Food and Wine Writing on a Smart Phone

A woman scans the wine aisle at a grocery store, overwhelmed by the selection. She’s looking for a  wine to go with the  chicken her husband will grill for friends this weekend. Then she remembers: she has the information at her fingertips. She whips out her smart phone (an iPhone, iPod Touch or BlackBerry in this case) and finds the exact recommendations: for red wine, Bonarda; for white, dry Zinfandel or Chenin Blanc.

Natalie Maclean made $2.99 when this target reader bought her smart phone application, the Mobile Drinks Matcher.

“The two trends that are exploding in popularity now: interest in food and wine, and the convenience of mobile apps,” says Natalie. “ As a wine-loving geek, I love finding ways for new technology to help us savor all of life’s pleasures, wherever we are.”

How many more target readers will spend $2.99 for this repurposed content? Natalie made a big investment (she won’t say how much) and hopes to find out. After spending eight years developing a searchable database of food and wine pairings for her website, the multiple award-winning writer spent three months with a software developer, creating a database of  380,000 mobile wine and food pairing applications for her Mobile Drinks Matcher. While anyone can look up the information on her website, she wanted a remote application for  liquor stores and restaurants.

Here’s what’s different from people searching her website from their computers and finding the exact same information: She gets paid. Isn’t that nice? Unusual, even.

Of course she has to recover her investment of several thousand dollars at least. It’s going to take a lot of $2.99 purchases. But the trend is increasing. People look up info while on the go.

Watch this quick video demo to see how the application works. And think about it: what food writing do you own that might be repurposed this way?

Update: Hey, I scooped the New York Times. On Agust 3, Gadgetwise reviewed three more apps.