British Airways introduces its first-ever English sparkling white wine to its First class menu between February and September. This smooth and full-bodied Vintage Blanc de Blancs comes from the West Sussex-based winery Bolney Wine Estate. The English sparkling wine will join Laurent-Perrier Grande Siècle and Jacquart Mosaique Rose NV on the Champagne and Sparkling Wine menu. The airline also took home five awards at Business Traveller’ “Cellars in the Sky 2016 Awards”, including the Best Overall Wine Cellar.
“We are thrilled to receive five awards at The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky 2016 Awards. They represent a great form of recognition from the international wine community. All of our wines are blind tasted by experts to ensure we serve the very best and offer our customers the most enjoyable in-flight dining experience,” said Colin Talbot, British Airways’ head of catering.
Meanwhile, the new addition to the airline’s celebrated wine list – the Vintage Blanc de Blancs – not only works well as an aperitif, it also complements dishes served in First this month such the Loch Fyne Kinglas smoked salmon with tartar sauce, watercress panna cotta and Oscietra caviar. The wine also works well with the fresh seasonal salad with the optional blue cheese dressing.
“We are delighted to be adding Bolney Wine Estate’s Vintage Blanc de Blancs as our guest Sparkling Wine. This is the first time we have offered an English Sparkling white wine on board and we think our customers are going to love it,“ Talbot added.
Sam Linter, managing director and lead master wine maker at Bolney Wine Estate said: “We are absolutely delighted that British Airways considers our Blanc de Blancs one of the finest wines available. It is such a privilege that it will be sampled by British as well as international flyers. We feel this partnership shows the strength of the English wine industry and we are very much looking forward to continuing our relationship with British Airways.”
British Airways’ full list of award at The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky 2016 Awards
1. Best Overall Cellar – Gold Medal
2. Best Business Class Cellar – Silver Medal
3. Best Business Class Sparkling – Silver Medal – Champagne de Castelnau Brut Reserve, NV, France
4. Best First Class Red – Silver Medal – Escarpment Kupe Pinot Noir 2012, Martinborough, New Zealand
5. Best First Class Fortified/Dessert – Bronze Medal – Mullineaux Olerasay Number One, NV, Swartland, South Africa
The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky 2016 Awards recognise the best business and first class wines served by airlines worldwide. Business Traveller contacted more than 75 airlines in summer 2016, and 33 entered. Blind tastings took place at the Crowne Plaza London Kensington in December, with four judges independently scoring the wines. Along with Charles Metcalfe, the judges were: Tim Atkin, Sarah Abbott and Peter McCombie who co-chair the International Wine Challenge.
Last year British Airways’ First customers consumed more than 160,000 bottles of champagne, 133,000 bottles of red wine and 150,000 bottles of white wine on board flights. The airline also introduced new washbags earlier this year. Top British brand Liberty London created an exclusive range of washbags for customers traveling in First.