Very rarely do I get an opportunity to combine my two passions of aviation and wine and write about it.
A very special thanks to the In-flight Supervisor on a recent Singapore Airlines flight who went in to the first class cellar and served me a superlative Chateau Leoville Poyferre, St. Julien, Bordeaux. Even at 35,000ft, it was one the best airborne wine experiences I had.
Recently Business Traveller magazine, judged and presented its “Cellars in the Sky” awards to various airlines.
A special congratulations to the folks at Jet Airways at making the grade.
What did surprise me is that while many wines from producing powerhouses like France, Italy, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, and Chile, made the grade, the airlines from these respective countries did not. Also missing were producers and airlines from the United States.
Cellars in the Sky: Results for 2008
Business class sparkling
- Charles Heidsieck (Mis en Bouteille 2008), Champagne, France. Joint winners: KLM, Singapore Airlines
- Henriot Souverain NV, Champagne, France. Joint winners: Emirates, LAN
- Charles Heidsieck (Mis en Bouteille 2007), Champagne, France. Joint winners: Asiana, British Airways, Qantas
- Piper-Hiedsieck NV, Champagne, France. Korean Air
- Dom Pérignon 2000, Champagne, France. Jet Airways
Business class white
- Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett 2005, Mosel, Germany. Qatar Airways
- Coldstream Hills Chardonnay 2006, Yarra Valley, Australia. Qantas
- Highfield Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Marlborough, New Zealand. Air New Zealand
- Bernhard Ott Fass 4 Gruner Veltliner 2007, Wagram, Austria. Austrian Airlines
- Anakena Ona 2007, Alto Cachapoal, Chile. LAN
Business class red
- Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2005, Wellington, New Zealand. Cathay Pacific
- Cline Cellars Cool Climate Syrah 2005, Sonoma Coast, California. British Airways
- Luis Canas Reserva 2002, Rioja, Spain. Iberia
- Corbières Gerard Bertrand 2006, Languedoc, France. Lufthansa
- Casa Silva Los Lingues Gran Reserva Carmenère 2005, Colchagua, Chile. KLM
Business class fortified / dessert
- Forrest Estate Botrytised Riesling 2007, Marlborough, New Zealand. Air New Zealand
- Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage Port 2004, Douro, Portugal. Lufthansa
- Baileys of Glenrowan Founder Series Liqueur Muscat NV, Glenrowan, Australia. Qantas
- Taylor’s 20-year-old Tawny Port NV, Douro, Portugal. Qatar Airways
- Jurancon Prestige Cave de Gran Jurancon NV, Jurancon, France. Delta
Best business class cellar
- Air New Zealand
- Qatar Airways
First class sparkling
- Piper Heidsieck Cuvée Rare NV, Champagne, France. Lufthansa
- Krug Grande Cuvée, Champagne, France. Joint winners: ANA, Jet Airways
- Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 1998, Champagne, France. Joint winners: LAN, Asiana
- Charles Heidsieck 1995, Champagne, France. Qantas
- Salon Blanc de Blancs 1997, Champagne, France. JAL
First class white
- Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2005, Monterey, California. Lufthansa
- Coldstream Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2006, Yarra Valley, Australia. Qantas
- Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2006, Marlborough, New Zealand. American Airlines
- Joint winners: Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2004, Mosel, Germany. TAM; Wegeler Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Spatlese 2005, Mosel, Germany. American Airlines
- Manz Riesling Auslese Trocken 2005, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany. Korean Air
First class red
- Morton Estate Pinot Noir 2005, Marlborough, New Zealand. Qatar Airways
- Shotfire Shiraz 2005, Barossa, Australia. Lufthansa
- Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005, Rhône. France, Air France
- Mungo Park Shiraz 2008, Barossa, Australia. Emirates
- Pyrenees Ridge Reserve Shiraz 2005, Victoria, Australia. ANA
First class fortified / dessert
- Morris of Rutherglen Old Premium Liqueur Tokay Muscat, NV, Rutherglen, Australia. Qantas
- Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2003, Douro, Portugal. Singapore Airlines
- Weingut Neef-Emmich Bacchus Beerenauslese 2007, Rheinhessen, Germany. Lufthansa
- Tio Pepe Fino Sherry, NV, Andalusia, Spain. Korean Air
- Ramos Pinto Quinta da Ervamoira Porto Ten Anos NV, Porto, Portugal. Cathay Pacific
Best first class cellar
To locate these wines, I recommend wine-searcher.com.
I have written a book entitled Wines Demystified. Please download your free copy in Adobe Acrobat format here.
Read more about the programme including judging procedures here.
Image : Wikipedia