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 luxury business and leisure travelers, releases the results of its 13th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition.

The competition, held June 8, took place at City Winery in New York City. Expert judges participated in the blind tasting of 32 airlines’ white, red and sparkling wines. The judges hailed from a wide range of specialties, including sommeliers, wine shop owners and winemakers. In total, 28 Champagnes/sparkling wines, 56 white wines and 61 red wines were tasted.

Airlines are required to submit five different wines — two red wines, two white wines and one sparkling wine/Champagne — to be eligible for the overall Best International Business Class Wines on the Wing award or the Best International First Class Wines on the Wing award. For the first time in 2017, Global Traveler awarded gold, silver and bronze awards in each category. This year, the overall winner for Best International Business Class Wines on the Wing was Air Canada, and the winner for Best International First Class Wines on the Wing was Asiana Airlines.

In the white wine category, Best International Business Class White Wine was tied for Jurtschitsch Grüner Veltliner 2016, Austria, submitted by Air Canada, and Steininger Grüner Veltliner 2015, Austria, submitted by Brussels Airlines. For first class, the winner was EL AL Israel Airlines with Vitkin Winery Grenache Blanc 2015, Israel.

The best business-class Champagne was Aeroflot’s Ayala Brut Majeur, NV. The best first-class Champagne was United Airlines’ Joseph Perrier Brut Cuvée Royale 2004. TAP Portugal’s Luis Pato Blanc de Blancs, NV, won Best International Business Class Sparkling Wine.

When it came to red wine, Asiana Airlines reigned supreme in the first-class category with Gran Claustro 2011, Spain, and All Nippon Airways took the No. 1 business-class spot with Drumheller Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Washington.

For the ninth 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.

American Airlines was named Best North American First Class/Business Class Wines on the Wing, and also won for its red wine, La Ferme du Côtes du Rhône 2014, France, and its white wine, Domaine de la Chaise Sauvignon 2016, France. Hawaiian Airlines’ Flor Prosecco, NV, Italy, won Best North American Champagne/Sparkling Wine.

For the seventh 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, represented by airberlin, American Airlines and British Airways.

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
GOLD Air Canada
SILVER Brussels Airlines
BRONZE TAP Portugal
4. airberlin
5. Aeroflot

BEST INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS WINES ON THE WING
GOLD Asiana Airlines
SILVER British Airways
BRONZE United Airlines
4. Singapore Airlines
5. American Airlines

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
GOLD Aeroflot
SILVER All Nippon Airways
BRONZE Delta Air Lines
4. Brussels Airlines/Hainan Airlines (TIE)
5. airberlin

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
GOLD United Airlines
SILVER American Airlines
BRONZE Singapore Airlines
4. Asiana Airlines
5. British Airways

BEST SPARKLING WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
GOLD TAP Portugal
SILVER Alitalia
BRONZE Hawaiian Airlines

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
GOLD Air Canada/Brussels Airlines (TIE)
SILVER Air Serbia
BRONZE United Airlines
4. Singapore Airlines
5. TAP Portugal

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
GOLD EL AL Israel Airlines
SILVER All Nippon Airways/Asiana Airlines (TIE)
BRONZE British Airways
4. Singapore Airlines/American Airlines (TIE)
5. American Airlines

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
GOLD All Nippon Airways
SILVER American Airlines
BRONZE Aeromexico
4. TAP Portugal
5. Brussels Airlines

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
GOLD Asiana Airlines
SILVER Asiana Airlines
BRONZE Singapore Airlines
4. United Airlines
5. British Airways

BEST NORTH AMERICAN WINES ON THE WING
GOLD American Airlines
SILVER JetBlue
BRONZE Delta Air Lines

BEST NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPAGNE/SPARKLING WINE
GOLD Hawaiian Airlines
SILVER Delta Air Lines/JetBlue (TIE)
BRONZE Virgin America

BEST NORTH AMERICAN RED WINE
GOLD American Airlines
SILVER JetBlue
BRONZE Delta Air Lines

BEST NORTH AMERICAN WHITE WINE
GOLD American Airlines
SILVER United Airlines
BRONZE JetBlue

BEST ALLIANCE WINES ON THE WING
GOLD oneworld
SILVER Star Alliance
BRONZE SkyTeam

For more information on the competition, check out the August 2017 issue of Global Traveler or visit globaltravelerusa.com.

About Global Traveler
With nearly 300,000 readers, Global Traveler connects with U.S.-based frequent, affluent, international travelers. According to MediaMark Research (MRI), GT readers have an average net worth of $2 million and 50 percent are CEOs and owners of companies. Our readers average nine domestic flights per year and 93 percent travel internationally on a regular basis, mostly in first and business class. More than 55 percent stay in 4- and 5-star hotels, at an average 60 nights per year. Four special editions — Leisure Lifestyle Edition, Global City Guidebook, Class Act Guide and The Trazee Book — complement 12 monthly issues. Each year, Global Traveler awards the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, the Leisure Lifestyle Awards and the Wines on the Wing awards.

About Global Traveler Digital
Global Traveler’s website, globaltravelerusa.com, which unveiled a new design in late 2016, offers unique daily content catering to the lifestyle and travel interests of our audience of premium travelers. Other digital offerings include eFlyer USA (20,000 double-opt-in subscribers); eFlyer Asia (4,000 Asia-based, double-opt-in subscribers); custom e-newsletters; sponsored content; Publisher’s Picks, GT on the Go and Premium eDeal e-newsletters; and a weekly On the Road with Global Traveler slideshow. More than 80,000 visitors monthly rely on globaltravelerusa.com as their travel resource.

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

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Kimberly Krol
Global Traveler
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