SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS boasts an 83-year history, founded in 1934. Today the international airline serves 38 airports in 26 countries. And for the 31st year, it continues its meticulous program of choosing the wines offered on board. Like many airlines of wine-producing countries, South African Airways is justly proud of its own nation’s wines and serves its passengers South Africa’s best. Choosing those wines is a painstaking exercise that brings out the finest of the offerings.
This is how it works: Each year, wineries across South Africa submit wines to SAA to be judged. And each October, the airline invites 8 to 12 wine judges, all professionals such as sommeliers, winemakers and certified wine educators; most are from South Africa, with a few international judges from countries that import South African wines and, thus, professionals familiar with those wines. For three days judges taste the wines blind — that is, the wines are served in numbered glasses so that other than being told the general type of wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Pinotage, for example), judges never see a bottle and do not know which winery submitted a given wine.
While the number of wines tasted varies with the year, last year’s entry of 730 wines was typical. The judges narrow these hundreds of wines down to a workable number through their scores; internal and external auditors then compile the results. With that information, SAA selects 24 whites and 24 reds, as well as South Africa’s sparkling wines, to be served on flights and in its business-class lounges the following year.
“The selection is an integral part of our overall customer experience and unique value proposition of promoting South African wine exclusively to our worldwide passenger base,” says Kim Thipe, head of marketing, SAA.
The chosen wines are then allocated for service for a given month and for a given class of travel.
“It is not hard to imagine how challenging it is to arrive at naming the winning wines,” adds Thipe.
And not hard to imagine how intriguing they are.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.
The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”
The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.
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.
Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.
Hotel San Luis Obispo partners with Harmony Cellars for the SLO in Harmony offer. The offer includes 15 percent off a two-night stay Sunday–Thursday, a complimentary wine tasting for two at Harmony Cellars, club member discounts at the winery for the day and the opportunity to explore the town of Harmony, California, population of 18 and located 30 miles from San Luis Obispo. Book online.
Enjoy additional perks at Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, with the Vitamin Sea, D & Me offer. Rates begin at $130 per night, including complimentary breakfast daily, a healthy starter at Arrecifes Restaurant, one poke bowl and one drink at El Palmar Restaurant. The use of one beachside pergola per stay is also included. The offer is valid on stays through Dec. 21, and use code S5706 to book.