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Wine apps to get you through the holidays

Smartphone applications are a valuable resource for beginners and connoisseurs alike who want to keep abreast of wine trends, compare prices, find bargains and gain knowledge, especially during the busy holiday season. A few favorites are listed below.

Pair It (for iPhone and Android), a comprehensive guide to pairing food and wine (Approx. $5) http://www.pairitapp.com/

Wine Ratings Guide (for iPhone) provides a database of more than 1 million wines, searchable by name, price, varietal, food pairing, flavor profile, region, producer and designation. (Approx. $4, available in French, English, German and Spanish)

Hello Vino (for any smartphone) provides wine suggestions based on personal taste preferences for special occasions and gifts, as well as food pairing suggestions. (Free for iPhone and Android) http://www.hellovino.com/

Corkbin (for iPhone and Android) is a user generated wine journal, complete with glossary. Users take photos of wine and can search their "bins" by date or location or bookmark them. Users can also view wines other people nearby have saved. (Approx. $1)

WineNow (for iPhone) Created by the editor-in-chief of Hong Kong-based magazine Winenow Monthly, this is an interactive guide to pairing wine with Chinese cuisine by region. (Approx. $2, available in English and Chinese)

Also try the Hong Kong Tourism Board's application  Chinese Cuisine and Wine Pairing, which matches wines to more than 20 Chinese dishes. (Free)

Berry's Wine List (for iPhone) Users can browse the British wine retailer's 2,000 plus wine inventory with an accompanying guide for tasting notes and maturity guides, as well as access Berry's virtual wine school. Prices are available in Japanese yen, Hong Kong dollars, US dollars, euros and UK pounds. (Free) http://www.bbr.com/services/iphone

Swirl (for Android) by Snooth, which powers wine search results for Conde Nast's Epicurious and allows users to save wines under different categories (like, dislike, want, have). It can also sync with Google Maps to locate nearby wine stores. (Free)