I know you’re all wine lovers, which is why, when you next fly – make it on Air New Zealand. I’m not being bias because I am from NZ, but after travelling on the airline recently, I was very impressed with the wine and food service on Air NZ.
My work, last week sent me over to Auckland for a Google Lead Career Development training and my Virgin Australia booking was welcomingly operated by Air NZ. I was travelling economy class with the full ‘works’ package, which meant my ticket included food and drinks. The fact that I was impressed with economy class means it’s safe to say premium economy and business class will be fantastic too.
New Zealand is a land like no other, and our wine is an experience like no other” – Air NZ
So why is Air New Zealand the airline for wine lovers?
Everything at a touch of a button
Air NZ must have one of the best inflight entertainment systems. Firstly it works without glitches (in my experience) which doesn’t seem the case for many other airlines. And secondly there is so much to do for wine lovers on this easy to use touch screen. You can:
- Order glasses of wine direct to your seat (if you don’t have a ‘works’ package, you can organise payment through the shopping cart too)
- You can order wine to be delivered to your door at home
- You can test your New Zealand wine skills via the Air NZ Wine Quiz
- You can learn all about NZ wine
The wine education on-board
As mentioned, on the touch screen, there is so much information you can read to learn more about Kiwi wines. From the wine regions of New Zealand to the NZ wine varietals and how to taste wine. I learnt some pretty cool stuff through these pages and also the quiz, such as:
- 85% of New Zealand vineyard’s are in the South Island
- Almost all vineyards in New Zealand are planted on the east coast
- The oldest wine region in New Zealand is Northland
- Central Otago is the world’s most southerly wine region
- Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine region
- The two sub-regions in Auckland are Matakana and Waiheke Island
- The main wine regions are between 36 and 46 degrees latitude
The wine selection in the sky
Unlike any other airline, Air NZ serves exclusively wines from New Zealand. In fact, the proudly Kiwi airline is the largest single server of NZ wines and serves approximately 6.5 million glasses of wine in the sky annually.
On board you can scroll through all the tasting notes of the wines available which I found pretty cool. Alongside this, the staff are trained to an extent in knowledge on the wines aboard, so feel free to ask them what would be the best match for your chosen meal.
The wines onboard are selected by some extremely well qualified ‘wine consultant’ palates including;
- John Belsham (Foxes Island Wines and an internationally respected wine judge and critic)
- Jim Harre
- Linda Murphy
- Master of Wine – Fongyee Walker (who I was lucky enough to meet at the 2017 Swan Valley Wine Awards!)
After learning all about gender diversity in the workplace at my Google course, I’m glad to see Air NZ uses a mix of palates to put the selection together!
On my flights, I really enjoyed the Sparkling Dulcet Brut NV from Gisborne and the Thornbury Sauvignon Blanc.
But they can still improve..
Like everything, there is always room for improvement. So here are some suggestions, just in case Air NZ come across this post and want to further improve their wonderful wine experience in the sky:
- Better glassware – I know it’s against health and safety to have glass, but instead of plastic cups can an alternative be looked at like GoVino or those types of silicone glasses or something of the like?
- On the self-ordering screen, it would be great to be able to choose between the wine choices on board instead of just by grape varietal
- Announce the wine choices when the meal choices are being announced (I admit it, I like to plan ahead and consider whether I want my wine or food choice to lead my dining experience
PS: The Kapiti Egmont Cheese and Kapiti Premium Triple Chocolate Ice Cream below were divine!!