Decanter has announced that it is to replace all tasting notes with emojis from 2023 onwards.
The move has been described across the drinks world as a ‘a bombshell’, ‘a game-changer’ and ‘the biggest surprise since Michael Broadbent recommended Cote Rotie with your breakfast kippers in 1972.’
‘It’s essential that magazines move with the times,’ said editor George Wine-Bore. ‘And in the days of social media we just feel that consumers don’t have the attention span to read something as long as a 50-word tasting note any more.’
Wine-Bore admitted that the change in process had taken the magazine’s judges a bit of getting used to.
‘It’s a big shift,’ he admitted. ‘But once we’d explained to them what social media was, most of them were ‘thumbs up’ on the idea.’
Wine poet André J’Afford is already rumoured to be working on how to incorporate emojis into tasting note haikus.
Smiley face, thoughtful face
Early reaction on social media has been positive.
‘I always thought wine was really snobby, and never understood what tasting notes were all about,’ said @WKDgirl. ‘But seeing something described as plum, raspberry, smiley face, thoughtful face’ it suddenly all makes total sense.’
However, the move has not gone down well in Bordeaux.
‘Without using words, how can tasters accurately describe a sample that bears no relation to the finished product, 12 months before it’s released?’ said Bernard Eauneau of Chateau Discours.
‘It renders the whole concept of en primeur ridiculous.’
The meaning of gif
Following Decanter’s move towards emojis other publications have rushed to follow suit.
‘We considered using emojis,’ said Bark Noser publisher of Wine Expectorator in the US. ‘But we thought they were a bit old-fashioned, so we’ve gone with gifs instead.’
He told Fake Booze that judges were currently arguing about whether the top wine in their sixth Napa Cabernet tasting of the year was ‘Leonardo di Caprio applauding’ or ‘Katy Perry chef’s kiss’.
In Germany the ‘punk’ drinks magazine ‘Weinscheisser’ has said it will go one step further by replacing notes with massively unfunny TikTok videos.
‘Telling people what something tastes like is inherently wrong,’ said editor Uri Allekunz. ‘So a video of a man being hit in the testicles by a toddler is no less relevant in our view.
‘Particularly if it’s describing a Californian Chardonnay.’
Click here to read how the drinks world plans to address its shaming lack of emoji diversity