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.”
Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts invites travelers to celebrate the holidays at any of its properties in Riviera Maya, Mexico. There is no time like the present for you to experience a stay at one of these luxury resorts.
As the travel industry finds itself in the midst of the first peak travel season since the beginning of the pandemic, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts commissioned a survey of more than 1,200 U.S. consumers to learn more about business travel habits, learning 65 percent of Millennials, aged 25–44 years old, and 59 percent of Gen Z, ages 18–24 years old, prefer to work for a company offering frequent travel or flexible blended travel as a perk. Blended travel is the combination of business travel with leisure travel.
After a two-year hiatus from in-person sporting and outdoor recreation events, the seaside, car-free town of Las Catalinas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, recently announced the return of the annual Tri Las Catalinas, an off-road, multisport triathlon, Feb. 15–18.
Copa Airlines is celebrating its 75th anniversary by showcasing a Boeing 737-800 NG in an aircraft livery that harkened back to the airline’s look in the 1990s. During that time, Copa Airlines launched an expansion of their network to become the Hub of the Americas®, changing the way to travel to and connect in our Continent.
Plan a célébration spéciale this holiday season with a stay at a historic French chateau in the Loire Valley. If pipers piping and dancers dancing are part of your dream holiday experience, set your compass for Château de Chambord, where 100 twinkling Christmas trees set a festive tone for Renaissance music and dancing, storytelling, performances, workshops, themed activities and more. Guests can sip mulled wine and nibble on sweet indulgences, or peruse the shops for authentic, artisanal Chambord products crafted from the estate’s own natural resources.
For the 12th consecutive year, Global Traveler recognizes the best of the best in the industry, naming 2022’s Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year.
Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.
What a year 2022 has been for travel! It’s not an understatement to say travel rebounded and surged following the pandemic, and airlines, hotels, travel providers and more are ready and waiting to serve the masses returning to the beautiful art of traveling. As such, we celebrate and award those who do it best as we announce the 2022 winners of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, our 19th year honoring the best of the best in the world of travel. Our countdown to year No. 20 begins now.