5 February 2013 by Luke McCormick
Qantas' commitment to showcasing the diversity and quality of the Australian wine industry has resulted in the airline taking home the greatest number of awards at the annual Cellars in the Sky Awards, held in London last night.
Qantas won a number of awards at the ceremony, including Best Overall Wine Cellar and Best Presented First Class Wine List.
In the individual wine categories Qantas shared first place in Best First Class Sparkling for Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2000 and shared first place in Best Business Class Sparkling for Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV.
Qantas Executive Manager Customer Experience, Alison Webster, said the awards demonstrated the Qantas Wine Panel's focus on delivering an exceptional cellar for Qantas customers.
"The Qantas Wine Panel ensures the best selection of Australian wines is delivered to Qantas customers. We pride ourselves on developing a selection of wines, from the latest wines made by boutique winemakers to the iconic drops that form the very base of Australia's great winemaking legacy," Ms Webster said.
"Qantas sources more than 250 different wines each year from more than 150 different producers, showcasing the diversity of the Australian industry. A panel of qualified judges and respected winemakers, including Vanya Cullen, Stephen Pannell and Tom Carson, lend specialist expertise to the airline's award-winning position in the industry.
"Over the years, Qantas has built up one of Australia's most prestigious cellars, enabling it to choose from a range of premium wines to match Neil Perry's menus on both domestic and international flights."
"Qantas also goes to exceptional lengths to ensure customers are provided with detailed information about what they are drinking through our Sommeliers in the Sky cabin crew training program.
"The Qantas Sommelier in the Sky cabin crew qualification forms an integral part of one of the world's most awarded airline wine programs. The training takes elements from formal wine education and sommelier skills and applies them to enhance our customers' inflight experience."
Last year Qantas introduced Qantas epiQure, an exclusive online wine community for Frequent Flyers, providing members with the opportunity to purchase wine selected by the Qantas Wine Panel for the First and Business Class Cellars, invitation to dinners with globally renowned chefs and online forums to gain knowledge from industry experts.
The Cellars in the Sky Awards have been running since 1985. The internationally esteemed competition recognises the best red, white, sparkling and fortified and dessert wine served in the air.