Coles links wine and food in web facelift

Vintage Cellars trials Mircosoft Pivot to categorise its wine collection for users

Vintage Cellars' revamped web interface

Vintage Cellars' revamped web interface

Coles-owned online retailer Vintage Cellars is developing an experimental web site to give wine connoisseurs better insight into their favourite drop.

Customers will choose from thousands of wines, beers and spirits from a large visual grid built on Microsoft's Pivot, and can locate drinks by variety, region, price or a food accompaniment.

Pivot is a new Silverlight-based software application that allows users to interact with large amounts of data using a visual platform that can arrange information into graphs, grids and charts using metadata.

Microsoft Australia services architect, Graham Elliott, said the web site will be indicative of the "next generation" online consumer experience.

"I can ask a mate about what wine goes with what, and what is a good drop, but how on Earth do you do this on the Internet?" Elliott said.

"We took about a 1000 images from their image bank, and used the massive amount of metadata around it and tried to make an immersive experience.

"I can slide and dice, search for a wine that goes with steak, zoom right in on the labels, compare it to products."

Elliot said more e-commerce features and interactive features will be integrated similarly to other Coles web sites.

Microsoft developer evangelist, Michael Kordahi, called the site a "unified marketplace of data".

Coles' parent company, Wesfarmers, recently announced a $200 million ICT investment in the past year across its businesses.

The funding covers point of sale, supply chain, and enterprise resource planning systems among others.

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