Finding a Better Way

The Calldera story begins in 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia.  I, founder Lisa Pickelsimer, was working as a telecommunications professional.  An innovator and entrepreneur at heart, I sought to identify a solution to something with which I personally struggled.

In my early twenties, my French uncle introduced me to the great pleasure of good food and a properly paired wine.  Some experiences were better than others, but when the experience was right, it was amazing!

One Friday afternoon, I was standing in front of a long row of shelves at the grocery store attempting to select wine for a gathering with friends.  In exasperation, I thought, “I have no idea what to choose.  What if I or my friends hate my selections?”  In this moment, I decided to better educate myself about wine.

So, I attended several wine tasting classes and events.  I walked away from each only having identified specific wines I would purchase in the future...assuming I could find those wines.

Not to be deterred, I enrolled in a wine certification course offered by the International Sommelier Guild.  The certification course was difficult…essentially memorizing a voluminous “coffee table book” about wine, supplemented by reams of detailed notes.  And then there were the blind tastings, where unknown wines had to be described and identified.  Thirty percent of participants consistently fail the class. 

I elatedly passed the certification course, and in the process, decided there must be an easier, more reliable way to select wine outside of memorization and trial-and-error.  Even the experts cannot reliably tell you how a wine will taste prior to trying it.  Factors such as annual weather and production techniques significantly affect the taste of wine, making wine from the same area and producer often vary from year to year.

Several years ago as a graduate student at MIT, I developed and published a method for advanced computer chip design.  Building on this experience with methodology development, I devised a scientific method for wine selection that I later validated through a series of formal and informal wine tastings.

Objective chemical analysis of wine was part of the process.  This ensured both accuracy and consistency in matching specific wines to individual taste preferences.  This aspect of the method also led to the development of an algorithmic-based wine rating system.

The workhorse of the method is a proprietary “learning” recommendation engine.  The engine not only incorporates and responds to real-time input in the form of wines selected for consumption and user ratings but also considers the average price of previous wine selections and proximity of local wine retailers.

What the system does for wine selection is novel and unique.  It provides consistent, personalized wine recommendations, leveraging a new scientific method and Internet technology to simplify an otherwise difficult task. 

Click here to learn more about Calldera taste based wine recommendations.

About the Calldera App

Calldera provides personalized wine recommendations via iOS and Android smartphone apps. The application also can be accessed from the Calldera website.  Think of us as online dating for you and wine.

In the traditional process of wine selection, you unreliably select wine per your past trial-and-error tasting experiences.  In contrast, the Calldera wine app does not require you to have ever tasted wine.

Calldera gleans information about your taste preferences from a one-time “wine personality” survey that does not include any questions about wine or other alcoholic beverages.

Every recommended wine has been chemically analyzed by Calldera to objectively determine the wine’s taste characteristics.  Analyzed wines are matched to your taste preferences to make specific wine recommendations.

Calldera is not a wine club.  You decide if, when and where to purchase recommended wines.

The Calldera wine app provides you with pertinent information about each recommended wine.  This includes vintage, grape variety, alcohol content, price, a scientifically determined Calldera rating for the wine and an average user rating other Calldera wine app users have given the wine.  

Value wines (i.e., wines of high quality offered at bargain prices) are also designated in the Calldera wine app.

The Calldera wine app lets you keep track of wines you have drunk, allowing you to rate each wine and provide tasting notes you can later reference.

Calldera additionally lets you recommend wines to your friends, either directly or by posting the recommendation to Facebook or messaging about it on Twitter…all via the app. You, in turn, can receive wine recommendations from friends using the Calldera wine app.

Because of the dynamic nature of wine and the fact every recommended wine has been objectively evaluated, the Calldera wine app is beneficial for expanding wine enjoyment for novices and experts alike.  It is simply infeasible and uneconomical for anyone to keep track of more than a handful of the plethora of wines available for purchase.

Wine is complex and so are you.  Calldera is about expertly bringing the two of you together!

Click here to learn more about the Calldera wine app.

About Calldera for Businesses

Consumers who use the Calldera wine app are directed to wines matching their taste preferences.  Calldera can make it easy for consumers to purchase those wines from affiliated wineries and retailers.

Calldera recommended wines are derived from scientifically-based, objective matches of wine taste characteristics to consumers’ individual taste preferences.  Wine critic ratings, producer recognition by consumers, label appeal and the like are not factors that need be considered.

Rather, lesser known, lightly marketed and even minimally distributed wines can and will be recommended by the Calldera system to consumers whose taste preferences match the taste characteristics of the wine.  This results in both seller revenue and value for consumers.

Additionally, Calldera’s algorithmic-based wine rating system provides a universally-applied objective alternative to traditional subjective and happenstance wine critic reviews.  A wine does not have to be in a top "100" list or a favorite of a particular wine critic to receive a rating and recognition. 

Rather, every wine chemically analyzed by Calldera receives an algorithmically-determined wine rating that is disclosed to consumers via the Calldera wine app.

As a Calldera business affiliate, you can expect to:

  • Receive direct sales referrals of consumer customers who are ready to purchase one or more specific wines
  • Realize more revenue, as lightly marketed, unrated and even minimally distributed wines are recommended to consumers whose taste preferences match the taste characteristics of the wine
  • Increase sales and reduce overstock by knowing and offering the wines consumers want
  • Cost-effectively acquire and retain customers with a personalized service approach based on state-of-the-art Internet and mobile app technology
  • Benefit from an expanded consumer market due to the Calldera wine app’s ability to reduce purchasing complexity
  • Optionally obtain business reports that can be used to select the most popular wines to offer in particular market areas
  • Optionally offer purchase incentives and discounts via the Calldera wine app to attract customers and increase sales

Calldera also offers wine pricing consultation services to aid in competitive price setting of your wine.

Click here to learn more about Calldera business offerings.

About Calldera’s Founder and CEO

Lisa Pickelsimer is the founder and CEO of Calldera.  Lisa, a former product development professional in the cable telecommunications industry, is an inventor with fifteen issued U.S. patents.  In 2004, she earned a Level II certification from the International Sommelier Guild and has spent subsequent years refining her knowledge of wine.

Prior to founding Calldera, Lisa served as Executive Director of Video Product Development for Cox Communications.  In this role, she was responsible for driving the development of all new video product initiatives for televisions, PCs and mobile devices.

Prior to her time at Cox, Lisa served as Staff Electrical Engineer and Product Manager for Scientific-Atlanta.  As Staff Electrical Engineer, she designed and implemented silicon chips for cable TV set-top receivers.  Later as Product Manager, she directed the development of customer-centric products and product promotions.

Lisa holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.B.A. from the Goizueta Business School of Emory University.




Lisa Pickelsimer


June 19, 2013




Wine Grapes

Get Personalized Wine Recommendations

Click here to learn more about the Calldera wine app