Star Alliance member Air New Zealand has invited 125 local wineries to bring their best drops for consideration onboard the airline’s ‘Business Premier’ cabins and in its ‘Tier One’ lounges.

The airline says next month some of New Zealand’s most respected and discerning wine connoisseurs will come together to choose their list of the country’s finest wines for 2024.

Air New Zealand chief customer officer, Leanne Geraghty, says more than 500 wines will go through a rigorous blind taste testing where wine experts will uncork bottles and sip, swirl and savour wines from across New Zealand vineyards.

“The challenge will be to whittle down the more than 500 wines to a small selection to feature onboard Air New Zealand’s premium cabins and lounges.

“Our wine experts are like treasure hunters, seeking the perfect balance of richness, elegance, and complexity in each bottle they discover. They understand the unique personality of every varietal and region, piecing together a dazzling collection that’s both impressive and representative of New Zealand’s fantastic wine industry.

“The result is a fantastic array of New Zealand wines onboard that that showcase to customers the best of New Zealand’s wine to destinations like New York, Tokyo and Shanghai.”

For the current 2023 offering, the selection panel chose 56 wines, spanning eight varietals.

Among the varietals selected are Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Across all its flights and lounges, Air New Zealand serves up roughly 62,000 litres of Sauvignon Blanc, 53,000 Litres of Chardonnay and 59,000 litres of Pinot Noir of wine each year – all of which is New Zealand grown and made.