Bottoms up! Malaysia Airlines named the carrier with best overall wine, Qantas claims gold for its first-class list and American Airlines scoops a gong for its rosé
- The Cellars in the Sky Awards honours airline wines in business and first class
- A total of 35 airlines entered their premium wines for a blind tasting
- Awards were handed out in 16 categories including best red, white and rosé
Malaysia Airlines has been named as the carrier with the best overall wine list in the world at an annual awards ceremony.
It scooped the top prize at the Cellars in the Sky Awards 2019 as well as gongs for best business class wine list and best business class sparkling wine.
The overall runner-up was Japanese airline ANA while Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific was third. The award for best first-class wine list went to Qantas, which also won the award for best first-class white wine. American Airlines scooped the gong for best first-class rosé.
Richard De Villa, Malaysia Airlines’ head of marketing for the UK and Europe (left) and Daniel Bainbridge, Malaysia Airlines’ regional manager for the UK and Europe, with Malaysia Airlines’ awards from the Cellars in the Sky Awards 2019
The Cellars in the Sky Awards, which were held in London last night, were organised by Business Traveller magazine and 35 airlines entered their business and first-class wines for testing.
Blind tastings of 250 bottles took place at London’s Amba Hotel Grosvenor in Victoria, in November, with the five judges independently scoring the wines over two days.
They then decided on winners for 16 categories that included awards for reds, whites, rosés, sparkling wines and fortified wines.
ANA were the winners of two awards – it scooped the gold medal for best first-class red and best business-class white.
The award for best first-class wine list went to Qantas, which also won the award for best first-class white wine. Pictured is the Qantas first-class cabin on one of its A380s
Emirates was presented with two gongs – best first-class fortified/dessert wine and best business-class fortified/dessert wine.
Air New Zealand was named winner of the awards for best business-class red and best business-class rosé.
The awards for the best-presented business-class wine list and the best-presented first-class wine list went to Singapore Airlines.
Meanwhile, Cathay Dragon scooped one award – best first-class sparkling wine.
The Cellars in the Sky Awards is now in its 34th year and has been running since 1985.
FULL WINNERS FROM THE CELLAR IN THE SKIES AWARDS 2019
BEST FIRST-CLASS RED
Gold Medal: ANA – Domaine David Duband, Nuit-Saint-Georges Les Pruliers 1er cru 2017, Nuit-Saint-Georges, Burgundy, France
Silver Medal: Emirates – Les Forts de Latour 2005, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Bronze Medal: Qantas – Giant Steps Tarraford Vineyard Syrah 2018, Tarrawarra, Yarra Valley, Australia
BEST FIRST-CLASS WHITE
Gold Medal: Qantas – Shaw + Smith Lenswood Vineyard Chardonnay 2017, Adelaide Hills, Australia
Silver Medal: Cathay Pacific – Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Saarfeilser GG 2016, Mosel, Germany
Bronze Medal: Malaysia Airlines – Palliser Estate Chardonnay 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand
Highly Commended (joint): Cathay Dragon – Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand and Singapore Airlines – By Farr Chardonnay 2018, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
BEST FIRST-CLASS ROSÉ
Gold Medal: American Airlines – Château Gassier ‘Le Pas du Moine’ Côtes De Provence Rosé 2018, Sainte-Victoire, France
Silver Medal: Korean Air – Château D’Esclans Les Clans Rosé 2017, Côtes de Provence, France
Bronze Medal: Etihad Airways – Château Les Valentines Rosé 2018, Côtes de Provence, France
BEST FIRST-CLASS SPARKLING
Gold Medal: Cathay Dragon – Champagne Rare Millesimé 2002, Piper-Heidsieck, France
Silver Medal: Singapore Airlines – Champagne Krug 2004, France
Bronze Medal: Emirates – Champagne Dom Pérignon 2002 Plénitude 2, France
BEST FIRST-CLASS FORTIFIED/DESSERT WINE
Gold Medal: Emirates – Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2013, South Africa
Silver Medal: Qantas – Morris of Rutherglen Old Premium Rare Liqueur Muscat, Rutherglen, Australia
Bronze Medal: Cathay Dragon – Lions de Suduiraut 2015, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
BEST-PRESENTED FIRST-CLASS WINE LIST
Gold Medal: Singapore Airlines
BEST FIRST-CLASS CELLAR
Gold Medal: Qantas
Silver Medal: Cathay Pacific
Bronze Medal: ANA; Singapore Airlines
BEST BUSINESS-CLASS RED
Gold Medal: Air New Zealand – Brennan B2, 2016, Queenstown, Central Otago, New Zealand
Silver Medal (joint): Air New Zealand – Trinity Hill Homage Syrah, 2015, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay, New
Zealand; Etihad – Turkey Flat ‘Butchers Block Red’ 2016, Barossa Valley, Australia and Qatar Airways – Astelia Syrah, 2017, Languedoc-Roussillon, Sud de France, France
Bronze Medal: Singapore Airlines – Catena Paraje Altamira Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina
BEST BUSINESS-CLASS WHITE
Gold Medal: ANA – Stella Bella Skuttlebutt Sauvignon Semillon 2018, Forest Grove, Margaret River, Australia
Silver Medal: Air New Zealand – Kumeu River Maté’s Vineyard 2016, Kumeu, Auckland, New Zealand
Bronze Medal: Virgin Atlantic – Van Volxem Saar Riesling 2016, Mosel, Germany
BEST BUSINESS-CLASS SPARKLING
Gold Medal: Malaysia Airlines – Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2007, France
Silver Medal: Air Tahiti Nui – Champagne Charles Heidsieck Rosé Réserve, France
Bronze Medal: EVA Air – Champagne Castelnau Millésimé 2006, France
Highly Commended (joint): Aircalin – Champagne Pol Roger Réserve, France and Korean Air – Champagne Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, France
BEST BUSINESS-CLASS ROSÉ
Gold Medal: Air New Zealand – Two Rivers Isle of Beauty Rosé 2018, Southern Valleys, Marlborough, New Zealand
Silver Medal (joint): ANA – Château La Castille Rosé 2018, Côtes de Provence, France; Emirates and Korean Air – Whispering Angel Rosé 2018, Côtes de Provence, France
Bronze Medal (Joint): Air Tahiti Nui – Perle De Roseline Rosé 2018, Côtes de Provence, France and Jetstar – De Bortoli Rosé Rosé, 2019, King Valley, Victoria, Australia
BEST BUSINESS-CLASS FORTIFIED/DESSERT WINE
Gold Medal: Emirates – Dow’s Colheita Port 1992, Douro Valley, Portugal
Silver Medal: Cathay Dragon – Château Filhot 2014, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
Bronze Medal: Oman Air – Château Suau 2016, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
BEST BUSINESS-CLASS CELLAR
Gold Medal: Malaysia Airlines
Silver Medal: Qatar Airways and Air New Zealand
Bronze Medal: Aer Lingus
BEST-PRESENTED BUSINESS-CLASS WINE LIST
BEST AIRLINE ALLIANCE
BEST OVERALL CELLAR
Gold Medal: Malaysia Airlines
Silver Medal: ANA
Bronze Medal: Cathay Pacific
The participating airlines were – Aegean, Aer Lingus, Aeroflot, Aircalin, Air Canada, Air Italy, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, American Airlines, ANA, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Dragon, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Gulf Air, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Jetblue, Jetstar, Korean Air, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Virgin Atlantic and Westjet.
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