Helping you learn your grapes

Your secret weapon for finding the wine styles you like, wherever you are.

The project

Bibendum is the UK’s leading independent wine merchant catering for all sectors of the UK trade. We designed and built the ‘Plonk’ app for them to show a periodic-style table of grape varieties, which were organised in a spectrum from light to strong whites, then reds.

Users could then view information on a specific grape variety by tapping on its square as well as listen to a short audio clip to hear the correct pronunciation for the variety. The user could also rate that particular grape, be given other grape suggestions, and share with friends.

The process

We wanted to design and develop an app which would raise awareness by providing top-level information on grape varieties as well as encouraging consumers who are interested in wine, but not necessarily experts, to try and discover them.

Grape varieties are the fundamental elements of wine making – they can be used by themselves, or blended together to create new wine styles. We wanted to convey a sense of the science behind a good wine and the iconic style of the periodic table was a perfect fit. In consultation with Bibendum, we organised all of the featured grape varieties in a spectrum from light whites to heavy reds.

Users can tap on a grape tile to view information on it and then follow a path through recommendations to discover new varieties.

The recommendations featured in the app are powered by Bibendum’s “Taste Test” – a simple way of helping people discover wines that they will find delicious. It is built on 80 years of research into the science of taste and how many taste buds we have. Some individuals can have as many as 10,000 taste buds, and others as few as 500, so this affects the sort of food and drink we will enjoy.

Taste Test calculates personal taste profiles and then matches them to different styles of wine – helping people explore the world of wine with confidence.

The world of wine apps is filled with examples of complex and fussy design. From the outset, the visual identity for Plonk – from the logo to the icons - was intended to shift away from a stuffy aesthetic to a much purer and more minimal one.


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