eSommelier Products Saint John NB
North Vancouver, BC
West Vancouver, BC
December 1, 2007 By Jeff Smith
A wine cellar is the most auspicious room in the house, a hope chest where one keeps dreams of future gratification and anticipates the rewards of patience. Romantic notions aside, it’s also a refrigerated warehouse space where the merchandise is kept prior to consumption. For wine enthusiasts, knowing what wines they have and where they put them can pose a thorny problem. If you can’t find a certain bottle to bring to dinner, the wine cellar is not as valuable to you as you thought it would be. After all, serious oenophiles often consume wines several years after they acquire them, and many collections total 5,000 bottles or more.
A few solutions are available, but most have been rather unappealing. Wine critic Robert Parker offers webtools for purchasing and managing a wine cellar, but they seem to require advanced degrees in architecture, computer science, and oenology. From a strictly utilitarian perspective, a laptop with an Excel spreadsheet will get the job done—so would a spiral notebook, for that matter—but both demand considerable effort.
One product that has caught my attention—and brought some high-tech twists to wine cellar management—is eSommelier from Media Access Solutions. Its touchscreen technology requires few or no computer skills. Positioned in or just outside the cellar, its barcode printer and scanner allow wine collectors to keep precise control over their vinous holdings, however large or small.
eSommelier lets you search your inventory by name, vineyard, varietal, country or region of origin, vintage, or optimal drinking date. When you find the bottle you want, it tells you which bin in your cellar holds that bottle. It keeps track of your wine through bar code labels you apply to each bottle as you add it to your cellar. When you remove a bottle, you swipe it past the bar code reader so the system knows it’s gone. If you don’t consume the bottle that night, swipe it under the reader again and replace it in the correct bin.
There are two ways to input the information for your collection. The first, used when entering a large collection for the first time, is an Excel template. Enter the information for each of the wines in your collection, then upload the template from your computer into eSommelier. You can then print all of the bar code labels you need in a single batch (this task should be especially easy for the many collectors who already have much or all of this information catalogued in Excel).
The second method, which is more appropriate when you’re adding just a few bottles or cases, is through the touchscreen. eSommelier makes this process easy with on-screen prompts and an extensive internal wine database that fills in much of the information for you. Once the wine is identified, you tell eSommelier how many bottles of that wine you have and which bin you plan to store them in, and it automatically generates the bar ...