Electronic Sommelier Steps into Spotlight


ATLANTA — Some restaurateurs who are letting Apple iPads do the talking are seeing a surge in wine sales.

According to a recent story in The New York Times, diners at Bone’s steakhouse in Atlanta are greeted by waiters bearing iPads instead of the usual leather-bound wine lists. The tablet allows diners to peruse the restaurant’s wine list and access ratings and descriptions.

Since the introduction of the electronic menu, more than a month ago, Bone’s saw wine sales climb 11 per cent, the Times reports. The trend is picking up steam internationally, and some suggest it’s making an intimidating aspect of dining — choosing the perfect vino — much easier. “I felt like they had given me the answer sheet to the test,” Bradley D. Kendall, a Bone’s regular, told the Times. “I found a bottle of wine that I never would have tried, and it was wonderful,” he said.

The Long Island-based company Incentient, which created the wine-list software for the iPad, has reportedly received orders from 40 restaurants. “Selecting wine is an age-old tradition,” Jennifer Martucci, the vice-president of product development, sales and marketing for the company, told the newspaper.  “But the time has come to enhance the experience in the way that we’re used to getting information today.”

For the complete Times story, click here.


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