When travelers think of comfortable and luxurious flying options, one of the names that is among the top is Emirates Airlines. For one, it is the largest and one of the best run airline in the aviation business and certainly tops the charts when it comes to innovative ideas to make clients comfortable as they fly around the world.
When it comes to the wines, Emirates invested over USD135 Million last year and they’re working directly with distilleries and vineyards from around the world. First Class travelers consume 2.3 Million bottles of wine and champagne in a year and 3.2 Million bottles in economy class. The airline serves 80 different champagnes, wines and ports on their flights on an average day across their international network and source their wines from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and USA.
At an intimate event at the Capital Club Nairobi with friends, I had the pleasure of experiencing some of the champagnes, fine wines and exquisite cuisine last week – both business and economy class offerings. The wines were expertly paired with different delicacies that Emirates does not seem to have spared any expense in crafting.
The evening started off with Dom Pérignon 2009, a champagne which is served in first class. It was paired with a Lobster salad with Beluga Caviar miso and Soy Vinaigrette.
The second course was pan-fried scallops with balsamic vinaigrette and urugula, paired with Ken Forrester FMC Chenin Blanc 2015. This wine is served in both first and business classes.
Course number 3 was smoked duck breast with red cabbage. This was the only course that had something that did not necessarily resonate with my taste buds especially the red cabbage, but it was passable all the same. The food was paired with Vilafonte Series M 2015, a recent addition to the Emirate wine menu which is served in First Class.
The fourth course which for me was the most delicious was lamb with red wine reduction, thyme and potato gratin. It was paired with Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2007 – a wine that is served in First.
The last course which was a dessert of Mi-Cuit of chocolate with salted caramel ice-cream came with an equally sweet Dow’s Colheita 1978 which had been matured for over 40 years. This is also to be found in First Class.
It was overall a superb and enjoyable evening with a lot to learn and experience about the Emirates wines. One among many interesting facts that I learnt was that the Emirates wine cellar is the largest of any airline, and currently stores 7 million bottles of wine – some of which will be served in 2035. At the heart of Emirates’ wine strategy is its unique approach to purchasing exceptional wines en primeur, years before they are released to the market, and then allowing these vintages to mature and reach their potential before serving on board.