· American Airlines
International airlines are usually the ones winning awards for in-flight service and cuisine, but we had to pick one airline from our own backyard. You would think that American Airlines would have a heavy focus on wines from Sonoma or Napa, and they do, but they also have many choices from around the world. The airline offers specific wine lists depending on the country its heading to, so a trip to Spain might help you get into the spirit of the country with a few sips of its finest beverages. American has teamed up with Ken Chase to ensure that the wine pairs well with the in-flight menu—for front of the plane customers only. If you’re looking for a pairing to go with your peanuts it’s up to you to make the best pick.
Lufthansa has been one of our favorites when in it comes to in-flight alcohol. Besides great cocktails and beer, the airline really shines when it comes to its wine offerings. The airline has hired sommelier Markus Del Monego to ensure that every bottle on board is of the utmost quality. They have at least ten meetings per year to evaluate which wines are the tastiest for their flights, and once they select a winner, they order at least 200,000 bottles about every six months just for economy passengers alone. Lufthansa obviously favorites vintages from its own backyard, and they are proud to offer wines from over 25 German vineyards. If you’re lucky enough to be sitting up front on an international journey you’ll be selecting your beverages from a detailed wine list that describes the characteristics, origin, and vintage of each wine.
· Air New Zealand
With so many long-haul trips the Air New Zealand recognizes that in-flight beverages are pretty important, especially when after ten hours passengers are still only like half way to their final destination. Air New Zealand has a team of wine judges including Jim Harre, John Belsham, and Kate Radburnd. They all recognize that the low humidity and high altitude affect passengers’ palettes, so they particularly focus on attributes like the wine's tannin or astringency to ensure things are tasty for all passengers. The airline even runs its own competition each year to discover the best wines in the country, and it’s pretty likely that the gold-medal winners eventually make it up in the air. Oh, and if you’ve had one too many, you can always nap it off in one of those SkyCouch things.
Like many other airlines, Emirates recognizes that things taste a little differently at 35,000 feet so they take that into account before loading cases and cases of wine onto their planes. They make selections from their destinations around the globe including France, South Africa, and the United Sates. Those flying in first class will be enjoying Dom Perignon with red and white selections from several countries. It’s not too shabby in economy with Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial champagne, but there’s usually only one red selection and one white selection. You can expect only the best—and most expensive—from an airline based out of Dubai.
This will be a running series, so be sure to let us know below (or send an email) and divulge your favorite drinks in the sky!
· Mile High Boozing: The Five Best In-Flight Cocktails [Jaunted]
· Lufthansa Makes Dreams Come True By Putting Biergarten in Munich Airport [Jaunted]
· Drinking Travel coverage [Jaunted]