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Delta Air Lines announces its wines for 2013 BusinessElite passengers

Delta Air Lines has announced the selection of wines, sourced from four continents, to be served on board flights in its BusinessElite cabins throughout 2013.

As the debate continues concerning passenger behaviour, safety and alcoholic drinks on-board flights, Delta has released information on how it intends to improve the experience for its passengers in BusinessElite with its latest wine selection. The selection profiles wines from four continents and includes wines from four European countries: Italy, Spain, France and Portugal; as well as from California, Australia, Chile and South Africa.  The new wines will be served on board from early next year.

Delta chooses its BusinessElite wine cellar each year in a rigorous week long process during which Delta Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson evaluates and samples more than 1,600 different wines from more than 50 wineries worldwide.   Numerous factors are considered including: the complexity and intensity of the wine; aesthetic details such as the image of the bottle and its label; and logistics such as the amount of production necessary to fulfil Delta’s requirements.

A total of 22 winning labels are profiled in cycles throughout the year, including eight red wines, eight white wines, four dessert selections and sparkling wines. Approximately 1.5 million bottles of each wine are served worldwide in Delta’s BusinessElite cabin every year.

“Delta wants to offer an exclusive experience to its BusinessElite customers who tell us they truly appreciate a great wine,” Robinson said.

“This year I have made two selections I label as ’discoveries’ – Banfi Rosa Regale dessert wine and Barco Reale di Carmignano.  These wines are exciting because, while they are classic Italian wines, they are styles few people have tried. The Rosa Regale is a unique sparkling rose dessert wine, and the Barco Reale could be considered Italy’s first Super Tuscan.”

Wine is an important part of Delta’s overall BusinessElite offering and the airline has launched a Sky Sommelier programme for pursers to provide a deeper insight into the wines served on board. The course enables pursers to make wine suggestions that give Delta customers an opportunity to discover a variety of interesting and unique flavour profiles to pair with the upcoming new BusinessElite menu under development by Chef Michelle Bernstein.  The new selections such as the Araucano Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, a Chilean wine, are ideal for pairing with upcoming Latin-inspired creations designed by Chef Bernstein.

“We want to inspire our customers to discover the world through our selection of wines and meals.  Our global selections for the BusinessElite cabin have heart and soul and represent the rich cultural heritage of all the countries selected,” Robinson said.

The programme also explains how reduced humidity in the cabin and pressure changes at 30,000 feet impact the taste buds, so wines selected by Robinson tend to be full bodied with a richer flavour profile. Delta’s Sky Sommeliers are trained to suggest wines that better suit a passenger’s palate at altitude, so they can be best appreciated under the unique conditions on-board.

Wine Selection for the 2013 BusinessElite Cabin:

Category Origin Grape Wine
White Wine California Chardonnay Robert Mondavi winery
Chile Sauvignon Blanc Araucano Reserva
France Chardonnay Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran
South Africa Chenin Blanc Kleine Zalze Bush Vines Chenin Blanc
Italy Pinot Grigio Scarpetta Pinot Grigio
Australia Chardonnay Red Bank The Long Paddock Chardonnay
California Chardonnay Simi Chardonnay
France Chardonnay Louis Latour Chanfleure Chablis
Category Origin Grape Wine
Red Wine Spain Rioja La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva
France Merlot/Cabernet Château Lestruelle Cru Bourgeois Médoc Bordeaux
France Pinot Noir Roux Pere et Fils Savigny les Beaune
California Cabernet/Merlot Estancia Meritage Red
California Pinot Noir Pietra Santa Cienega Valley Pinot Noir
Spain Rioja El Coto de Imaz Rioja Reserva
France Merlot/Cabernet Chateau Bellegrave Medoc Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux
Italy Sangiovese Barco Reale di Carmignano


Category Origin Grape Wine
Dessert Wine Italy Brachetto Banfi Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale
Portugal Touriga blend Cockburn’s SpecialReservePort
France Semillon Chateaux La Rame
Portugal Touriga blend Calem 10 yr TawnyPort
Sparking Wine France Champagne Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique
France Sparkling Veuve du Vernay Brut



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