Let us pour you a glass of fine vintage wine to bring out the flavours of a delicious meal

[Music] WINE STRATEGY & PLANNING [Red wine poured into glass, Emirates plane in sky]

Emirates' approach to buying its fine wines is unique. The result of careful planning and strategy.

TERRY: How it began, it was quite a few years ago now, about 10 or 11 years ago, the process was relatively simple. We went out, we looked at our schedule, we decided how many bottles of wine we needed of various types and we went out into the open market and we bought it. We tasted and we bought for the year, and that was it.

What became evident as we were then just going through one of the major growth spurts was that that process was no longer going to work, because we would have to lower our quality expectations in order to get the volume of the wine that we needed, and clearly that wasn't going to work.

I remember Tim Clark, or Sir Tim as he is now, had been having some similar thoughts, and so we then worked together as a team and said, "We're going to change this completely."

ROBIN: It was clear that we needed to understand the industry and that we needed to go right back to the start of the supply chain to where things grow, when they're harvested, build relationships with the vineyards right at an early stage.

TERRY: We said, right, we're going to start working way into the future. We are going to buy en primeur, we're going to buy now wines that need laying down, and we're going to start building our portfolio so that by the time we get ten years into the future we're going to have a range which is just outstanding. We're at that ten-year point now. When you look at our wine list, there will be a number of wines on there which are not freely available in the market.

People will wonder, where have you got it from? How can you afford to put that on board your airplane? This is outstanding. And that comes from taking those long term decisions. [Music]

RICK: Well, in procurement, we buy more than just wine. We buy all the operational aspects that support the business. So that's ground handling, cargo handling, crew hotels, chauffeur drive, air traffic control, and then the two most important liquids are jet fuel and the wine.

ROBIN: If you're flying across the network today there'll be at least 27, 28 different wine lists. So you can imagine the logistical challenge of all those different wines to different places. We'll get through a selection of perhaps 400 different wines over a single year.

RICK: This year we'll be pouring 10 million bottles of wine on Emirates. That's 8 million in Economy, they're the 187 ml bottles, and 2 million in the premium cabins of the full sized bottles. Now to visualize that, if we laid them down in a line, they would stretch all the way from London to Cyprus. [Tractor on vineyard road]

It's a logistical feat to get these millions of bottles from vineyard to cellar, and from cellar to aircraft. Every precaution has to be taken to ensure that the wines arrive on board in perfect condition. [Vehicle moves crates to plane exterior]

RICK: We bring in wine not only from France, but also from Australia, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Germany. And typically we air freight anything that doesn't come from France, but the French wines that we bring via ship, they need to get here just in time, so it's a very complex operation. We have a team who supports that who are working on it on a daily basis.

JOANNE: Different routes have different wines and different champagnes, which I've only started to notice. If you go into Africa, you'll have a different set of wines potentially than maybe going into some other areas.

ROBIN: One of the things that we're always very careful about is if you're flying to a recognized wine-making country, we will always serve in First Class the best possible wine we can find at that time from that country. A traveler coming from Australia through to the UK, once they've transited through Dubai, they're getting a completely different wine list on the next sector. And if he comes back and then goes down to Africa, again a different wine list. It gives a huge amount of variety at any time.

We need variety, because imagine watching the same film every time you got on a flight, you wouldn't want that. We have to offer our frequent flyers variety and choice.

OLIVER: Emirates has a very clear view on what consumption of wine on board will be like for a number of years out. So being able to buy at the en primeur stage, which is the earliest time that the wines are commercialized, allows us to get the access that we need to supply the airline. So Emirates has a cellar where it stores its wine back in Europe.

ROBIN: We were very lucky, very early on in the process, to start working with a great company based out of Burgundy who had wonderful facilities. And I have to say, it's a very dull, a very boring looking warehouse from the outside. When you get inside, it's chock full of the most beautiful wines. [Wine pouring sound]

RICK: Every year we produce an operating plan that sees typically 10% growth in the fleets, in the capacity we put into the market. But also the wine program has become so popular, and we're certainly seeing that with what we get as consumption figures coming through and having to revise forecasts almost on a monthly basis. [Wine pouring]

Carefully chosen and stored, these fine wines make their way onto Emirates wine lists to be enjoyed by travelers making their way across the world. [Emirates plane floats above clouds in blue sky] [Airplane noises]

More than ten years in the making

Taste The Emirates Vintage Collection in First Class

Our prestigious vintage wines have been in storage for over ten years – and now you can savour them on selected routes.

Take a tour of the Bordeaux region as you sample our Château Margaux 1998, 2001 Château Mouton Rothschild, 2004 Château Cheval Blanc and Château Haut Brion 2004. The collection has now reached optimal maturity, developing complex flavours and silky smooth tannins.

These profound wines marry well with simple dishes like braised beef short rib and grilled courgette, or seared beef fillet with creamy mashed potato. Ask our crew for pairing recommendations on board.

Find your perfect match

Choose a fine wine to complement your meal

Whether you prefer a crisp, citrusy white or a full flavoured red, choose a fine wine from our carefully created list to complement the flavours of your meal.

We select our wines from world-class vineyards in France, Germany, the USA, South Africa and New Zealand. We choose these wines not only for their flavour, but because they maintain their quality in the cabin environment. Explore our wine list, including vintages and limited editions, and let us pour you a glass whenever the mood takes you.

Expect wines served at their best

We serve our wines with knowledge and care

We choose wines that are versatile, which means they’re easy to pair with the wide range of meals on our menus.

When we create our lists, we aim to include Old World and New World wines, and to offer you a choice of distinctly different tastes. We also make an effort to source the favourite wines of the region. And when we serve your wine, we’re careful about the way each bottle is opened, poured and presented, so you can savour it at its best.

Raise a glass of fine champagne

Savour the flavours in every glass

When you fly First Class with us, you can enjoy the very best wines and champagnes from our cellar, including the latest vintage from Dom Pérignon, the 2009.

Sit back and let us pour you a glass when you arrive on board. The champagne opens with a bright bouquet, blending into a floral and fruity taste. As the flavours develop, you can enjoy candied fruit and toasted notes, along with hints of liquorice. This round, complex champagne is silky, melting into a finishing bitterness with a hint of saltiness.

Raise a glass of Australian or New Zealand wine

Explore our Australasia wine list on board

Experience the vineyards of Australasia – from New Zealand’s Marlborough region to Australia’s Yarra Valley.

Take in the fresh, zesty flavour of Cloudy Bay’s iconic Sauvignon Blanc, with intense flavours of gooseberries and green pepper. And choose from our select Auntsfield collection.

While you make your way through wines from Yarra Valley, Victoria and Barossa, you’ll taste classics from Australia’s most iconic wineries – including Mount Mary, Penfolds, Levantine Hill, Kilikanoon and Torbreck.

Explore our regional wine selection with our Australasia menus.

Explore the wines on your flight

We update our list every month with a selection of new wines. Find out which wines and champagnes you can enjoy on your flight.

See the wine list on your flight
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Our products and services may change depending on the aircraft. We may also change the type of aircraft due to our service needs.