Real Time Wine app a first for South African wine drinkers

Digital Content

A wine advisory app aimed at the average wine drinker has recorded more than 20,000 visits to its mobile platform in eight months.

One of its popular selling points is “sweaty saddles” and other flowery language is allowed on the mobile app, making it easy to understand and quick to use.

Andy Hadfield, founder of Real Time Wine, began work on the application at the start of 2012 and it was officially launched in July of the same year.

Speaking to HumanIPO, Hadfield said the initial idea for the application began as a hobby. “Back in 2011 I started tweeting wine reviews as a way to remember the good ones,” said Hadfield.

“You drink an awesome wine at a restaurant or at a friend’s house or at a dinner party and you wake up the next day asking ‘that was an awesome wine, what the hell was it called?’”

The wine review tweet stream then turned into a blog and within around a month it had seven writers and “hundreds of consumer reviews” on the blog.

The name was inspired by the real time experience of the app since Hadfield found that it is difficult for South Africans to choose a wine.

“The majority of South African wine drinkers don’t research their wine,” said Hadfield and added that South Africans will simply visit a supermarket  to buy a red wine to go with a steak meal, but have no idea of which wine to choose.

Then, upon discovering that it is an “awesome” wine from the supermarket the consumer is able to share the experience through a rating of the one on the app, thus it is a real time experience.

Other problems facing South African wine consumers is the “daunting” retail experience, including “the wall of wine”, Hadfield’s term for the large range of wine brands stocked on shelves.
“The problem is we want that kind of range from supermarkets... but the range makes it harder to make a decision,” he explained.

Another problem involves traditional media, which often makes use of “snobby” words or terms.
“Traditional wine media in this country is very much aimed at the top 20 percent of the market, what I call the wine snobs - the people that really know their stuff and you can see the culture, the style of the language, the highfalutin snobby words they use... which means no one is talking to the bottom 80 percent. We’re talking to that bottom 80 percent,” said Hadfield.

Furthermore, these “highfalutin” words are banned from the application. Examples include the above mentioned “sweaty saddle”, which could sound foul to 80 percent of the market. Others include gush and lanolin, which is a yellow substance “akin to wax that is secreted from wooly animals”. The app is programmed to automatically reject these words.

Hadfield said the wine producing community has received the application very well, especially with the launch of the application’s counterpart “Super Fan Club”, because it presents an opportunity for winemakers and marketers to connect directly with their end users.

Since its launch, Real Time Wine has recorded 23,685 visits, approximately 3,000 unique visitors per month 6,500 application downloads, 2,100 registered reviewers, approximately 9,000 ratings, an average of 28 user generated reviews per day, 1,637 likes on Facebook and 2,182 Twitter followers.