So many factors go into Asiana Airlines’ choice of wines served on its international first- and business-class flights. The carrier must consider both Korean and Western cuisines as well as the taste preferences of 17 million passengers from the 24 countries it serves.
And there are many more aspects the airline’s three international sommeliers — Andreas Larsson of Sweden, Evangelos Pattas of Belgium and Christine Balais of France — ponder when choosing wines every three years. They begin by sampling the airline’s in-flight meals to understand the flavors of the foods being served. They then blind taste approximately 300 wines, ultimately narrowing their choices down to about 25.
“The most important factor in choosing a wine,” Andreas Larsson says, “is the quality of the wine itself. We look for well-balanced wines. We consider aroma, flavor, length, structure, grape variety, the region, how it marries with our food. We try to offer wines from all over, not just from ‘must-have’ regions.” So while their selections often feature Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne, they also include California, South Africa, Spain, Germany and the Rhône: in short, the rest of the viticultural world. To counteract the effects of high altitude on the perception of wine, they also look for wines not overly high in tannin, acid and alcohol. And they often add other wines between their major tastings.
Once they narrow their choices, the sommeliers submit them to Hyun Mee Han, Asiana’s executive vice president, for her approval.
And that is why current passengers in Asiana’s first class can enjoy Pol Roger Cuvée Winston Churchill 2000 Champagne and a selection of Burgundy, South African Sauvignon Blanc and German Riesling among whites; and Bordeaux, Burgundy, Australian Shiraz and California Cabernet Sauvignon among reds. Business-class passengers can choose from Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne, Burgundy and California Chardonnay among whites; and among reds, Bordeaux, California Pinot Noir and Australian Syrah. Asiana also offers a variety of beers, mostly South Korea’s own.
Every year, Asiana opens 2,400 bottles of Champagne; 4,400 bottles of red wine; and 2,000 bottles of white in first class; and 34,000 bottles of Champagne; 83,000 bottles of red wine; and 48,000 bottles of white wine in business class, for a total cost in excess of $2.1 million.
No wonder a character in the popular Korean movie The Thieves says, “Asiana, they serve excellent wine.”
Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, a light breeze dancing on your face, and views so beautiful you begin to think it is a simulation. The United Kingdom is teeming with unique accommodations that will please your eyes. Check out these stays with stunning views on your next U.K. adventure.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
AdventureWomen, the travel company specializing in adventure tours for women, announced a partnership with African Wildlife Foundation. The organization supports the conservation of Africa’s wildlife through education, community development and sustainability projects. As part of the partnership, the two organizations will host a women’s safari to Zimbabwe in May 2022.
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, where innovative wellness and balanced indulgence come together in one extraordinary beachfront setting, recently partnered with First Responders Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization providing financial support to children and families of first responders. This partnership formed the Carillon Cares: Summer of Heroes offers, including a donation to the foundation for each stay booked, which supports giving back to those who fought on the front lines during the pandemic.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Although much changed in the past year, Cancún still has the joie de vivre we need right now after months of cabin fever — even with safety measures in place. In fact, the first half of 2021 may be a good time to rediscover Mexico’s home-grown Caribbean resort town in a slower, more relaxed mode that contrasts its rollicking “spring break” reputation of old. One place to take in Cancún at its best is JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, a mile up from the convergence of night clubs, chain restaurants, souvenir emporiums and shopping malls along Avenida Kukulkan.
June marks Pride Month, largely credited to bisexual activist Brenda Howard who organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade in 1970, one year after the Stonewall Riots. The parade eventually become the New York City Pride March, leading to Pride Month and similar parades and marches around the world.
Haven Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, an all-suite, adults-only, all-inclusive oceanfront resort, announces a new experience suited for epicurean travelers: The Chef’s Table. At Haven’s fine-dining restaurant Olios Mediterranean, The Chef’s Table offers the best seats in the house, right in front of the chef’s working station and open, top-of-the-line kitchen. And the actual table is beautiful in its own right: made from reclaimed wood and complemented by a turquoise glass chandelier.