Why we’d rather drink wine at 30,000 feet | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Why we’d rather drink wine at 30,000 feet

There’s wine – and then there’s wine at 30,000 feet. With an epic cheese board in front of you. And 2,500 movies and TV shows to watch on your own private screen. And a personal mini bar. If you haven’t guessed, we’re talking about drinking wine (and eating cheese) on board an international business flight. And who is it that makes flying so damn delicious? Emirates and their A380. Flying from Brisbane to Auckland might be one of the shortest international trips you can take from Australia (ok, it’s THE shortest), but why you’d want to fly domestic when you could be sipping Moët & Chandon from the moment you take your spacious seat is a mystery to us. Sampling wine 3 stories up in the heart of Auckland might not sound quite as adventurous as drinking it while cruising along at 900kms an hour, but that’s just what we were treated to recently as part of a whirlwind trip of food, wine and sight-seeing with Emirates. An early flight over to the city wasn’t quite conducive to starting our tasting a little early (although that didn’t stop us from saying yes to a glass of champagne with breakfast), but by the time we’d arrived, relaxed and eaten our way through the best of Auckland, we were more than ready for a 3 course lunch at Seafarers, matched with wines from Emirates’ hand-picked list of Australian, New Zealand and French vintages. emirates-wine-2Over the course of the lunch, as Sommelier Bob Campbell led us through each of the wines, Australian vintages were pitted against NZ drops and it was ruled that French was still the master of them all. Amongst the sips were NZ’s Burn Cottage Pinot Noir, and an Aussie Pierro Chardonnay, both of which you’ll find on the First Class Trans-Tasman wine list. We’re not sure our own self-created wine tasting on the flight back, starting with a glass of champagne, continuing with a Chablis Premier Cru La Chantrerie 2013 matched with a salmon curry, and finishing with Niepoort Tawny 20 years old with that cheese plate was quite as professionally conducted, but after 3 glasses of port, we were ready to unbuckle our belts and take advantage of all that Business Class leg room. Spending over $140 million dollars on fine wines in 2015 alone, Emirates are intent on having the best wine list in the business (so if you pick your airlines based on drinks lists, they should definitely be your number one). Want to know more? Check out the Emirates Wine Story here – and maybe start planning a trip to Auckland so you can conduct your own wine tasting at 30,000 feet. Words by Ranyhyn Akui