Qantas has kept its reputation sky high in the annual competition to determine the best wines served aboard the world’s airlines.
The Cellars in the Sky Awards, organized by Business Traveller Magazine UK, were announced at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on Monday, with Qantas triumphing in no fewer than six categories. Delta, Jetstar, LAN, Qatar Airways, TAM, Emirates, Air France and Cathay Pacific also won awards.
Some 250 wines were entered by a total of 32 carriers, with the awards recognizing excellence in wines served in business and first class.
The Mount Langi Ghiran Cliff Edge Shiraz 2008 served by Qantas took the award for the best Business Class Red, in a tie with The Lucky Country Shiraz 2010, from McLaren Vale in South Australia, poured by All Nippon Airways.
The Australian carrier also shared first place with Air France in the First Class Sparkling category for its Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 1999.
As well as having its individual wines recognized, Qantas won the top awards for Wine List Presentation, Business Class Cellar, First Class Cellar and Consistency of Wines.
Jetstar Airways, a Qantas subsidiary, was also a winner, sharing the Business Class White category with the Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2010 served by Delta Airlines.
Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific took two awards, for the Ramos Pinto Quinta de Ervamoira Two Year Old Tawny Port in the First Class Fortified and Sweet category, and for the Most Improved Business Class Cellar.
Brazil’s TAM also walked away with two awards, for its First Class Red — a Clos Canon 2008 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru — and as the Most Improved First Class Cellar.
Emirates was recognized in the First Class White category for its Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2006, LAN Airlines took the plaudits in the Business Class Sparkling contest for its Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Premier, and the Kopke Colheita Port, from 1974, that is served up on Qatar Airways won the award for the best Business Class Fortified and Sweet wine.
The five judges — who included Charles Metcalfe, television wine presenter and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge — carried out blind tastings in November of last year before announcing their decisions.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.