Digital Wine Journal Grapeshare Launches, But Will it Succeed Unlike Cork'd?

Wine connoisseurs now have another digital place to share the wines they love with Grapeshare.

"We're building Grapeshare to be a place for wine enthusiasts to track their experiences with wine and share them with others mostly because we couldn't find anything that worked the way we envisioned," Grapeshare CEO Spicer Matthews tells LAUNCH. "So, in a way we're not like any of those [Facebook, Google+ and Anybeat]. But our goals are somewhat similar to many of them: connect people through their interests in a more refined and targeted way."

Grapeshare lets users add wines to share with their followers, suggests potential drinking buddies to follow and provides wine recommendations.

Earlier this year, however, social network for wine aficionados Cork'd shut down. Founded in 2006, Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library acquired Cork'd in 2007, which led some to believe his viral presence would contribute to the growth of Cork'd. 

"We think there's enormous opportunity for wine and social and web going into 2011 and I continue to focus on those categories," Gary says in a video announcing the end of Cork'd.

But considering that Cork'd eventually shutdown, it raises the question: Will Grapeshare succeed?
"Primarily we will succeed by executing well and adapting to our user's needs," Spicer tells LAUNCH. "We are not in a hurry to "catch on", and I think this might help give us some patience to try new things and experiment."

The core of Grapeshare is in recording and rating wine. Users give wines 1 to 5 stars, upload photos, add a location and tag with labels, the site states.

"We have built and will continue to improve upon a programming backend that can process people's likes and dislikes and give very targeted suggestions of wines they might enjoy," Spicer says.

Powered by wine-searcher, a search engine for 30K+ wine stores and their prices, Grapeshare will suggest new wines for you based on those you rate.

Users can create an account using Facebook, Twitter or Google accounts. Grapeshare is currently working on mobile apps for iPhone and Android.

Spicer says that they're still navigating the waters to figure out how they'll fit into the current social network ecosystem.

"We think over time it's possible to develop a community of engaged wine lovers," Spicer says. "We're exploring channels to reach them and engage with them such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. When we know more about how our users want to communicate with other wine lovers, we'll be there to help them do just that."

Other services in the wine and tech space include SocialGrapes, Second Glass, Drync and Daily Grape.

Grapeshare is jointly owned by SV angel investors and web application development company Cloudmanic Labs, where Spicer serves as CEO.

Other products from Cloudmanic Labs include accounting service Skyclerk, RentalBooks for keeping track of tenants and fitness application Elevation.

"We're really proud of our cool and beautiful design and the team we put together," Spicer says. "We're also getting to know those early adopters who are so into wine and technology that they come to us and share their opinions and their enthusiasm with us."


From the Grapeshare homepage, you can add a new wine, find connoisseurs to follow and see wine recommendations.

Grapeshare also provides profile pages for wine. You can also see which wines you might like based on what other people have liked. 

In the People tab, you can find suggested connoisseurs to follow. 

When adding a new wine, you can add details like which winery you bought it from, your rating of the wine, notes and images.