Emirates First Class passengers are in for a treat. The airlines will be serving a selection of fine wines from its cellar in Burgundy which have been stored for up to 15 years. But act quickly as these exclusive wines will only be served in First Class on select routes for a limited period due to limited availability.
The Emirates Vintage Collection will see four different wines served this year. They are the Château Cheval Blanc 2004, Château Haut Brion 2004, Château Mouton Rothschild 2001 and Château Margaux 1998.
Since 2006, Emirates has been buying wines for long-term storage, many of which were purchased ‘en Primeur’ or when they were still in barrel. The Emirates Vintage Collection represents the most prestigious of these wines, the airline said in a press release.
Thanks to Emirates’ unique approach to buying wines, the airline has managed to build direct relationships with some of the world’s most prestigious vineyards to handpick and secure the most exclusive and rare wines.
“We went direct to the winemakers, handpicked these vintages and then cellared them for up to 15 years in Burgundy before we decided they were ready to be served,” said Joost Heymeijer, Senior Vice President, Inflight Catering, Emirates.
“Every effort was taken to present the wines from the Emirates Vintage Collection in the best possible way. We spent time training our cabin crew, redesigning our glassware and creating a food pairing menu to ensure that when you savour these great wines on board, it’s no different than the best restaurant in the world’s top cities.”
The Emirates Vintage Collection was launched last week on board a special flight to Paris with the Château Cheval Blanc 2004. On the flight, Arnaud de Laforcade, Commercial Director of the Estate, gave customers a surprise wine masterclass in the Emirates A380 Onboard Lounge.
Special dishes have also been created to be paired with each wine from the Emirates Vintage Collection. They will also be regionally inspired. On flights to and from Dublin, for example, the Château Cheval Blanc 2004 will be paired with Irish grass-fed beef fillet served with a potato dauphinoise, creamed leek and spinach, baby carrots and a shallot jus. The same wine will be paired with a seared venison served with a thyme jus, blanched kohlrabi, baby carrots and broccolini on flights to Geneva.
The four wines will be staggered throughout the year on various routes in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia.
Last year, the airline purchased $56 million (£41m) worth of wines and champagne in France.
Over the next few years, more wines will be added to the Emirates Vintage Collection once they have reached optimal maturity. The Emirates cellar currently holds 4.7 million bottles of wine – some of which will not be served until 2027.