For a lot of travellers, the best part of flying is the free alcohol. Maybe it’s because it calms the nerves or maybe it’s because it’s an easy way to pass time but a glass of something alcoholic just tastes so much better in the sky. However, it’s probably because airlines put plenty of effort into choosing the right kinds of alcohol to suit their passengers.
Business Traveller has released its winners for the Cellars in the Sky 2018 Awards to officially recognise the best business and first class wines served on board by airlines worldwide.
Coming in first place for Best Overall Cellar was Australia’s own, Qantas. The airline cleaned up at the awards also taking out the top spots for the Best First Class White, Best First Class Cellar, Best-Presented First Class Wine List, Best Business Class Fortified / Dessert Wine, and tying with Air France and Cathay Pacific for Best First Class Sparkling.
Cathay Pacific also had more than one win on the night as the airline walked away with the title of Best Business Red as well. Malaysia Air was named Best First Class Red, British Airlines won Best Business Class Cellar, ANA won Best First Class Fortified / Dessert Wine, and Qatar Airways took the top spot in the Best Business Class Sparkling category.
While not many budget airlines were nominated, American low-cost carrier Jetblue, was named the Best Business Class White for the first time.
After 33 years of the awards, the competition gets tighter each year. Winners of Cellars in the Sky are decided by four judges who blind taste 240 bottles from 33 airlines over the course of just two days. After what sounds like a very bad hangover, the scores are then tallied up and the winners are decided.
There was no shortage of Australian winners that made the list with different reds, whites, sparkling and dessert wines coming from Adelaide Hills, Margaret River, Barossa Valley and Yarra Valley.
If you can’t decide which airline to fly with on your next trip away, try using these handy results to help choose. Because everyone knows, there’s nothing worse than being caught on a flight full of terrible wine!