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 AAM-audited magazine for business and luxury travelers, is releasing the results of its 11th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition.

The competition, held May 28, took place at The Westin New York Times Square. 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.

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, the overall winner in both categories was All Nippon Airways.

In the white wine category, Best International Business Class White Wine was Tiki Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand, submitted by British Airways. For first class, the winner was a tie between All Nippon Airways and American Airlines. Both airlines submitted Hartford Court Chardonnay 2012, Russian River Valley, California.

The best business-class Champagne was Hainan Airlines’ Leventre-Dedieu Champagne, NV. The best first-class Champagne was All Nippon Airways’ Krug Grande Cuvée, NV. This year, the Best Sparkling Wine International Business Class winner was Fiji Airways’ Tempus Two Blanc de Blancs 2013.

When it came to red wine, Fiji Airways reigned supreme in the business-class category with Shaw + Smith Shiraz 2010, Australia. For first class, the winner is American Airlines, with its Kenefick Ranch Caitlin’s Select Cabernet Franc 2007, Napa Valley, California.

For the seventh consecutive year, Global Traveler awarded the Best North American Wines on the Wing. North American airlines submitted first-class and business-class wine samples, depending on their domestic flight offerings.

Delta Air Lines took top honors in Best North American Wines on the Wing. The airline was also recognized for its white wine, Robert Mondavi Chardonnay 2012, Napa Valley, California. Virgin America won recognition for its business-class red wine, The Messenger Red Wine Number One, California, Bordeaux blend; and its sparkling wine, Le Grand Courtâge Brut, Grand Cuvée Blanc de Blancs, NV.

For the fifth 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 oneworld.

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.    All Nippon Airways
2.    British Airways
3.    Fiji Airways
4.    EL AL Israel Airlines
5.    American Airlines

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

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1.    Hainan Airlines
2.    British Airways
3.    Delta Air Lines
4.    American Airlines/All Nippon Airways (TIE)
5.    China Airlines

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1.    All Nippon Airways
2.    American Airlines
3.    British Airways

BEST SPARKLING WINES INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1.    Fiji Airways
2.    TAP Portugal
3.    South African Airways
4.    EL AL Israel Airlines
5.    Alitalia

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1.    British Airways
2.    All Nippon Airways
3.    Brussels Airlines
4.    Brussels Airlines
5.    LATAM Airlines Group

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1.    All Nippon Airways/American Airlines (TIE)
2.    All Nippon Airways
3.    American Airlines

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1.    Fiji Airways
2.    EL AL Israel Airlines
3.    All Nippon Airways/British Airways (TIE)
4.    American Airlines/EL AL Israel Airlines/Fiji Airways (TIE)
5.    South African Airways

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1.    American Airlines
2.    All Nippon Airways
3.    American Airlines

For more information on the competition, check out the August 2015 issue of Global Traveler or visit globaltravelerusa.com.

About Global Traveler
Global Traveler, the only AAM-audited U.S.-based magazine for the international business and leisure traveler, is a business travel and lifestyle publication with an AAM paid circulation of 109,000+.

About FXExpress Publications, Inc.
FXExpress Publications, Inc., based in Yardley, Pa., is a privately held company publishing Global Traveler, China Global Traveler, eFlyer USA; eFlyer Asia, Trazee Travel and several annuals; and also operating globaltravelerusa.com, globaltravelerusa.com/blog, china-globaltraveler.com and trazeetravel.com.

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Kimberly Krol
GLOBAL TRAVELER
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