Which airline offers the best inflight wine? That’s “Easy”…
Budget airlines’ on board wines are flying high, reveals Skyscanner
A panel of international travellers and wine experts has declared easyJet’s wine to be the best white wine in a recent blind tasting of airline economy wines, conducted by Skyscanner.
The panel of ten judges, led by wine expert Tom Cannavan, were asked to blind taste 12 red and 12 white wines served on board the major carriers, and score each a mark out of 10.
Flying the flag for budget carriers, easyJet’s Louis Mondeville Côtes de Gascogne (France) took first place in the white wine category, although rival no frills airline Ryanair was not far behind with its offering, Garganega Trebbiano Villa Cardini (Italy), in 5th place.
The winning reds however showed a greater preference towards national carriers with British Airways’ Argento Malbec scoring the highest, followed by Emirates Weighbridge Shiraz by Peter Lehmann. In joint third place were Air France’s Couleurs Du Sud Syrah Pays D’oc and KLM’s Terra Andina Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot.
KLM and Virgin Atlantic were the only airlines to have their wines appear in the top 5 in both the red and white categories. The highest scoring wines in each category were as follows:
|White wine||Red wine|
|1. easyJet||Louis Mondeville Côtes de Gascogne (France)||1. British Airways||Argento Malbec (Argentina)|
|2. SAS||Crusan Colombard Sauvignon Côtes de Gasgogne (France)||2. Emirates||Weighbridge Shiraz by Peter Lehmann (Australia)|
|3. Virgin Atlantic||Paul Sapin, Florinda Airen Sauvignon Blanc (Spain)||3. Air France||Couleurs du Sud Syrah Pays D’oc (France)|
|4. KLM||Terra Andina Sauvignon Blanc – Chardonnay (Chile)||4. KLM||Terra Andina Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot (Chile)|
|5. Ryanair||Garganega Trebbiano Villa Cardini (Italy)||5. Virgin||Paul Sapin, Florinda Airen Cabernet Sauvingnon (Spain)|
James Cave, Skyscanner’s wine expert and editor of the wine blog Regularwino, commented:
“Before the tasting, my perception was that Emirates would score well as I know they invest heavily in their on board food and drink. I was therefore surprised that, although they came second for their red wine, they missed out to budget airlines in the white wine category.”
“While these results certain indicate which appear to be the majorities’ preferred wines, it is worth noting that the drinking conditions are different at 30,000 feet – your taste buds are dulled, the wine may not be room temperature and the reduced amount of fresh oxygen in the pressurised cabin means your wine won’t breathe in quite the same way as it would on the ground. Airlines have to take all of this into account when deciding which wines to offer customers on board.”
The tasting panel was made up of 10 judges across seven nationalities and included wine experts Juel Mahoney of Wine Woman & Song and Peter Adshead, Sommelier at the five-star Rocco Forte Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.
Thanks to Great Grog for providing glasses and spittoons for the session!