The airline industry takes catering to crazy heights (pun intended), even more so than most hospitality businesses. Passengers love a good meal, especially when travelling across long distances. It is in the airline companies’ best interests to keep them well wined and dined, so that they keep coming back for more.
According to Michael Hill Smith MW, DWWA Co-Chair and adviser to Singapore Airlines, the airline industry is a hidden wine market, a multimillion dollar business hiding beneath the surface (or, floating high above the clouds).
Qantas Airways, Australia’s flagship airline company, claims to purchase wines worth $25 million each year! The company is proud of its all Aussie wine list (except Champagne), showcasing Australia’s talent and elegance all over the world. CEO Gareth Evans recently announced at a Qantas International press release that Qantas is the third largest buyer of Australian wine.
The airline industry has also helped some small wineries gain major fame. Being included in a first class wine list is huge and prestigious for a small wine outfit. For wine giants, it is similar to presenting their wines in a shop window – their wines reach the target audience without much effort on their side.
To choose which wines should be featured in their lists, top airline companies rely on the expertise of wine sommeliers. It is believed that altitude can affect the taste of a wine. Vibrant and fruit driven wines taste much more elegant in the dry cabin air of airplanes. High maintenance wines might prove to be a problem, as providing the ideal conditions for their taste could prove troublesome. Ripe and fruity New World wines are considered the best on-board drinks.
So pop open that bottle of wine on your next flight, and enjoy its wholesome flavours with the world literally beneath your feet!