British Airways has appointed a new dedicated Master of Wine in an attempt to “elevate the premium experience for its customers both on the ground and in the air”.
Tim Jackson MW will source new wines for BA, as well as curate menu descriptions and develop the airline’s wider drinks strategy for all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages it serves on the ground and in the air.
BA said that Jackson had already introduced new Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines in the airline’s premium cabins, including Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc in First and Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc in Club World, both from Marlborough, New Zealand.
From January the carrier’s wine selection strategy in Club World and First will showcase different destinations each quarter, in order to “celebrate where the wines come from and the global network that the airline flies to”.
Cape Town will be the first destination under the new initiative, with wines including Radford Dale’s Renaissance Chenin Blanc from old vines in Stellenbosch, as well as Andrea and Chris Mullineux’s benchmark Swartland Syrah from South Africa’s Winery of the Year.
Jackson’s wider role will see him championing the best of British beers, promoting classic gins and rolling out innovative non-alcoholic alternatives, as well as focusing on “differences in flavours, as well as taste and structure changes of beverages at altitude”.
In the last iteration of Business Traveller’s annual Cellars in the Sky Awards, British Airways won Bronze medals in the Best First Class Sparkling and Best First Class Red categories, as well as placing Bronze in the Overall Cellar category.
Commenting on the news Sajida Ismail, director of onboard experience at British Airways, said:
“We are really excited to have Tim at British Airways. His knowledge and expertise play an integral role in our efforts to continue to deliver the premium experience that our customers look for when they fly with us and offer products that our colleagues are proud to serve.
“Going forward, we also have lots of exciting plans that will champion new drink offerings and celebrate the global network that we fly to.”
Earlier this year BA’s parent company IAG launched a new wine delivery business, allowing customers to earn and redeem Avios on purchases.