Australian airline Qantas has won five out of the 13 awards – more than any other airline – at this year’s Cellars in the Sky Awards, held in London in early February.
Qantas won the awards for Best Overall Wine Cellar, Best First Class Cellar and Best Business Class Cellar.
In individual wines categories, the airline was awarded first place in Best First Class White Wine for its Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2009 and first place in Best First Class Sparkling wine for Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2000.
Qantas sources more than 250 different wines from more than 150 different producers throughout Australia. It serves French champagne in First and Business classes.
The Qantas Sommeliers in the Sky training for the cabin crew incorporates elements from formal wine education programs and equips the cabin crew with appropriate wine knowledge to serve customers.
“We pride ourselves on developing a selection of wines that celebrates both cutting-edge and classic wine styles, grape varieties and regions,” according to Alison Webster, Qantas Executive Manager Customer Experience, in the press release.
The Qantas’ “Wine Panel” led by three wine experts – Vanya Cullen, Stephen Pannell and Tom Carson – helps the airline select fine wines for in-flight serving.
Qantas Frequent Flyers can buy quality Australian wines, including the wines served in Qantas premium classes and Qantas airport lounges, while earning Qantas Points (three points for every dollar spent) through Qantas epiQure, a dedicated online wine community.
The wines can also be purchased using frequent flier points with 130 points being equal to $1. Free delivery across Australia is also provided.
Qantas epiQure also provides invitations to events including tasting events and dinners with globally renowned chefs and online forums to gain knowledge from wine industry experts.
Oneworld, the airline alliance which counts Qantas as one of its members, won recognition for the Best Airline Alliance for Wine at the Cellars awards.
The Cellars in the Sky Awards recognize excellence in the field of in-flight wines. The awards, which have been running since 1985, recognize the best red, white, sparkling, fortified and dessert wine served during flights.
Qantas has won more Cellars awards than any other airline for the fifth consecutive year.