Close Menu

US airlines up first class wine offering

American airlines are spending heavily on upping the quality of the wines they offer to their first class passengers according to Bloomberg.

As reported by the news service, the quality of the wine on pour in first class has long lagged behind both the food and the seating offerings.

Until recently, the wine menu in first class American airlines hasn’t deviated wildly from what is offered to economy travellers.

In a bid to up their game, legacy carriers like American Airlines and US Air, alongside JetBlue and Virgin have invested heavily in their wine lists, though it can be a challenge finding wines that show well in a dry cabin at 35,000 feet.

“If you’re in our first class or business class, I assume you love food and wine, and I want to give you the best adventure,” Ken Chase, American Airlines’ wine consultant, told Bloomberg.

JetBlue serves five California wines include a Counoise, which is more commonly found in the Rhône. Delta meanwhile, boasts an Oregon Pinot.

Other American airlines are offering Turley Wine Cellars’ Juvenile Zinfandel and Jacquart Mosaique Brut Non-Vintage Champagne.

United’s consulting master sommelier, Doug Frost, arranges for wines to be tasted blind by a beverage committee, with the top scoring wines making the list.

Luckily for first class travellers, Pinot Grigio has been virtually struck off all lists as it doesn’t perform well in the air.

“If a wine has problems they will be magnified at altitude,” Jon Bonné, JetBlue’s wine consultant and wine columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, told Bloomberg.

He predicts that wine offerings will improve further as American carriers seek to sell more first- and business-class seats while offering fewer upgrades.

But while the US may be revamping its in-flight lists, none come close to the luxury of Emirates and Singapore Airlines, where Dom Pérignon is on pour in first class.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No