Global Traveler Wine Competition

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Global Traveler, the only AAM-audited magazine for luxury business and leisure travelers, releases the results of its 16th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition.

The competition, held May 6, took place at City Winery, in New York City. Twenty-three expert judges participated in the blind tasting of 19 airlines’ white, red and sparkling wines. The judges hailed from a wide range of specialties, including sommeliers, wine shop owners and winemakers.

Airlines are required to submit five different wines — two red wines, two white wines and one sparkling wine/Champagne — to be eligible for the overall Best International Business-Class Wines on the Wing award or the Best International First-Class Wines on the Wing award. This year, the winner for Best International Business-Class Wines on the Wing was Etihad Airways, and the winner for Best International First-Class Wines on the Wing was American Airlines.

In the white wine category, Best International Business-Class White Wine was Bouchard Père et Fils Mâcon 2016, submitted by All Nippon Airways. For first class, the winner was Singapore Airlines with Bouchard Père et Fils Meursault 2016.

The best business-class Champagne was a tie between Aeromexico’s Jacquart Brut Mosaïque and Etihad’s Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut. The best first-class Champagne was Air France’s Krug Grande Cuvée.

When it came to red wine, All Nippon Airways reigned supreme in the first-class category with Château Léoville-Barton 2012, Saint-Julien, Bordeaux, Etihad Airways took the No. 1 business-class spot with Château Moulin Haut-Laroque 2012, Fronsac, Bordeaux.

For the 11th consecutive year, Global Traveler awarded the Best North American Wines on the Wing. North American airlines submitted first-class and business-class wine samples, depending on their domestic flight offerings.

American Airlines was named Best North American First-Class/Business-Class Wines on the Wing, and also won for its white wine, Joseph Drouhin Saint-Véran 2017, Mâcon, Burgundy. Aeromexico’s Jacquart Brut Mosaïque won Best North American Champagne/Sparkling Wine, while Alaska Airlines won Best North American Red Wine for its Battle Creek Cellars Pinot Noir Reserve 2017, Oregon.

For the eighth year, Global Traveler awarded the Best Alliance Wines on the Wing. The participating airlines were divided by airline alliance. The overall points for each airline were tallied and averaged to determine the alliance with the highest total. Congratulations to oneworld, represented by American Airlines and LATAM.

Competition director Eunice Fried spent months preparing for the blind tasting. Fried, an accomplished wine journalist and respected wine expert, resides in New York City.

Global Traveler is the only U.S.-based publication to conduct such a survey in the United States.

The top airlines in each category are:

BEST INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS-CLASS WINES ON THE WING
1. Etihad Airways
2. United Airlines
3. Aeromexico
4. All Nippon Airways
5. TIE: Air Tahiti Nui/Singapore Airlines

BEST INTERNATIONAL FIRST-CLASS WINES ON THE WING
1. American Airlines
2. All Nippon Airways
3. Air France
4. Singapore Airlines
5. Etihad Airways

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1. TIE: Aeromexico/Etihad Airways
2. TIE: Air Tahiti Nui/Singapore Airlines
3. TIE: Aeroflot/Air New Zealand
4. United Airlines
5. Delta Air Lines

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1. Air France
2. American Airlines
3. TIE: All Nippon Airways/Singapore Airlines
4. TIE: Delta Air Lines/Etihad Airways

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1. All Nippon Airways
2. Etihad Airways
3. Air Tahiti Nui
4. United Airlines
5. TAP Air Portugal

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1. Singapore Airlines
2. American Airlines
3. American Airlines
4. All Nippon Airways
5. All Nippon Airways

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS
1. Etihad Airways
2. TIE: Etihad Airways/Singapore Airlines
3. Singapore Airlines
4. EL AL Israel Airlines
5. Aeromexico

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS
1. All Nippon Airways
2. American Airlines
3. All Nippon Airways
4. Air France
5. American Airlines

BEST NORTH AMERICAN WINES ON THE WING
1. American Airlines
2. United Airlines
3. Aeromexico
4. Delta Air Lines

BEST NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPAGNE/SPARKLING WINE
1. Aeromexico
2. United Airlines
3. Delta Air Lines
4. American Airlines

BEST NORTH AMERICAN RED WINE
1. Alaska Airlines
2. United Airlines
3. Delta Air Lines
4. TIE: Aeromexico/American Airlines
5. American Airlines

BEST NORTH AMERICAN WHITE WINE
1. American Airlines
2. Aeromexico
3. United Airlines
4. American Airlines
5. Alaska Airlines

BEST ALLIANCE WINES ON THE WING
1. oneworld
2. Star Alliance
3. SkyTeam

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