Published on : Wednesday, February 22, 2017
The Cellars in the Sky Awards are run by Business Traveller, the multi-national magazine group. Running for over 30 years, the Cellars in the Sky Awards assess the quality of wines served by airlines on mid- and long-haul flights.
All wines entered into the competition undergo rigorous evaluation, including a two-day blind tasting by a panel of independent wine experts. This year the panel included Charles Metcalf (Head of the Judging Panel, Founder & Co-Chairman of the International Wine Challenge), Tim Atkin (Master of Wine), Sarah Abbott (Master of Wine) and Peter McCombie (Master of Wine).
In JAL’s first entry since 2004, it was ranked first out of 33 airlines to win the coveted Gold Medal for Best First Class Red for our in-flight wine Kusuda Syrah 2013, Martinborough.
Judges made the following comments about this wine: “Rich with bloody meaty and spicy aromas. The palate is opulent, ripe and firm with delicate tannins.”
“It is a great honor that our in-flight wine, Kusuda Syrah 2013 received the Gold Medal for Best First Class Red,” said Hironori Tsunashima, Manager of JAL’s Products & Services Development. “This wine was produced by Japanese wine maker Mr. Hiroyuki Kusuda from Martinborough, New Zealand. We hope that more worldwide customers can enjoy the high quality wines produced by Kusuda, and our innovative products and services in the sky.”
The oneworld® alliance, of which JAL is a member, has received the Best Airline Alliance for the wines served in-flight by its member airlines for the eighth year in a row.
Since becoming JAL’s Wine Advisor in February 2016, Japan’s first Wine Taster, Motohiro Okoshi has been working with qualified sommeliers among JAL’s cabin crew (flying sommeliers), to select outstanding in-flight wines for its customers.
The Kusuda Syrah joins the ranks of JAL’s other award-winning in-flight wines, including the International Wine Challenge medal-winners Suntory Japan Premium Koshu 2014 in Business Class and Vallereaux Brut Reserve N.V. in Premium Economy Class.
Additionally JAL will be supporting Japanese winemakers and winery owners who are exploring the world to make high quality wines. The airline will proactively introduce selected wines such as Ch.igai Takaha Sono Pinot Noir 2014, provided by winery owner Takahide Sugimoto.
Encouraged by this success, JAL will continue to strive to provide the highest quality service to every customer on every flight and work towards its ultimate goal of becoming the world’s most valued and preferred airline.