Friday, 12 December 2014

Secrets of Wine Prices Revealed: Raisinable App

With the party season well and truly upon us, you're probably spending the next few weeks getting dolled up, donning a santa hat or two and frequenting even more pubs, restaurants, bars and hotels than normal to have a few drinks with friends and colleagues. Tis the season to be jolly, after all...

But what always grates on me when I'm out is that I know I'm spending above the odds on wine. Obviously - obviously - restaurants, bars and the like have to charge more for wine, because you're also paying for the service, the gorgeous setting, the ambience and the various staff and bills. But sometimes it's over 300% more per bottle, and... well, that's just not a good deal.

Enter the latest wine app on the market: Raisinable.

The folks behind this wonderful app have compiled wine lists for some of the most popular restaurants in London (also New York - and expanding further soon!) and reveal with total clarity what mark-up each establishment is charging for each wine based on its average retail price.


I downloaded this app at the weekend and have spent the week browsing some of my favourite London haunts. From chains like Ask, Gaucho and All Bar One to lesser-known, high-quality names in the capital, they'll tell you the mark-up percentage on every wine in their list. It's enlightening stuff.

They have a traffic-light system - green for wines that are under 200% mark-up, amber for 200-300% and red for 300% and up - so it's utterly fool-proof and so clear to see the bargains from the less appealing prices. And you can search by type (red wine, white wine, dessert wine etc) as well as price (hello, sub-£30 bottles!) so it's really easy to find the right wine for you, quickly.

It might sound like bad news for restaurants - and for the ones taking the p***, it definitely is - but actually, on the whole it highlights the important fact that you get tend to get better value the more you spend. So if you're worried about spending £30-40 on a bottle and erring towards the £20 bottles, it soon becomes apparent you might as well spend a tenner more between you and your fellow diners and get a wine that's only 120% higher rather than 320%. That way, both you and the restaurant win in the long run.

Obviously, this isn't a blanket rule - and that's why it's so handy to have Raisinable in your pocket when you're out and about. I was so shocked by the disparity between certain restaurants and certain wines - you really will find bargains at every restaurant, and often where you least expect it.

The app is still in its early stages and more wine lists are being added all the time - but I'm genuinely excited about what other features might be around the corner, especially in terms of finding a particular wine in London, or highlighting wine festivals and special offers.

One particular feature is really wonderful - Treasures in the Cellar, which shows specific offers on older or more small-batch wine in certain restaurants. There's also restaurants with a Raisinable Award to show the best overall value in their wine list. The only downside with this is I can't find any yet. If you could search for restaurants possessing these two features I'd be in wine-filled paradise. But we all know this is surely on the way soon...

Overall this app is invaluable, and genuinely exciting for wine fans in London and beyond. It puts power and confidence at your fingertips, and that can only be hugely positive for the consumer. I'm so excited to have this beauty in my handbag at all times - I'll never drink bad wine again...

Download Raisinable for free from the App store now!

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