One of my favourite airlines to Fly when traveling is Emirates and it's always such a pleasure enjoying some of my favourite South African drinks onboard. Emirates continues its long-standing relationship with South Africa’s top wine producers. Since 2005, the airline has partnered with 25 local wineries, providing travellers with 50 different South African wines to enjoy onboard Emirates flights – an investment equating to roughly US$7 million.
Emirates enjoys a long-established partnership with winemakers from all over the globe, and has direct access to exclusive wines to add to the airline’s impressive wine collection. Some of the South African wines served onboard include Ken Forrester, Porseleinberg, Klein Constantia, Waterkloof and Boekenhoutskloof. In addition to this, Amarula liqueur is another local drink customers can enjoy onbaord, served exclusively on Emirates flights since 2018.
In addition to South African beverages, travellers can also enjoy proudly South African products served onboard, including ostrich meat, rooibos tea and local cheeses.
The wines served onboard undergo a rigorous selection process, and there are several people involved in the wine selection, including the President of Emirates, Sir Tim Clark, as well as an expert buying team.
Fouad Caunhye, Regional Manager, Emirates Southern Africa said, “We work closely with the finest wine producers around the world, and I’m particularly proud of our ongoing relationship with South African wineries. Emirates is known for its thoughtful, distinctive product offering across all classes, and our extensive wine collection is one of the ways this comes to life in the customer experience.”
At the heart of Emirates’ wine strategy is its unique approach to purchasing exceptional wines en primeur, years before being released to the market, then allowing these vintages to mature and reach their potential before serving them onboard. However, most wines are not available en primeur and, for this reason, Emirates’ team of wine connoisseurs has built direct relationships with some of the world’s most prestigious vineyards, enabling the airline to handpick and secure the most exclusive labels for its customers. A completely different approach to other airlines who source their wines through brokers or tenders.
Emirates purchases wine from the top wine-producing regions of the world, including Australia, New Zealand, France, Argentina and South Africa, and features these handpicked nectars in their regionally-tailored wine lists. The airline serves over 200 wines and 80 different champagnes and ports on its flights on an average day, in all classes across its international network of over 150 destinations.
Travellers onboard Emirates can also enjoy the airlines’ own food and wine channels, which offer an inside look into the airline’s multimillion-dollar investment in fine wines and its regional and seasonal onboard food menus, prepared by award-winning chefs. Both the Emirates food and wine channels are available on all flights.