Qantas dishes up 1400 bottles of wine for blind-tasting for it’s wine -list

  • October 12, 2022

For the first time this year, the sommeliers also tasted non-alcoholic spirits and sparkling wines.

Qantas customers consume millions of bottles of wine every year with the airline one of the largest purchasers of Australian wine and this year sommeliers blind-tasted a total of 1400 bottles of wine to select Qantas’ on-board and in-lounge wine lists.

For the first time this year, the sommeliers also tasted non-alcoholic spirits and sparkling wines, to cater for an increasing number of guests who avoid alcohol but still wish to enjoy a glass of sparkling grape juice.

Qantas sommeliers blind-tasting wines
Qantas sommeliers blind-tasting wines. Photo: Supplied

Master Sommelier Sebastian Crowther says while they use a traditional tasting methodology, an additional consideration when selecting onboard wines is how they will translate to form a part of the inflight dining experience. “We taste such a diverse array of wines from all across the country and the philosophy is simple when it comes to selection, if it tastes great on the ground, then it will taste great in the air.”

Winemakers, ranging from some of Australia’s best-known to smaller, emerging wineries, submitted their wines for tasting, keen for their wines to be showcased around the world. Alkina Wine Estate, a family-owned business has had two wines selected to be included in the airline’s First Class inflight wine list.

Alkina Wines on Qantas First Class. Photo: Supplied

2021 Alkina Kin ‘Night Sky’ GSM and 2021 Alkina Kin ‘Birdsong’ Shiraz soon to be featured across international flights. Not only is it an important commercial deal for winemaking business but it also helps build a global profile.

Fast Facts:

  • Five: the number of days the blind tasting process takes
  • 1400: the number of bottles of wine tasted over the five days
  • 2500 bottles of wine enjoyed by customers visiting the Sydney and Melbourne First Lounges each week
  • 300: the number of Australian wine producers Qantas works with
  • Most popular wines on board are Shiraz in the reds, and Chardonnay in the whites
  • Most popular wines in lounge are Champagne; Chardonnay and Pinot Noir


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