Epicurious says put all that together and you'll have an excellent vegetarian cassoulet. User comments strongly suggest using vegetable stock instead of water. But what about the wine?Leeks, celery, carrots, cannellini beans and some herbs.
Two year old wine social network Snooth announced today that it is now powering wine recommendations for the 25,000 editor tested recipes on Conde Nast's food site Epicurious. Snooth says this is just the first of a number of big sites that its custom algorithm will power recommendations on. That cassoulet? Snooth suggests you serve a Montevina Terra d'Oro Syrah 2002 ($15) with it. Nice.
Wine with food has got to be one of the most familiar kinds of recommendations offline, but the online recommendation technology industry is a fast growing one. The belief is that quality recommendations will serve as searches you never knew you wanted to perform - helping users navigate from one logical option to another, possibly making more purchases as a result and hopefully being better served by the websites they visit.
A food site with good wine recommendations sounds pretty tasty to me. Snooth says its recommendations are based on ingredients, cuisine and cooking method.
Here's how it works. First, the keywords are parsed out of a recipe, then they are run through an extensive food dictionary and a long decision tree is then followed. Is it a soup, is it a salad, what is the primary taste? Beef and nuts tastes mostly like beef; beef and liver tastes mostly like liver. How the ingredients are to be prepared is determined by their proximity to preparation words in the recipe. Recipes with expensive ingredients will see more expensive wine recommendations, inexpensive ingredients (lobster vs. shrimp, for example) will yield less expensive wine suggestions. Goodbye old one-liners about "if you're eating chicken!"
Nibbledish, Cookstr, Chow? All cool recipe sites but no wine recommendations, much less very sophisticated ones. It's easy to see how recommendations can provide a competitive advantage in a niche like this.