“Hey Juno, what’s the best Shiraz under $35 from the Barossa?,’’ you’ll ask your smartphone. “Here is a lovely Hentley Farm Wines shiraz from the Barossa Valley. Rated 96, Price $27.’’
That’s not scene from a sci-fi future, it’s here now with Halliday’s Top 100 able to talk to you thanks to the power of artificial intelligence, paired with James Halliday’s unmatched wine knowledge.
The app, dubbed Juno, will be released this weekend to coincide with Halliday’s Top 100 published in The Weekend Australian Magazine on Saturday. It’s the brainchild of Judy Pridmore, who was Mr Halliday’s publisher in the mid-1990s.
“This is the future of wine discovery,’’ Ms Pridmore told The Australian. “It’s very practical and it just works. You can walk into Dan Murphy’s, ask what the best wine at your pricepoint is, and Juno will tell you. We’ve never been able to slice and dice this content so easily, and we’re really leading the industry with this.’’
All you need is a Google Home device, or the Google Assistant on your compatible Android or iOS device, for example an iPhone or iPad, and an internet connection. And some wine to choose from.
“Voice is the most natural way for people to interact,’’ Junovate co-founder Dheeren Vélu said. “It’s been the holy grail for us, people don’t want to be clicking buttons. Voice is the perfect way to be finding which wine to drink.’’
The app will even soon be able to speak in a number of different languages, offering Chinese and European visitors the option to easily find the right wine for them. And, once it has enough data, Juno will also be able to recommend perfect food and wine pairings.
“When I was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 I expressed hope that I would be able to continue to support the Australian wine industry for some time to come, and I am delighted to be involved with the development and introduction of Juno,’’ Mr Halliday said.
“The advent of the computer age seemed magical – the whole universe of information available ‘at the touch of a button’. I must confess that the universe has not been troubled by any of my keyboard attempts to master it.
“The ability to explore and retrieve information – especially about wine – via a voice-powered AI assistant has moved us all into a more competent and interesting future.’’
He added that the app is “quite frankly, amazing’’.
“It’s going to be useful for anyone prowling around retailers or going to cellar doors, it’s just really good stuff.’’
By David Swan | The Australian Newspaper