Results of Airline Wine Competition Released

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Global Traveler determines the best in airline wines during its annual tasting.

Global Traveler, the only ABC-audited magazine for business and luxury travelers, is releasing the results of its ninth annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition.

The competition was held May 13 at The Westin New York Grand Central. Twenty-five expert judges participated in the blind tasting of airlines’ white, red and sparkling wines. The judges hailed from a wide range of specialties, including sommeliers, wine shop owners and winemakers. In total, 34 airlines participated, providing 162 samples for tasting.

Airlines are required to submit five different wines — two red wines, two white wines and one sparkling wine/Champagne — to be eligible for the Best Overall International Business Class Wines on the Wing award or the Best Overall International First Class Wines on the Wing. This year, for the second consecutive year, the overall winners were Brussels Airlines and British Airways, respectively.

In the white wine category, Best International Business Class White Wine was Albert Bichot Saint-Véran 2011, France, submitted by All Nippon Airways. For first class, the winner was Jet Airways, with Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet 2010, France.

The best business-class Champagne was Brussels Airlines’ Laurent-Perrier Brut, NV. The best first-class Champagne was Hainan Airlines’ G.H. Mumm Brut, NV.

When it came to red wine, Hainan Airlines reigned supreme in both categories with its Torres Sangre de Toro 2011, Spain.

For the fifth consecutive year, Global Traveler awarded the Best North American Wines on the Wing. North American airlines submitted first-class wine samples. (In instances where first class was not applicable, samples from domestic business class were accepted.)

Delta Air Lines dominated the category, taking top honors in Best North American Wines on the Wing and Best North American White Wine (Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc 2011, California).

When it came to red wine, Virgin America was the cream of the crop. The airline’s Fantesca Estate & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, California, was the finest domestic white on offer.

For the third year, Global Traveler awarded the Best Alliance Wines on the Wing. The participating airlines were divided by their airline alliance. The overall points for each airline were tallied and averaged to determine the alliance with the highest total. Congratulations to SkyTeam.

Competition director Eunice Fried spent months preparing for the blind tasting. Fried, an accomplished wine journalist and respected wine expert, resides in New York City.

Global Traveler is the only U.S.-based publication to conduct such a survey in the United States.

The top airlines in each category are:

BEST INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS WINES ON THE WING
1.    Brussels Airlines
2.    All Nippon Airlines
3.    Delta Air Lines
4.    United
5.    TAM

BEST INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS WINES ON THE WING
1.    British Airways
2.    All Nippon Airways
3.    Jet Airways
4.    China Airlines
5.    American Airlines

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1.    Brussels Airlines
2.    All Nippon Airways
3.    Hainan Airlines
4.    Delta Air Lines/United/Etihad Airways (TIE)
5.    Jet Airways

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1.    Hainan Airlines
2.    China Airlines
3.    British Airways
4.    United
5.    TAM

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1.    All Nippon Airways
2.    South African Airways
3.    Delta Air Lines
4.    airberlin
5.    United

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1.    Jet Airways
2.    Jet Airways
3.    American Airlines
4.    All Nippon Airways
5.    China Airlines

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1.    Hainan Airlines
2.    TAM
3.    LAN
4.    airberlin
5.    Etihad Airways

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1.    Hainan Airlines
2.    British Airways
3.    All Nippon Airways
4.    China Airlines/EL AL Israel Airlines (TIE)
5.    Etihad Airways

For more information on the competition, check out the August 2013 issue of Global Traveler or visit http://www.globaltravelerusa.com.

About Global Traveler/FXExpress Publications, Inc.
Global Traveler, the only ABC-audited U.S.-based magazine for the international business traveler, is a business travel and lifestyle publication with an ABC-audited paid circulation of 107,140+. FXExpress Publications, Inc., based in Yardley, Pa., is a privately held company publishing Global Traveler, eFlyer, eFlyer Asia and several annuals; and also operating globaltravelerusa.com, globaltravellerasia.com and blog.globaltravelerusa.com.

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Kimberly Krol
GLOBAL TRAVELER
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