Airline Giant Invests $500 Million in Wine Program

Fine wine and flying just took their relationship to another level.


Earlier this month Emirates Airlines said it would invest $500 million in its in-flight wine program, which features more than 60 wines from 11 different countries. The airline’s commitment to its wine program, Emirate Airlines President Tim Clark said in the release, is an effort to enhance their wine lovers’ on-board oenological journey.


“To us, wine is an experience,” Clark said. “Our customers want to enjoy wine on-board as if they were in a fine dining restaurant.”


According to the Emirates release, the airline has more than 1.2 million bottles of wine tucked away in the company’s Burgundy cellar.


Emirates wine-focused passengers don’t have simple tastes, Clark said.


“They are interested in where the grape comes from, the vintage, the vineyard’s heritage and so on,” he said.


Emirates said they do not depend on intermediate buyers to curate their wine collection, but that their own team of wine experts hand-pick the elements of their wine list.

“We could have taken the easy way out. But with the scale of our operations, this would limit our choices as not many producers can offer the quantities we’d need, at the quality standards that we’d want,” Clark said as he described why the airline has chosen to use their own wine experts to select wines. “We’d rather buy the best wines we can get in smaller lots, and offer our customers more opportunities to try the best vintages, even though this requires a lot more work.”


According to an infographic provided by Emirates, 57 percent of wine consumed on their flights is from Bordeaux.


Heavy-hitters Margaux, Lafite, Latour, Mouton Rothschild and Haut-Brion are included in the company’s wine list, one industry news site noted.


“The French reds provide ‘an anchor’ for our wine lists, around which we build a balanced selection of regions and styles,” Clark said. 


The airline also offers wines from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, the United States and Argentina.


According to Business Traveler, Emirates won the publication’s Cellars in the Sky Awards silver medal for Best Overall Wine Cellar.


“The carrier was outdone by its global partner Qantas, which walked away with five awards including the Gold Medal for Best Overall Wine Cellar, Business Traveler reported this past week.


Original: Snooth – Articles


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