The annual Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky awards were presented this evening (Monday February 4) at the Dorchester hotel in London by Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge and food and wine matching guru.
The awards have been running since 1985, recognising the best business and first class wines served by airlines worldwide. Over 75 carriers were contacted in the summer of 2012, with a total of 33 airlines entering.
As last year, Qantas took home the greatest number of awards, winning the prizes for Best Overall Wine Cellar, Best First Class Sparkling (shared with Oman Air), Best Business Class Sparkling (shared with Singapore Airlines), and Best-Presented First Class Wine List.
Oman Air and Singapore Airlines won a further award each – the former for Best Business Class White and the latter for Best Business Class Cellar. Malaysia Airlines also picked up two prizes, for Best First Class Red and Best First Class Cellar.
Other airlines recognised for their first class wines were British Airways, which won the Best First Class White award, and All Nippon Airways, winner of the Best First Class Fortified and Sweet prize.
In the business class section, TAM Airlines took the accolade for Best Business Class Red, KLM won the Best Business Class Fortified and Sweet category, and Air New Zealand was awarded Best-Presented Business Class Wine List.
Oneworld was again named the Best Airline Alliance. For a full list of winners and placed airlines, see below.
Blind tastings took place in December 2012 at the Brigade Bar and Bistro, London, with four judges independently scoring the wines. The judges were:
- Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge and food and wine matching guru;
- Tim Atkin, Master of Wine and award-winning wine columnist;
- Sam Harrop, Master of Wine and international winemaking consultant;
- Peter McCombie, Master of Wine and top restaurant wine consultant.
The airlines that took part were: Aer Lingus, Air Astana, Air Canada, Air France, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Eva Air, Finnair, Garuda Indonesia, Iberia, Jetstar, KLM, Korean Air, LAN Airlines, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS AND SHORTLISTED AIRLINES:
Best First Class Red
- Malaysia Airlines – Schubert Marion's Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2010, Wairarapa, Martinborough, New Zealand
- Emirates – Château Clinet, 2001, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
- Lufthansa – Château Canon La Gaffelière, 2007, Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France
Best First Class White
- British Airways – Vincent Girardin Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru le Champ Gain, 2007, Burgundy, France
- Emirates – August Kesseler Lorcher Schlossberg Alte Reben Riesling Spätlese, 2010, Rheingau, Germany
- American Airlines – Henri Darnat Meursault Clos de Domaine, 2010, Burgundy, France
Best First Class Sparkling
- (JOINT) Oman Air AND Qantas – Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, 2000, France
- (JOINT) Emirates AND Malaysia Airlines – Champagne Dom Pérignon, 2003, France
- Cathay Pacific – Champagne Amour de Deutz Brut, 2002, France
Best First Class Fortified and Sweet
- All Nippon Airways – W&J Graham's 30 Year Old Tawny Port, Douro, Portugal
- (JOINT) Oman Air – Dr Loosen Riesling Beerenauslese, 2006, Mosel, Germany
AND Qantas – Seppeltsfield Paramount Collection Rare Muscat, NV, Rutherglen, Australia
- Air France – Château Guiraud, 2006, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
Best First Class Cellar
- Malaysia Airlines
Best-Presented First Class Wine List
- Cathay Pacific
- Qatar Airways
Best Business Class Red
- TAM Airlines – Château Bel-Air-Ouÿ, 2007, Jean-Luc Thunevin, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France
- Singapore Airlines – Bodegas Roda Rioja Reserva DOCa, 2007, Spain
- Cathay Pacific – Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Pinot Noir, 2010, Wairau Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
Best Business Class White
- Oman Air – Sancerre "La Porte du Caillou", 2010, Henri Bourgeois, Loire, France
- Jetstar – Main Divide Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2011, New Zealand
- (JOINT) Aer Lingus – Lawson's Dry Hills Riesling, 2008, Marlborough, New Zealand
AND Emirates – Metis Sauvignon Blanc, 2009, Trinity Hills/Pascal Jolivet, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Best Business Class Sparkling
- (JOINT) Qantas AND Singapore Airlines – Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve, NV, France
- Qatar Airways – Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvée NV, France
- (JOINT) Air France AND Cathay Pacific – Champagne Deutz Brut Classic, NV, France
Best Business Class Fortified and Sweet
- KLM – The Stump Jump Sticky Chardonnay Riesling Semillon Pinot Gris, 2010, Adelaide Hills/McLaren Vale, Australia
- Finnair – Niepoort Colheita, 1998, Douro, Portugal
- Air New Zealand – Winter Solstice Glacier Wine, 2010, Reliance Wines, Marlborough, New Zealand
Best Business Class Cellar
- Singapore Airlines
- Aer Lingus
Best-Presented Business Class Wine List
- Air New Zealand
- LAN Airlines
Best Overall Wine Cellar
- Singapore Airlines
- Qatar Airways
Best Airline Alliance