Airline Wine Awards – Won by a German Riesling

Recently I was asked to take part in a judging event for the travel
Posted 02nd November 2012        

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Recently I was asked to take part in a judging event for the travel website Skyscanner. I like Skyscanner and use them often so I was pleased to be asked to join in on the judging panel.

The event was held in Edinburgh and hosted by wine writer Tom Cannavan. So, one sunny(!) Autumn day recently I found myself in the shadow of the Edinburgh Castle going through a blind tasting of 10 white wines put forward by various European airlines. From the big boys, such as British Airways to the regional airlines, like EasyJet and Pegasus, there was, what I thought, a good representation of the airlines that most people use for their holiday destinations.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I’m on a plane I usually don’t put much thought into the wine selection, especially when travelling economy, which is pretty much all the time. All of my wine-tasting training and years of experience go out the window and I usually opt for red no matter what I’m eating.

Well, after this tasting, I might just switch to white wines. I have to say, after tasting these wines, blind, there were only 2 that were representative of what I thought airline wine tasted like, that is – acidic and tasteless. The rest all showed lots of character and I might have even purchased them on the ground. While they do say that wine tastes different at 35,000 feet, most of the wines had full fruit profiles with not too much acidity.

After much consideration and tasting and retasting, the winner of the blind taste test turned out to be a German Riesling! The Peter & Peter 2011 Riesling served in the economy class of German carrier, Lufthansa. Tasting the wine, it had plenty of fruit up on the front of the palate, slightly off-dry but with good acidity, not too much though, along with a pleasing weight to it. All the other judges and I immediately liked this wine on first tasting it so it wasn’t a great surprise when it was announced the winner. The big surprise was that it was a Riesling!

I have to say, I was quite pleased to see a Riesling win in a blind taste test. The best part is, this wine is available on the ground, well, online at any rate, from Tesco Wine by the Case.  £30.00 per case.


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Meet the Author:
Denise Medrano
I'm an American ex-pat who is fascinated by wine. Previous to my arrival in London, I had done a sommelier course in Buenos Aires, Argentina so I knew I wanted to be in the wine trade but where to start? I started where so many people in the UK wine trade start, Oddbins. I was fortunate in that Oddbins back then had a great wine education partnership with the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust and I was able take the WSET courses. I currently have the WSET Advanced Certificate as well as holding a UK personal alcohol license. Another advantage to working at Oddbins was that I had access to all the wine trade shows. Imagine, being able to go and try as many wines as you could in one day! Whew! I have to admit, I didn't do much spitting back then and the next day, I was wishing I had at least taken better notes. I started looking around on the web for blogs that covered the London wine scene and found there were none. Well, none that appealed to me. None that were a mix of trade and consumer views and opinions. And none that really talked about what a great centre of wine this fabulous city of London is. So I rolled up my sleeves, bought a domain name and the rest, as they say, is The Winesleuth history. The Winesleuth Website - Follow The Winesleuth on Twitter