Qantas takes wine seriously, and specifically Australian wines. They’re one of the largest purchasers of Australian wines in the world, and use that as an opportunity to showcase what Australia has to offer.
On top of that, Qantas is in the process of training many of their flight attendants as sommeliers, so they can better assist passengers with their wine selection.
But it looks like they’re taking it a step further, and are offering wine tastings… not just in first and business class, but also in economy!
This program doesn’t seem to be “official,” in the sense that it’s not offered on every flight, but rather it’s something you have to ask about. Per The Wine Wankers:
You heard right, Qantas’ Sommelier in the Sky program has a little secret almost nobody knows about; that is, until now! During long haul flights, the airline’s sommeliers are more than happy to whisk passengers away from their seat and give them a private wine tasting in the galley, featuring wines being served on board that day. Business Class and First Class only?! Think again; even Economy Class passengers can ask for this ‘off the menu’ service.
Time permitting, the sommelier will take you through a series of wines in a blind tasting where they will impart their vast knowledge.
Here’s a video the writer of the story has with one of the sommeliers (if I hadn’t seen it, I might not believe that this is actually a thing):
It would be nice if the program were formalized a bit, because it seems a bit awkward to request a wine tasting in economy when a few flight attendants have to look after 400 passengers. At the same time, perhaps it’s best kept as a secret, or else you’ll have 400 people wanting to partake in the wine tasting as a way of passing time. 😉
This is such a fantastic idea, though. Even in first and business class I don’t know of many airlines that offer a formal wine tasting. Qantas does offer a tasting menu with wine pairing, but that’s still a bit different than a wine tasting.
I’ve certainly had crews go above and beyond and offer it one form or another under certain circumstances. For example, in Singapore Airlines Suites Class I’ve often been asked if I’d like to sample both the Dom and Krug.
However, what Qantas is doing is much more interesting, since the tasting is being done by a sommelier who can provide some background and explain the nuances.
Would you like to see more airlines offer a wine tasting on flights?