sharpest of us can get a little forgetful.