Wellingtonians Launch World-First Visual Wine Tasting Language: Wine-oji

When three passionate wine and hospitality professionals were thrown into lockdown, a new visual wine language Wine-oji was born. 

March 2020 saw Maciej Zimny, Josh Pointon and Jessica Wood, the sommelier trio at Noble Rot Wine Bar and Noble Wines, Wellington, embark on a new way of doing business. 

Wine-oji founders - Josh Pointon, Jessica Wood, Maciej Zimny
Left to Right: Josh Pointon, Jessica Wood, Maciej Zimny

The award-winning Noble Rot trio transformed into a think tank to solve the problem of ‘what’s in the bottle’

“Time and time again we had customers asking what a particular wine tasted like or were faced with so many choices, it was hard to make a decision. For a lot of people choosing a wine can be complex and intimidating – whether from the supermarket shelf, at a restaurant or ordering online for yourself or loved ones,” said Josh.

The trio realised they needed to start by creating a modern language for wine, to help people understand its complexities in a simple, fun, and engaging way. 

Wine-oji Card sets

With the help of a local graphic design studio and months of tasting and planning, the new emoji-style wine tasting language came to life. Aptly named Wine-oji®, the system takes the guesswork out of what you’re buying, so that you know you’ll enjoy it. 

The Wine-olojists have also created Wine-oji profiles of Classic Wine Styles of New Zealand and The World, to gamify learning about regional wine flavour profiles. It’s a new language for wine – less fussy, more fun. 

The launch of Wine-oji® has sparked excitement across the New Zealand wine industry. Wine producers engage Wine-oji® to profile their wines and in return they get a comprehensive digital package to promote their wine globally and instantly. Wine-oji provides a fun and quick reference to the makeup of the wine, ensuring consumers can understand the wine qualities, for example, if it’s sweet, dry, acidic, or oaky. 

“The feedback from producers has been really positive, particularly because they need a fresh, modern take on wine communication with other beverage industries like craft beer and spirits forging ahead in this aspect. In short, producers believe this is an innovative way for them to promote their business, build their wine profile and tap into a whole new market,” said Jessica.

Nautilus Estate’s Adam Balasoglou said using the try-before-you buy mentality in the wine world makes total sense. “When you go to the clothes shop you can try the clothes on,” he said. Larry McKenna, General Manager at Escarpment Vineyard, Martinborough, declared the concept ‘revolutionary’. “The idea is absolutely fantastic. It’s bringing Tesla to the wine world.”

This revolutionary world-first concept is truly a game changer in the industry and not only limited to New Zealand. As it’s a visual language and so unique, it has massive potential to go world-wide. 

Wine-oji® launches simultaneously with Noble Rot Wine Bar being recognised among the 50 Best Places to Drink Wine in New Zealand and Australia by Gourmet Traveller WINE.

VISIT Wine-oji here: https://wineoji.com/

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