Emirates will begin serving a selection of its top wines from its private cellar in Burgundy to first class passengers on select routes this year.
The offering forms part of the airline’s new Emirates Vintage Collection that comprises some of its best wines that have been stored in its Burgundy cellar for up to 15 years.
First class passengers on board select routes to Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Americas will see different wines, though due to their limited availability all wines will be served only for a limited period.
First to see one of the wines will be travellers on Emirates flights to the UK, Ireland, France, the Netherlands and Geneva, which have already begun serving Chateau Cheval Blanc 2004.
This will be followed by the Chateau Margaux 1998, which will be served on flights to Australasia and select routes to Asia starting in June, along with the Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2001 that will be on flights to Germany and Austria also from June.
Travellers on flights to the Americas and the UK, meanwhile, will be offered Chateau Haut Brion 2004 starting October, with the Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2001 making a return in November, this time on flights to France, the Netherlands and Geneva.
Emirates has been purchasing wines for long-term storage since 2006, buying wines en primeur when they are still in the barrel.
“We went direct to the winemakers, handpicked these vintages and then cellared them up for up to 15 years in Burgundy before we decided they were ready to be served,” said Joost Heymeijer, Emirates’ senior vice president of inflight catering.
Along with the new wines, Emirates has also unveiled redesigned glassware as well as a regionally inspired wine-pairing menu for these specific wines. Examples include Irish grass-fed beef filled with potato dauphinoise on flights to Dublin, and seared venison with thyme jus and blanched kohlrabi on flights to Geneva, both of which have been designed to pair with the Chateau Cheval Blanc 2004 currently being served on these routes.
Emirates purchased some US$56 million worth of wines and champagne in France last year, and since 2006 has invested about US$780 million in wines from around the world.