Whether you’re at a restaurant trying to impress your date or you’re looking for a way to unwind after work, knowing how to properly choose and pair alcohol can make you look cultured — even if that pairing is with a bacon burger. But, since we can’t all be world-class sommeliers, our smartphones can come to the rescue with beer/wine apps that help us effortlessly choose, pair, mix, and even score a deal on the best beer and wine on the fly. Download a couple so you’re always ready to round out a meal.
Happy Houred (iOS, coming soon to Android, Free) The Happy Houred experience is designed to be something like meeting up with your friends at your favorite bar after work. With a laid-back interface and tons of social options, you’ll be able search for the best pub and bar deals in the vicinity, while seeing where your friends are imbibing at the same time. The app also allows you to set your time and location so the app can locate deals at the right place and the right time.
Cocktail Flow (iOS, Android, Free) If mixed drinks are more your thing, download Cocktail Flow, an app that lets you mix like a pro even if you’re on a novice budget. Plug in the various types of alcohol you have in your cabinet and you’ll automatically see a list of drinks and their recipes you can make without a drive to the liquor store. There’s also a ton of recipes based on event, with everything from Superbowl drinks to holiday spirits.
Vivino (iOS, Android, Free or $4.99 for full) Don’t want to look like a total noob while choosing the perfect glass of wine? Vivino lets you scan the label of any bottle of wine and you’ll get all the details in just a few seconds. The app shows you the vintage, information about the vineyard, and even perfect pairings, making you look like a total expert. You can even save your favorite vinos so you can remember them in the future, though your library will be limited in the free version. Billed as the wine app for “normal people” by Forbes, it’s worth the memory space on your phone.
Beer Cloud (iOS, Android, Free) Believe it or not, the beer-drinking community can be a tight-knit and helpful one, especially when you utilize Beer Cloud’s functionality to find the best beers and their perfect pairings. Search you location, find new craft beer, and figure out the best food pairings, based on suggestions from the beer community. There’s also a scanner so you can learn about any brand of beer on the fly.
Blush for Wine (iOS, Free) If you’re looking for a decidedly girlier take on beer/wine apps, check out Blush for Wine. It gives you the power to choose wines based on your mood. Looking for a way to relax after a hard day? Done. Trying to find the perfect wine to go with your pasta? Easy. You can stipulate your budget and there’s even a handy locator feature so you can get your hands on a bottle ASAP.