The Campaign for a White Wine Emoji - Order Wine Online

The Campaign for a White Wine Emoji

2024 年 May 30 日Michael Bozzelli

As May concludes we look back on all the celebrations of white wines that took place, marked by holidays dedicated to Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling. For instance, May is recognized as Finger Lakes Month, spotlighting the acclaimed Riesling grape that no one wants when we are well stocked on the varietal in the wine shop but as soon as the last bottle finally sells customers come out in droves. As a négociant whose business depends a lot on the trade of white wines we try to keep a close eye on what's happening in the world of white wines.  In between hosting riesling tastings for Finger Lakes Month, one development surrounding white wine caught our attention – the quest for a white wine emoji.

The Origins and Progress of the Campaign

The campaign for a white wine emoji began in 2019, spearheaded by California’s Kendall-Jackson. After its initial rejection, New Zealand Winegrowers took up the mantle, hoping to bring the desired emoji to the global wine community. Given New Zealand’s unique position in the wine industry, their advocacy presents a compelling case for the emoji’s approval.

New Zealand’s Unique Position in the Wine Industry

New Zealand is globally renowned as the Sauvignon Blanc capital, with this grape accounting for two-thirds of its wine production. The country’s diverse wine regions also produce high-quality Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Gris. This extensive experience and emphasis on white wine make New Zealand Winegrowers a fitting champion for the white wine emoji campaign.

Despite their significant position in the industry, this advantage may not directly impact the campaign's success. According to Juliana Foster, PR Manager for New Zealand Winegrowers, the Unicode Consortium, which oversees emoji approval, caters to a global audience, and national significance may not weigh heavily in their decision.

The Strategic Timing of the Campaign

New Zealand Winegrowers have strategically aligned their campaign with May’s white wine celebrations. Foster explains, “May is when New Zealand’s top three exported white wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay) are celebrated with International Wine Days. It’s the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on New Zealand white wine via this ‘emojency.’”

Understanding the Emoji Approval Process

For a new emoji to be approved, a detailed proposal must be submitted to the Unicode Consortium’s emoji subcommittee. This committee develops resources for emojis, supports their use, and reviews proposals for new additions. The approval process is thorough and includes criteria such as:

- Multiple meanings
- Sequence usage with other emojis
- Representation of something new or distinctive
- Potential for widespread and frequent use
- Filling a gap in the current emoji set
- Compatibility across various platforms like Snapchat and X

The proposal undergoes a year-long review process involving both the emoji subcommittee and the full technical committee. Emoji vendors such as Facebook, Apple, and Google also weigh in on the design before production begins. Despite the rigorous process, only 50-70 emojis make it through each year.

Challenges and Future Prospects

The Unicode Consortium does not specify why proposals are rejected, making it difficult for applicants to refine their submissions. New Zealand Winegrowers’ 2022 proposal did not receive feedback, and there is no appeal process, only the option to resubmit every two years. One significant challenge for the white wine emoji is demonstrating its unique usage compared to the existing red wine emoji. I often resort to using the red wine emoji out of sheer desperation when needing to highlight a heading about Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.

Supporting the White Wine Emoji Campaign

Although securing approval is challenging, the campaign is an excellent platform for New Zealand Winegrowers to highlight their wines. By drawing attention to the absence of a white wine emoji, they hope to raise awareness and encourage exploration of New Zealand white wines.  As they New Zealand Winegrowers persist in their efforts, leveraging May’s wine holidays and raising awareness, there is hope that the white wine emoji will eventually find its place on our keyboards, next to the red wine emoji that should be really purple but that's for another blog post. 


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