Wine Demon is a new venture from the Naked Wines team. and its first release is an iPhone app which provides ratings and recommendations for wines. 

The iPhone app launched yesterday, with an Android version planned for the new year.

I’ve been asking Chief Demon Greg Banbury about Wine Demon…

In one sentence, what is Wine Demon?

WineDemon is the ‘Trip Advisor’ for wine.

What problems does Wine Demon solve?

WineDemon saves you from those embarrassing social situations where you don’t know which wine to buy. Like being given the wine list when you don’t have a clue what to order, and the overbearing sommelier is recommending a bottle costing double what you had in mind.

Or standing in the supermarket faced with 300 wines on ‘special offer’. WineDemon tells you which wine to buy according to your friends.

When and why did you launch it?

We launched it having seen some research that said more than half of all wine buying consumers trust recommendations from friends and family when buying wine and yet there was no app out there for them to use to get those recommendations.

We saw there was a gap in the market and WineDemon was launched in October.

Who is your target audience?

Everyone from wine novice to wine geek. The great thing about the app is that someone who knows nothing about wine can fire it up and make an informed decision on which wine to buy where they are.

What does this app do that other wine apps don’t? 

WineDemon is all about your friends, the people you trust. The recommendations come from them, and you can easily share the wines you love with them.

We’re not trying to be another ‘Wine Geek’, this is something anyone with any amount of wine knowledge can pick up and figure out which bottle to buy.

What are your immediate goals?

We’ve partnered with some of the wine distributors in the UK to build up our database of wines and where they are served, but we need more data. So we’re paying users to get out and rate wines and invite their friends to help out.

What were the biggest challenges involved in building Wine Demon?

We wanted to make the app as easy to use as possible, so getting the design right was an important part of the build. As I’ve already mentioned, getting the data of which wines are served where is a challenge, which is why we’re prepared to pay people to help us.

How will the company make money?

We’re aiming to build the world’s largest, most trusted wine community. That’s got to be worth some money to someone, right…please say yes?

How do you intend to grow the userbase of the app?

Because WineDemon is really useful when you get your friends involved, we’re hoping the user base will grow virally.

We allow you to hook up to Facebook, Twitter and use your Google contacts in order to find friends already on WineDemon, and invite those who aren’t. For every friend that accepts your invite, you get paid.

Who is in the team and what does it look like?

We’ve got two incredibly talented developers working on the app and our website and two lovely young ladies loading up wine lists and venues. And me. And er, that’s it!

How is it funded?

We got £500,000 funding from Rowan Gormley the founder of Naked Wines. This is a personal investment for Rowan and WineDemon is totally separate from Naked Wines.

Where would you like to be in one, three and five year’s time?

We want to be the go-to app for people in need of wine inspiration. Success will be measured by the number of people who keep coming back to the app. That means we’re adding some value to those people’s lives, which is what we set out to do!