Readers got a chance to sample some of the winning in-flight wines from our recent Cellars in the Sky Awards at the prestigious Royal Automobile Club in London last month.
The well-attended event was hosted by Business Traveller editorial director Tom Otley and managing director Julian Gregory, and was sponsored by Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong.
Upon arrival, attendees clinked glasses at a drinks reception in the historic Mountbatten Room, the largest of the club’s private venues, amid mirrored panels, marble fireplaces and elegant chandeliers.
Once acquainted with his fellow guests, Master of Wine Justin Howard-Sneyd, of Hive Wine Consulting, made his way to the stage to host a tutored tasting of four wines. These were the Silver First Class Sparkling, Champagne Krug 2004 (entered by ANA and Qatar Airways); the Gold Medal winning Business Class White Wine, Sandhi Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2015, California (submitted by Jetblue); the Gold First Class Red, Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune 2015, Burgundy (entered by Malaysia Airlines); and the Bronze Business Class Fortified/Dessert Wine, Graham’s Ten Year Old Tawny Port, NV (submitted by Aeroflot).
Suitably educated, guests were then free to circulate and taste the 14 other wines set up at stations around the room, submitted by airlines including Aer Lingus, Air Italy, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Oman Air and Qantas.
Bowl food and canapés were on offer, including mini chive scones with blue cheese, lobster and crab beignets, lamb kofta with raita, fish and chip cones, butternut squash risotto with pumpkin seeds, and a chicken, chorizo and bean cassoulet.
The evening concluded with a prize draw, allowing two lucky readers to continue indulging at home with either three bottles of medal-winning first class wine or three medal-winning business class bottles.
A further prize was also up for grabs courtesy of John Girard, vice-president and general manager of Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong – a property that has been voted the World’s Best Airport Hotel by Business Traveller readers for an impressive 11 consecutive years. The final prize-winner was awarded a five-night stay at the hotel if travelling before the end of this year, or a five-night stay at the forthcoming Regala Skycity Hotel Hong Kong if travelling next year.
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