Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, uncorked its finest wines at wine tasting event in Nairobi, to highlight its First and Business Class wine selection on board on its network, showcasing the airlines investment in wine as part of its long-term strategy.
Emirates invested over US$ 135 million in its wine and spirits programme last year, working directly with top vineyards and distilleries around the world. Each year, 2.3 million bottles of wine and champagne are consumed in First and Business Class and 3.2 million bottles are consumed in Economy Class.
“Our aim is to provide the best experience for our customers and our curated wine programme is reflective of that promise. We have a strong team of wine connoisseurs who build relationships with the world’s most prestigious vineyards, handpick and secure the most exclusive and rare wines to pair with our food menu, for our customers.”, said Hendrik du Preez, Emirates Regional Manager for East Africa.
“We serve 80 different champagnes, wines and ports on our flights on an average day across our international network and source our wines from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and USA.”, he added.
The wines presented by Emirates included:
- Dom Pérignon 2009: served in First Class, Emirates is the number one global partner of Dom Pérignon, serving the champagne for over 25 years.
- Ken Forrester FMC Chenin Blanc 2015: served in First and Business Class, Ken Forrester wines situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, in the heart of South Africa’s most famous wine region Stellenbosch, has a partnership with Emirates for almost 10 years.
- Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2007: served in First Class, Pichon Lalande as the wine is commonly referred to, was rated as a second growth in the famous 1855 classification of the Medoc in Bordeaux. Emirates has been serving Pichon Lalande since 2011.
- Vilafonte Series M 2015: served in First Class, this partnership between South African winemaker Mike Ratcliffe and his American counterparts, Zelma Long of Robert Mondavi and Phil Freese of Opus One, is a recent addition to Emirates wine menu on board.
- Dow’s Colheita 1978: served in First Class, Dow’s colheitas (single harvest Tawny Ports) are aged for considerably longer than the minimum 7 years required by law, this magnificent example has been maturing in cask for over 40 years. Emirates has been serving Dow’s ports since 2007.
At the heart of Emirates’ wine strategy is purchasing exceptional wines en primeur, years before they are released to the market, and then allowing these vintages to mature and reach their potential before serving on board. The Emirates wine cellar, currently stores 7 million bottles of wine – some of which will only be served in 2035.