Cellars in the Sky 2011

1 Dec 2011 by Jenny Southan

The winners of the Business Traveller’s Cellars in the Sky airline wine awards 2011 have been revealed, with Qantas triumphing in six categories, and Delta, Jetstar, LAN, Qatar Airways, TAM, Emirates, Air France and Cathay Pacific also winning awards.

This year’s awards were presented by Charles Metcalfe, head of the judging panel and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge, at an event at the Grosvenor Hotel, London Victoria.

The awards recognise the best business and first class wines served by airlines worldwide, with around 250 wines entered by a total of 32 carriers.

Qantas walked away with awards for Business Class Red, First Class Sparkling, Wine List Presentation, Business Class Cellar, First Class Cellar and Consistency of Wines. The carrier also placed second in a further five categories, while Qantas subsidiary Jetstar Airways was joint winner of the Business Class White category with Delta Airlines.

Cathay Pacific bagged two awards for First Class Fortified and Airline with the Most Improved Business Class Cellar, while TAM also walked away with two awards for First Class Red and Airline with the Most Improved First Class Cellar. For a full list of winners and shortlisted carriers click here.

Business Traveller contacted more than 75 airlines in the summer of 2011, inviting them to enter two white wines, two red wines, one sparkling and one fortified or sweet wine, from both business and first class. Airlines didn’t have to enter all the categories, but to be eligible for a Best Cellar prize they had to submit at least one red, one white and one sparkling.

Blind tastings took place over two days on November 17 and 18 at London’s Radisson Blu Portman Hotel in London, with five judges independently scoring them. The judges were:

  • Charles Metcalfe, TV wine presenter and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge
  • Tim Atkin, Master of Wine
  • Sam Harrop, Master of Wine and winemaking consultant
  • Peter McCombie, Master of Wine and accredited tutor for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust
  • John Worontschak, leading winemaker and wine business development consultant

The airlines that took part were: Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Air France, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Airlines, Emirates, Eva Airways, Finnair, Gulf Air, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, LAN, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAM, US Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Cellars in the Sky 2011

Business Class White

1. (JOINT) Delta Air Lines – Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay, 2010, Monterey, California

AND Jetstar – Waipara Hills Sauvignon Blanc, 2010, Marlborough, New Zealand

2. (JOINT) All Nippon Airways – Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 2010, Marlborough, New Zealand

AND Qantas – Leo Buring Leopold Riesling, 2008, Tamar Valley, Tasmania, Australia

AND Qatar Airways – Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Spätlese, 2007, Mosel, Germany

3. (JOINT) Eva Airways – Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett, 2008, Dr Carl Von Schubert, Ruwer, Germany

AND Malaysia Airlines – Stonier Chardonnay, 2009, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia


Business Class Red

1. Qantas – Mount Langi Ghiran Cliff Edge Shiraz, 2008, Victoria, Australia

2. (JOINT) All Nippon Airways – The Lucky Country Shiraz, 2010, McLaren Vale, South Australia

AND Emirates – Domaine des Sénéchaux Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2008, Rhône, France 

3. (JOINT) Eva Airways – Valduero Reserva, 2006, Ribera del Duero, Spain

AND Virgin Atlantic – Ottoventi Nero D’avola .20, 2009, Sicily, Italy 


Business Class Sparkling

1. LAN Airlines – Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Premier, NV, France

2. Qantas – Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve, NV, France

3. Qatar Airways – Champagne Veuve Clicquot, La Grande Dame, 1998, France


Business Class Fortified and Sweet

1. Qatar Airways – Kopke Colheita Port, 1974, Portugal

2. Qantas – Seppeltsfield Para Grand Tawny, NV, South Australia

3. (JOINT) Emirates – Dow’s Ten Year Old Tawny, NV, Portugal

AND Korean Air – Inniskillin Icewine Vidal, 2007, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada 


Business Class Cellar

1. Qantas

2. Jetstar

3. Qatar Airways


Most Improved Business Class Cellar

Cathay Pacific




First Class White

1. Emirates – Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay, 2006, Margaret River, Western Australia

2. Qantas – Tyrrell’s Winemaker’s Selection Vat 1 Semillon, 2005, Hunter Valley, Australia

3. Malaysia Airlines – Frédéric Magnien Meursault Coeur de Roches, 2009, Burgundy, France


First Class Red

1. TAM – Clos Canon, 2008, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France

2. British Airways – St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz, 2006, Barossa Valley, South Australia

3. (JOINT) All Nippon Airways – Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, 2007, Labouré-Roi, Burgundy, France

AND British Airways – Château Smith Haut Lafitte, 2004, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France  

AND Singapore Airlines – Louis Jadot Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru, 2007, Burgundy, France 


First Class Sparkling

1. (JOINT) Air France – Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, 2000, France

AND Qantas – Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, 1999, France  

2. Cathay Pacific – Champagne Deutz Amour de Deutz Brut, 2002, France

3. (JOINT) All Nippon Airways/Qatar Airways – Champagne Krug Grand Cuvée, NV, France

AND Emirates/Malaysia Airlines – Champagne Dom Pérignon, 2002, France 


First Class Fortified and Sweet

1. Cathay Pacific – Ramos Pinto Quinta da Ervamoira Ten Year Old Tawny Port, Portugal

2. Qantas – Morris Old Premium Rare Liqueur Rutherglen Muscat, NV, Victoria, Australia

3. (JOINT) British Airways – Jackson Triggs Proprietors’ Reserve Vidal Icewine, 2007, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

AND Emirates – Quinta do Noval Vintage Port, 2000, Portugal 

AND Qatar Airways – Domaine Weinbach Clos des Capucins Furstentum Grand Cru Vendanges Tardives, 2008, Alsace, France 


First Class Cellar

1. Qantas

2. Qatar Airways

3. Air France


Most Improved First Class Cellar





Wine List Presentation

1. Qantas

2. Air New Zealand

3. Qatar Airways


Consistency of Wines

1. Qantas

2. Qatar Airways

3. (JOINT) Cathay Pacific

AND Air France


Best Airline Alliance


Loading comments...

Search Flight

See a whole year of Reward Seat Availability on one page at

Business Traveller Decenber 2023 / January 2024 cover
Business Traveller Decenber 2023 / January 2024 cover
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below