Checking out my blog statistics, this weekend, I saw a referring address I had never noticed before: ablegrape.com. It got me curious, and led me to discovering a pretty neat search engine specializing in… wine, of course.
Able Grape, which is currently in a beta version, has a lot going for it. Strong results, for one thing, since your search is automatically filtered towards pages concerned with wine, so you don’t get results featuring a law firm that bears the same name as your favorite merchant or winemaker. Good options, also, allowing you to further restrict your search to official bodies, press, commercial sites or even tasting notes, or a neat triangle next to the results, allowing you to dig deeper into the results from a particular web site that your search will have turned up.
I’ve tried it a few times, and was fairly impressed with the results. I found myself surfing towards new sites I’d never explored before, and finding very interesting information that came out on top in the results pages.
Now, there are a few kinks. For instance, you get a “next” button to look further in your search results, but no “previous”, should you want to come back. That’s a pretty basic navigation tool, guys. The frame built page is also a touch unwieldy. One of my good friends (and web professional) also pointed out to me that the business model that could propel Able Grape to success remains unclear.
Still, if it evolves well, this search engine should become a most interesting way to look for information about the wild world of wine. It’s definitely worth trying.