Wellingtonians launch world-first visual wine tasting language

Wine-oji sommelier trio group pic

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

In March 2020, Maciej Zimny, Josh Pointon and Jessica Wood, the sommelier trio at award-winning Noble Rot Wine Bar and Noble Wines, Wellington, embarked on a new business venture 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 Pointon.

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

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 customers are buying, so that they know they will 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® 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 Wood.

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.