Malaysia Airlines adds new wines, crew wine training to flights

By John Walton, October 25 2011
Malaysia Airlines adds new wines, crew wine training to flights

Malaysia Airlines is upping its wine game with a new selection for business and first class passengers on its international flights, aided by Australian Master of Wine Dr Ron Georgiou.

MAS' cabin crew have undergone a special wine training module, and will be certified as Malaysia Airlines Wine Ambassadors.

On board, the champagne selection is the same worldwide: Dom Pérignon in first class and Jacquart Cuvée Brut Mosaïque in business.

After dinner -- or for an aperitif -- MAS is offering a very moreish Taylor's tawny port on all its flights, in both business and first class.

And the selection of red and white wine gets a local boost for Australian flights, with local drops featured on the list, while other long-haul flights see more European wine.

There's an interesting focus on Rieslings on the list -- quite a bold move for a wine variety that's often underappreciated by Australian travellers more familiar with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Semillon.

But never fear: there's a Chardonnay varietal (whether Australian or French) on every flight too.

Here's the lowdown on exactly what MAS' smiling crew will be serving you.

Business class

Business class passengers on MAS' Australian flights get a 2008 Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz from the Barossa on the red side of the list, plus a 2009 Stonier Chardonnay from the Mornington Peninsula on the white side.

Other long-haul flights see a 2007 Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero Tempranillo red from Spain, plus a 2009 Oliver Leflaive Burgundy Chardonnay from France.

On all flights, you'll also get a French 2007 Château Lieujean Haut-Médoc (which is a Cab-focused Cabernet-Merlot) on the red list.

A German Riesling is also on the worldwide list, which is the 2010 Dr L Riesling Kabinett Feinherb from the Mosel on Australian flights and the 2008 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (what a mouthful!) everywhere else.

First class

For reds, Australian passengers will find a 2009 Two Hands single-vineyard "Bad Impersonator" Shiraz from the Barossa.

Worldwide, there's a 2004 Château Léoville Poyferré St-Julien Médoc (which is a Cabernet-Merlot blend) on all flights.

Non-Australian flights get a 2008 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Burgundy Pinot Noir.

The white list is the same for all flights: a 2009 Frédéric Magnien "Coeur de Roches" Meursault Burgundy Chardonnay or a 2010 St Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Reben Riesling Kabinett Feinherb. (We hope you've been practicing your German for that one.)

Malaysia Airlines flies to Kuala Lumpur from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, with Sydneysiders the only passengers to see first class on Australian routes.

So you'll just have to wait until your connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur if you're up at the very front of the plane and fancy some Gevrey-Chambertin.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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