Snooth is a wine review and recommendation service that launched early last month. The idea is simple–provide a few simple ratings of wines you like or dislike, and Snooth will serve up ones it thinks you’ll enjoy. It runs on a similar system to the one you find on Netflix, with one to five star ratings, and a bevy of user reviews. The system currently has a listing of over 1.5 million wines, and if you can’t find one you’ve had or liked in the past, you can simply add it.
In addition to showing user rants and raves, Snooth pulls professional reviews from online publications, which it pools into separate ratings. Each wine’s page also features the option to buy it from one of the partnered wine dealers, which will jump you off Snooth’s site, and onto their online store. In most cases, I found that the deals on the partner sites weren’t that much better than the prices at my local wine dealer, but it’s nice to have that option.
There’s also a friends system, with user profiles that let you see what your Snooth buddies have been rating on the site, and an RSS feed in case you feel like keeping tabs in your favorite feed reader.
One of the only problems I ran into with Snooth was its segmentation of wine years. Since many a connoisseur will tell you that a lot can happen to a wine from year to year, it’s important to attribute a review of a wine to the correct year, which Snooth handles by making different product pages for each vintage. This is handy, but it simultaneously scatters the reviews. Now take someone who has had a mass market wine like Yellow Tail’s Shiraz once or twice a year for the past three years. The wine might have tasted similar all three times, but they’re not likely to go in and write three different reviews–especially if the experience was nearly identical each time. To justify that, it would make a lot more sense for each wine to get its own page, and have an option to filter the reviews and commerce links by year.
There is a workaround to this, by sorting via vintage in Snooth’s search filters, but it’s still no easy task to browse other vintages and reviews from any old product page.
I like Snooth. I think it’s simple to use, and does its job. After just five ratings you start getting recommendations, which is handy. As for actually purchasing wine online, I think I’ll stick to my favorite.
By Josh Lowensohn.
Credit: CNET Networks