Wine is one of the few refreshments on our planet that has inspired humans to poetry. Take Galileo Galilei’s comment that “Wine is sunlight, held together by water,” or Euripides’ observation that “Where there is no wine, there is no love.” It also inspired a French company to invent and market the MyOeno wine scanner and app (US$65), a perfect way to determine which wines please your palate the most.
MyOeno is a small handheld device that you can easily tuck into a jacket pocket on your way to a wine tasting. The device uses colorimetry to determine three fundamental oenological (“the study of wines”) characteristics — strength, tannins and acidity — by flashing different color lights through the wine and detecting how the wine absorbs different frequencies of light.
Each of the characteristics is is measured on a scale of 0 to 100, and MyOeno lets wine enthusiasts determine which wines are similar in terms of those characteristics.
The companion app (which oddly has a few words that are still in French…) walks the taster through taking a photo of the bottle, adding information on such things as the name, region, appellation, vintage, and so on, then asks you to put the tip of the MyOeno device into the glass of wine. It presents its results on a screen that you can store on your iPhone, showing your score (0 to 10 on how well you liked the wine), the oenological characteristics, your notes on the aromatics of the wine, a comment on what foods the wine would be best paired with, and a button to show similar wines.
Unsurprisingly for a French product, the app tends to focus on French wines. The first part of the process of tasting a wine with MyOeno involves taking a picture of the label, which it then apparently uses AI on to determine which wine you’re drinking. That’s fine, but the labels of even well-known high-end California wines (Cambria, Testarossa, and Sanford, for example) were not recognized. Hopefully that will change as more Americans begin to use MyOeno.
My only issue with the app is in the descriptions provided — they’re obviously translated from the French and can be somewhat funny to read, especially to friends. For example, “On distinguishes mainly strength which highlights the warmth of the wine.” What the heck?
iPhone X — Unlock (number 19): “Unquestionably, 2018 was an amazing year for Apple’s creative marketing, as you’ll see more than once again in this list. One exceptionally crafted piece that’s often overlooked, though, is one made by production house Furlined to launch the iPhone X. With a breathless pace and effortless style, “Unlock” is a feast of visual popcorn as a young woman learns that her glance can unlock the new iPhone—and maybe everything else?”
Share Your Gifts (number nine): “Apple’s holiday ads in recent years have all been quite delightful, but this year’s outing was a piece of such intense craft and rich storytelling, it immediately earned a special place in the pantheon of great Apple ads from across the brand’s history. The musically enchanting animation tells the story of a young, creative woman who spends a year on something that she’s just a bit too nervous to unveil to the world—until her closest companion gives her a nudge. With a relatable moral, exquisitely crafted visuals that mix physical miniatures with computer animation, and more Easter eggs than probably any other ad in 2018, it’s a spot you’ll want to watch over and over.”
Welcome Home (number two): “One (probably valid) criticism of the most artistic and ambitious pieces in advertising history is that they often lack any real connection to the product and feel more like art for art’s sake. Not so with “Welcome Home,” the absolutely, arrestingly incredible spot created by TBWAMedia Arts Lab and director Spike Jonze for the Apple HomePod. The voice device kicks off a magical scenario that sees FKA twigs creating an expansive new reality within the confines of her cramped New York apartment—a metaphor anyone can appreciate for how sound quality can have a liberating effect on the soul. It’s one of the best ads of the year. It’s one of the best ads of all time.”