Conscientious Consumption

A new website gives you a leg up on ordering wine

We've become a society of menu stalkers, diners who pour over a restaurant's offerings online and arrive for the meal with a clear idea of what we're going to order.

And now we can be just as obsessive with wine.

WineChap is a new website (and iPhone app) that lets you tackle the most intimidating part of the meal–choosing what to drink with dinner–before you step inside the restaurant.

Like a trusted sommelier, WineChap evaluates NYC's best wine lists and calls out their highlights. It'll help you spot the best deals, offbeat bottles and worthy splurges–and tell you what to order to impress a first date or your oenophile boss. In addition, it'll point out a list's pitfalls, from overpriced bottles to young wines that have yet to peak. And if there's a favorite bottle you're dying to drink, you can search for it across the city.

WineChap's help is free, but if you need extra assistance with your wine choices, you can sign up for WineChap's "Premier Crew" ($300 to join, plus $100 a month), which gives you instant, personal access to one of its wine experts, who can help you pair your meal with wine and call a restaurant ahead of time to have that 2001 Barolo decanted before you arrive.