This Saturday 17 July is National Emoji Day – a holiday that celebrates and validates our obsession with the graphic icons invented by Japanese designer Shigetaka Kurita in 1999. This may seem entirely unrelated to the world of oenology, but at least one viticulturist is blending smiley faces, love hearts and thumbs ups with their grapes.
Liquid Diamond is the pillar brand of Beyond Wines, founded by Alex Green and Matthew Johnson, both of whom worked for Copestick Murray and were in the senior team behind I Heart Wines.
It is a resolutely consumer-driven brand, with the Liquid Diamond range specifically designed to be picked up, photographed, hashtagged, shared, followed and presumably drunk on social media. It is targeted mainly at 18-35 year olds, as well as those who spend their lives on Instagram or TikTok. The visual medium savvy, the hyper-connected generation and those who are fluent in emoji, the world’s truest international language.
“We’ve created a brand that is hugely Instagrammable,” says Green. “We know most shoppers buy first with their eyes, and that they openly don’t know – and don’t want to know – much about wine. We communicate directly to people who buy online.”
Taking this concept to its absurd conclusion, Beyond Wines has created its own easy-to-interpret emojis to represent different wine flavour profiles and the best foods to go with them. “It’s not about dumbing down, but understanding what is important to our consumer,” insists Green. “The emoji is the language of the 21st century.”
The brand’s wine hashtags and social media addresses are printed into the labels and on the corks of the Prosecco so drinkers can become brand advocates and share their thoughts and opinions. The brand worked with design agency Barlow and Co to realise this distinctive vision, which goes against the grain of most traditional wine merchants.
Liquid Diamond is also committed to donating a percentage of all profits to the Mental Health First Aid charity, which provides funds to first aider courses, training and supporting volunteers to assist and help those in need.
Made in Veneto by Contarini, the Liquid Diamond Prosecco DOC and Prosecco Rosé – both of which won medals at the 2021 Prosecco Masters – will be followed this summer by a Sauvignon Blanc.