Business Traveler (USA)

HOW AIRLINES PICK WINE

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Most carriers taste hundreds of wines when selecting their list but methods differ slightly. Icelandair, for example, launches an informal tender whereby suppliers pitch their ideas for menus. Working with a consultant, the airline chooses two to three suppliers to follow on to the tasting phase.

Iris Groeneweg, purchasing manager of onboard retail and service at Icelandair, says:“We usually have a mix of people participat­ing in the tasting – wine specialist­s, frequent flyers, wine enthusiast­s, sommeliers and airline staff.”

Lorna Green, customer experience communicat­ions manager at Qatar Airways, says the airline tries to provide a balance of wines on its list.“Age is not as important to us as the overall quality, taking into account that some wines do get better with age,”she said.

“For us, it’s more important that a wine is served at its best. We buy some wines in advance and lay them down so we can use them at a later date, when they have matured.”

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