What is Cellartracke and Why Do I Need it

Hi all,

I’m kinda new here and new to the online wine world in general. I keep seeing references to Cellartracker here - like lots of references, like everyone uses it, it’s a given. Well I’m not on it. What is Cellartracker and why do I need it? I visited their website, which pretty much assumes that all their visitors know what to do with it. They could use an explanatory page. Is it just a program to keep track of what wine you are storing so you don’t “forget” to drink it at its peak? And also a program to make and share tasting notes?

Although I am considering a wine fridge, I buy wine and drink it within a month because all I have is a regular fridge. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to go into my “cellar” and pull out a 10-20 year old burgundy for a special occasion but I’m not there yet. Until I start my own “collection” do I need a cellar tracker account? Is it for better and more “expert” tasting notes?

I went on there to poke around and found a discussion board which seems to have lower traffic than this site, or at least lower than the main board on this site. So I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth my time to delve into cellar tracker.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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Sounds like you don’t need it. It’s mainly for keeping track of your cellar - hence the name Cellar Tracker. Until then, stick around and keep learning and drinking.

If you don’t have a wine collection you don’t need your own account. If your collection is small you may not. But if you have a large collection, some sort of inventory and organization becomes important. You can do it via spreadsheet but CT offers a huge number of useful features for searching and sorting your cellar.

CT is a great resource for information on wines even if you don’t use it for your own collection. I use it all the time to check notes on wines I’m considering buying or drinking.

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Thanks to both of you for responding. Sounds like I don’t need CT for tracking my non existent collection yet but I hope to get there soon.

I use the Vivino app on my phone for tasting notes when I’m shopping for wine or drinking it. I can take a picture of the label and I can see winemaker notes, a variety of amateur tasting notes, etc. Is Vivino amateur hour? Is CT considered the expert’s wine site?

Vivino is commercial. They are trying to sell you wine. CellarTracker is the de facto standard for tracking purchase and tasting notes. As a result, it is geared toward collectors/consumers.

Take a bottle I bought tonight: 2014 Ghislaine Barthod Le Cras. I type that into Vivino and what do I get: a solicitation to buy 2013 and graphs about flavor profiles. Scroll a bit I see reviews. I type it into cellar tracker: first thing I see is a vintage breakdown with community score, Burghound review, and drink window. I click on 2014 I see reviews and community reported pricing. I open the notes and see Burgundy Al liked it. DCornutt loved it. I click on DCornutt’s profile to see if we have similar tastes.

For me, the quality of the search, the prioritization of information and tight integration with other information sources like pro reviewers, wine-searcher, and winemarketjournal as well as the high quality notes from many amateurs whom I trust makes CT for me the hands down number one app I reach for when looking for info on wine.


If you start spending too much time here you’ll need Cellartracker before you know it. Ask me how I know. [snort.gif]


Quality response, thanks! I will check out the CT app. I hope they have a camera function - that thing is key on Vivino.

It does! When you open the app it’s a button on the top right with a little camera icon and the word “label”

I think I’ve used it once. On Delectable I’ve used the label identifier many times but I find the text search so good and fast in Cellar Tracker that it is more efficient and more likely to find the right bottle.

I think the CT app uses Vivino or the recognition engine from it for the camera integration. In that regard it is great. I found the CT reviews to be a bit more polished than the bulk of Vivino reviews, but there are exceptions both directions there.

Also, the help pages on CT are great and they made quite a few videos on how to use many of the features. At its core it is a database of almost every wine and then another database of your wines and notes and then gives you many ways of searching and displaying it all.

I started using it when my collection was about 50 bottles, mostly so I could track my own tasting notes. I’m only up to 200 bottles or so, but it is great for finding which wine is in which rack/bin, telling me which wines are near ready to drink (of the ones that need ageing), I can cross reference prices before I order, and of course I can review tasting notes to see if I liked a producer or particular wine before.

Welcome to the forum Ron!

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I used Cellartracker in the past but deleted my account a few years ago. I haven’t missed it at all. I didn’t find it worth the time it takes to maintain inventory and I don’t take notes on what I drink. That makes it all seem like work that I don’t want to do. I haven’t yet lost track of bottles even as the collection has grown well north of 1000 bottles. So my $0.02 is that it’s really all about how you want to enjoy this hobby. If you like looking at your inventory, reading notes from others, and running reports it’s a great tool. But is surely isn’t required to manage a reasonably sized cellar that is only for personal consumption.

I agree not necessary to manage inventory. In fact, I’ve seen better approaches. I think the value of CT is the rich database of information and notes on wine connected with common data sources. On the margin, I feel like it is a good idea to put bottles/notes in CT to give back (as it is a benefit to the commons).

When browsing wines in Costco or online, I formerly went to Vivino all the time. Now I go to CellarTracker. I love the simplistic interface (took a little while to get accustomed to it) and I used it to track wines I drank and really liked the link to wine-searcher. And once I started buying stuff to hold for awhile, it became indispensible (did I spell that right?)

Ron, you may want to open a CT account to track your tasting notes and read notes from others who like your same wines, even if you don’t have a large collection.

Not too soon. Take ur time tasting. Learning. Limiting ur buying mistakes :wink:

Thanks again everyone. I’ll check out CT.

Ron, I’m relatively new to collecting (not consuming) wine and only have a small collection at this time but I personally find Cellar Tracker very useful. I basically use it as a journal to keep a record of what I have bought and consumed. It allows you to keep both public and private tasting notes so even if you are not good at writing tasting notes (for public use) it’s a great way to privately record what you thought about a given wine for later reference. It is also a great research tool. I find CT users to be much more discerning and discriminating than sites like Vivino (for example) so I trust the opinion of the collective group (just know that, as usual, there are always outliers). And when shopping at your local wine store CT can search its database by simply snapping a pic on your phone from within the app. It’s a great way to look up tasting notes. You can also enter wines to your cellar by the same method.

Taking notes, scoring wines on CT is highly recommended. Even if it’s just a few words who only help you. This way you get a diary of what you had and how you liked it. It forces you to think about the wine you have and set in context of all the wines you had before. In the end you will understand wine, the regions and varieties, your tasting preferences much better than without doing that. Ultimately, this will lead to better choices and more pleasure.

I don’t post any notes on CT, have not attempted to score wines in over a decade, and don’t need to keep track of the bottles in my >100 “cellar”, but it is an exceptional and unmatched source for other people’s notes and opinions.

Cellar tracker and this forum are the places that I look first when I’m looking for information about a bottle that I don’t know very well. Whether or not you use it to track your collection is a matter of preference. I will say that if you are going to try and track your collection with cellar tracker, I highly recommend printing out the labels using the qr code method - much easier for the phone camera to recognize quickly. I also find it fun to print out a restaurant style wine list of what I have at home at the moment.

I just started using it. I have a large collection in 2 different cellars. I wish I had started sooner.

It makes life easier.