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2024 Alex Marshall

my work

Portfolio

This website

About

Pantry

2024

Alex Marshall

29 May 2023

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Time to read:

3 mins

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Projects

Creating a Shortcut to catalogue nice wines

Originally published 29 May 2023. Last updated 23 Jun 2023

tldr; I had some nice wine and wanted to store its details so I created a Shortcut that prompts me to fill out various details, and then submits them to Bear. You can get the shortcut here

I was recently in a tapas bar in Cardiff and ordered myself a glass of white wine. Not knowing much about wine, I relied on two things when deciding what to get; price and the tasting notes. My general strategy when it comes to price is to get the second or third most expensive on the list, (on the assumption that there are maybe 3-5 options that are all somewhat reasonably priced). As it stood on this particular occasion, the tasting notes for that wine also sounded right up my street

" Pale, sweet, smooth with peach, apple & honey "

I ordered the wine and had a sniff and took a sip. It was fantastic. The peach was so obviously there but not so intense that it tasted like an artificial, gummy sweet and the crispness and acidity were really well balanced. My strategy had paid off again.

I wanted to make a note of this wine so that if in the future I saw it again on a menu, I’d know to order it. Or if I was browsing wine in a store, I’d know what to look for, rather than staring blankly at a wall of bottles and buying based on nothing but the label design

As is always the case, my first thought was that I should build an app to track the wines I drink (I don’t know a single line of Swift and don’t have the attention span to learn for long enough that I could build something myself)

But then I remembered about Shortcuts. I’ve been playing with Shortcuts recently and have enjoyed seeing what people are able to create on r/Shortcuts. So I started building out a shortcut that would request inputs for things like name, year, colour and grape variety, and then combine those with my current location and the current weather conditions. It would then take all of those text strings, combine them into a paragraph, create a new note in Bear and paste in the paragraph

Quick tip: It took me a while to realise this but the Text element in Shortcuts will convert markdown once it's submitted into bear - so ## will become an H2 title, and - - - (excluding the spaces between) will become a divider, and so on

One of the things I like most about Bear is that it supports tags and nested tags. So I played around in Shortcuts and figured out how to format text and insert variables to create nested tags that will eventually allow me to easily find all the red wines I’ve saved, or all of the chardonnays for example. If you’re curious, this is what my nesting structure looks like

" #drinks/drink-type/colour/grape which would look like #drinks/wine/red/pinot-noir for example "

Screenshot of a note in Bear showing all of the information that's been stored via the Shortcut. It includes the date and time, weather conditions, nested tags, wine details, tasting notes and location purchased

If you made it this far, I appreciate you! And if you were wondering what the wine was that kicked this whole thing off;

🍷 Marina Alta

🎨 White

🍇 Muscat of Alexandria

If you want to use my shortcut, you can access it below. If you do use it, or if you have any suggestions or feedback, tag me on Mastodon

Get the shortcut

My plan now is to expand on this shortcut so I can store the details of any drink, from a single shortcut. And perhaps most importantly, I’m going to have to drink some more wine to populate my new catalogue. ¡Salud! 🥂

Alex :)

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