The annual Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky awards, which recognise the best business and first class wines served by airlines worldwide were presented this evening (Thursday February 3) at London’s Thistle Kensington Gardens hotel by Charles Metcalfe, TV wine presenter and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge.
Qantas walked away with awards for Best First Class White, First Class Red and First Class Sparkling, as well as Best Business Class Cellar, Best First Class Cellar and Consistency of Wines Across Business and First Class, which means it even trumped its previous haul of four awards in 2009.
Qatar Airways also did well, receiving three honours for Best Business Class Sparkling, Business Class Fortified/Sweet (jointly with All Nippon Airways) and First Class Fortified, while Kiwi carrier Air New Zealand won two awards, for Best Business Class Red and Best-presented Wine List.
The prize for the Airline with the Most Improved Business Class Cellar went to Lufthansa, while the award for Airline with the Most Improved First Class Cellar went to All Nippon Airways, and that for Best Alliance went to Oneworld. For a full list of winners and shortlisted carriers click here.
Business Traveller contacted more than 75 airlines in the summer of 2010, 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.
The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky awards have been running since 1985, with a record number of 36 airlines taking part this time round. Blind tastings took place over two days on November 4 and 5 at the Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott hotel, in London over two days, with five judges independently scoring them. The judges were:
- Charles Metcalfe, TV wine presenter and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge
- Sam Harrop, Master of Wine and winemaking consultant
- Derek Smedley, Master of Wine for more than 40 years, consultant and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge
- Peter McCombie, Master of Wine, accredited tutor for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and consultant
- John Worontschak, leading winemaker and wine business development consultant
The airlines that took part were:
Aer Lingus, Aegean Airlines, Air Astana, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, American Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, El Al, Etihad, Emirates, Finnair, Gulf Air, Iberia, Jet Airways, Kenya Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Korean Air, LAN, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, South African Airways, TAM, Thai Airways and United Airlines.