Judges at a leading international wine-tasting competition have raised their glasses to oneworld® as the best airline alliance for the wines served in-flight by its member airlines for the sixth year in a row. The Cellars in the Sky Awards, now in their 30th year, are run by British Traveller, the multi-national magazine group, in association with the International Wine Challenge. The 2014 awards were presented last night at a ceremony in London, following blind tastings of hundreds of wines served on longhaul flights by 35 airlines from around the world, conducted by a panel of five leading experts.
oneworld members all but swept the board in the airline categories, taking nine of the 13 gold awards, along with 17 of the 36 silver and bronze awards and commendations. Competitors from the Star alliance achieved two gold awards and seven silver and bronzes, while SkyTeam members achieved one gold award and three silver and bronzes.
British Airways was honoured as the airline with the Best Overall Wine Cellar, after collecting the prize as Best Business Class Cellar and placed second as Best First Class Cellar.
oneworld member airlines took all four gold medals for Business Class wines:
British Airways for Best White, with its Remi Niero Condrieu Les Ravines 2012 from France.
Cathay Pacific for Sparkling with its Champagne Cuvee William Deutz Brut Millesime 2000, also from France.
Finnair for Red, with its Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2012, from New Zealand.
Qantas for Fortified/Dessert, with its Baileys of Glenrowan Founder Series Class Muscat, from Australia.
British Airways also won the prize for Best First Class Red, with its Kiwa by Escarpment Pinot Noir 2011, from New Zealand, while Qantas received the Best First Class Sparkling gold medal with its Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2000, from France.
British Airways was also presented with three silver medals, Qantas with two silvers and two bronzes, Finnair with one silver and one bronze and Cathay Pacific with two commendations.
Other oneworld member airlines honoured included TAM Airlines with one silver medal and one bronze, American Airlines with one bronze and a commendation, and LAN Airlines and Malaysia Airlines with a silver medal each.
The judges included luminaries from the world of wine Charles Metcalfe, Oz Clarke, Peter McCrombie and Richard Bampfield.