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What do you do at New Years? Drink champagne of course! This New Years Eve/Morning I will be heading straight for British Airways’ Concorde Room to carry on the festivities. But what if you are travelling Business? Some airlines have a pretty great champers on offer, rivalling many airlines’ First Class! So who should you be spending your NYE with if you happen to be in the sky?
EVA: Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame (£120), Krug Grand Cuvee (£148)
Taiwan’s EVA is a slightly under the radar airline, but with a great all-round business class product, and their champers does not disappoint! In their Royal Laurel (Business) class you will sip on either a Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame or Krug Grand Cuvee depending on the route. Both retailing at well over £100, you rarely see such champagnes in First, let alone Business.
I’ve only flown with EVA back in 2014 in Economy, but the service from the FAs was excellent. In Business, not only will you be kept suitably sozzled, but you will also get pyjamas, slippers and a First-worthy amenity kit.
Emirates: Moet & Chandon Champagne Bar, Dubai (serving up to around £115 a bottle)
Okay, so Emirates are not going to serve you the Dom Perignon in Business, but they do have one of the best ground champagne experiences going at the Moet & Chandon Champagne Bar in Dubai. Here you get a better selection of champagne than in Emirates First Class lounges.
You can enjoy a pre-flight champagne tasting, asking for a pour of the standard Moet (£30), the Imperial (around £39), Rose Imperial (around £45) and a Vintage (depends on year but around £115). Compare the tastes and flavours and feel oh-so sophisticated!
I’d drink up if I were you, because once you are in the sky you will be back to just the normal Moet.
Air France: A varied range of c.£40 champagnes
You would hope that Air France serve decent champagne! And it is the only airline in the world to serve champagne in Economy! So you can at least can be pretty sure you are going to get something a step above in Business.
But with Air France you are taking a gamble as the champagne offered can be a bit of a surprise. Surprises are sometimes fun though! In 2019 they have served Laurent-Perrier Brut Cuvée (£36), Deutz Brut Classic NV (£40) (which I had on Christmas Day and it was lovely), Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve (£45) (which Etihad served me in First) and finally Tattinger Brut Reserve (£35).
Qantas: Top Cellar in the Sky
Qantas won the gold medal for the best overall wine cellar in the 2018 Cellars in the Sky. And there is a good selection of champagnes served by Qantas in Business. They also serve Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve or Tattinger Cuvee Prestige Brut. Some routes, however, have served up Duval-Leroy Brut, which retails at less than £30!
Malaysia Airlines: Bronze for Business Sparkling
Another lesser-known airline that I have not personally flown, Malaysia Airlines scored Bronze for Business Class Sparkling Wine in the Cellars in the Sky Awards held in February this year. This was for the Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Blanc de Blancs 2007 (around £100).
If they flew all routes with this champagne, Malaysia would be top of the list! It was on some select Business routes in early 2019, but you would be lucky to actually get it now. That said, they serve a good selection of champagnes, such as Bruno Paillard Rose at circa £52 a bottle.
And those to not get excited about…
2019 has seen a number of champers downgrades. Is that because we are all quaffing way too much in the sky?!
So, what will you be drinking on NYE?