Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, uncorked its finest wines at an event held recently in Lagos to highlight its First and Business Class wine selection on board, showcasing the airlines investment in wine as part of its long-term strategy.
Emirates has invested US$ 1 billion on its wine programme since 2006, working directly with top vineyards around the world. Each year, 2.2 million bottles of wine are consumed in First and Business Class and 2.6 million bottles in Economy Class.
On board Emirates, 54% of the wine and champagne is consumed in Economy class, 40% in Business class and 6% in First class. Bordeaux is the most consumed red wine in First and Business Class, at 58%.
“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, then handpick and secure the most exclusive and rare wines to pair with our food menu, for our customers.”, said Afzal Parambil, Emirates Regional Manager for West Africa.
“We serve 80 different champagnes, wines and ports on our flights daily, sourced from 12 countries. We also offer over 30 spirits, aperitifs and liqueurs and 14 cocktails to our passengers across our network, including Lagos and Abuja.” he added.
Emirates’ main wine producing countries are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and USA.
The wines presented by Emirates included: Dom Pérignon 2009: served only in First Class. Emirates is the number one global partner of Dom Pérignon, serving the champagne for over 25 years.
Metis Sauvignon Blanc Klein Constantia 2016 served only in Business Class, is an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc made at Klein Constantia in consultation with French winemaker Pascal Jolivet, whose wines Emirates has worked with for over 15 years.
Ken Forrester Gypsy, served in First and Business Class, Ken Forrester Wines is situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, in the heart of South Africa’s most famous wine region Stellenbosch. It has a partnership with Emirates for almost 10 years.
Château Pontet Canet 5ème Cru Classé 2006, served only in First Class, is owned by the 5th growth Pauillac. Alfred Tesseron and his team devote utmost attention to the vineyard and have implemented a biodynamic approach since 2004. This is an outstanding example of red Bordeaux, a style which represents the backbone of the Emirates wine selection.
Graham’s 20 year old Tawny Port, served only in Business Class, is a combination of older ports – bringing complexity to the blend, and younger ports – bringing freshness and vibrancy. This pale, golden amber, or ‘tawny’ coloured fortified wine is exceptionally popular with Emirates customers.
At the heart of Emirates’ wine strategy is its unique approach to purchasing exceptional Bordeaux 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 in Burgundy France, currently stores 7.4 million bottles of wine – some of which will only be served in 2037.
Emirates route network consists of 157 destinations in 83 countries. The airline’s fleet includes 259 passenger planes, which are A380 and B777, and 11 freighter aircraft, mainly B777.