TAM Airlines has won another of the top categories in Business Traveller’s prestigious "Cellars in the Sky"; awards that recognise airlines for the quality of the wines served on board their aircraft.
The Brazilian company has received the award for the best red wine served in Business Class during 2012. The wine in question is Château Bel-Air-Ouÿ, 2007, a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru produced in Bordeaux (France). The winning wine is produced for TAM by one of France’s most respected winemakers, Jean-Luc Thunevin.
The awards took place at The Dorchester in London on 4 February 2013, and were presented to Ignacio Blanco, the Marketing Director for the LATAM Airlines Group in Europe, by the chairman of the jury and co-chair of the International Wine Challenge, Charles Metcalfe.
In February 2012 TAM won awards at "Cellars in the Sky" for the best red wine served in First Class, Clos Canon 2008, and also took the award as the airline with the most improved First Class wine cellar. In 2009 TAM was chosen by "Cellars in the Sky" to serve the best white wine in First Class with Michel Picard Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru "Les Chalumeaux" (2006).
“It is always nice to see the work of the onboard service team recognised at such a prestigious and highly respected award ceremony. It is important to win “Cellars in the Sky” again, and especially for one of the most hotly contested categories and one that TAM has not previously won in the past. It attests to our commitment to always offer our passengers the very best products,” says José Racowski, TAM’s Long Haul Product Manager (Travel Experience). According to the executive, choosing wines for Business Class is one of the most complicated tasks in aviation food and beverage, as it requires a detailed research of high quality wines that have a greater volume of production than those that are served in First Class.
According to Arthur Azevedo, one of the most respected wine consultants in Brazil, executive director of the Brazilian Association of Sommeliers of São Paulo, and the man responsible for selecting the wines to be served on board TAM’s flights since 2001, the Château Bel-Air-Ouÿ is a high-class wine, originally from Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, that is produced with Merlot (70%), Cabernet Franc (20%), Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec grapes.
“This is a very elegant wine that displays aromas of ripe dark fruit, with notes of chocolate,” explains Azevedo. “The flavour in the mouth is very nice and tasty, with a soft texture and long persistence. The main reason for its success is the way that Jean-Luc works the perfect integration of fruit and oak, combining the ripeness of the grapes to the unparalleled expression of terroir wines taken from Bordeaux. He is a tireless pursuer of excellence and perfection, and delivers a lot of energy and enthusiasm to produce wines of exceptional quality.”
Business Traveller (www.businesstraveller.com), one of the world’s leading and most influential magazines targeted at the global business traveller, has annually organized the “Cellars in the Sky” awards since 1985. For eight months, a panel of five leading experts will have blind tasted over 250 wines served in the First Class and Business Class of the world’s leading airlines. To choose the winners the four independent judges considered that at altitude it is the elegance and subtlety of wines, and the delicate balance between acidity and alcohol, that is important.
For 2013, TAM’s wine cellars is offering its passengers not only the award winning Château Bel-Air-ouy, but also:
First Class – long haul flights
Drappier La Grande Sendrée (Champagne/France) - champagne;
Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Pechstein Grand Cru (Pfalz/Germany) – white wine;
Château La Louviere (Pessac-Léognan/Bordeaux/France) – white wine;
La Croix Figeac (St. Émilion/Bordeaux/France) – red wine;
San Román (Toro/Spain) – red wine;
I Balzini Black Label (Tuscany/Italy) – red wine.
Business Class – long haul flights
Drappier Carte d´Or (Champagne/France) - champagne;
Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Altenburg Premier Cru (Pfalz/Germany) – white wine;
Château de Tracy (Pouilly-Fumé/Loire Valley/France) – white wine;
Jean-Luc Thunevin Château Bel-Air-Ouÿ (Saint Émilion/Bordeaux/France) – red wine;
Abadia Retuerta Selección Especial (Sardón de Duero/Spain) – red wine.
Business Class – short haul flights
For short haul flights TAM offers a selection of wines from its long haul Business Class cellar
Economy Class – short and long haul flights
Callia Alta Malbec (San Juan/Argentina) – red wine;Callia Alta Chardonnay (San Juan/Argentina) – white wine.