The 8 Best Airline Wine Programs

According to our readers, these are the best airlines for wine lovers – especially if you’re flying first or business class.

Emirates in-flight service

Courtesy of Emirates

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Once you’ve stowed away your luggage, hung up your coat, and settled into a comfortable seat, pod, or, if you’re lucky, suite, it’s time to raise a glass to the peaceful hours of flying ahead. While some airlines have branched into canned cocktails, or teamed up with James Beard Award-winning chefs, a select few are offering sommelier-curated experiences and rare tastings at 10,000 feet above the ground. Whether you’re interested in tasting Dom Perignon for the first time or really want to know if your favorite cognac takes on a new dimension when you drink it in the air, read on to learn about the eight airline wine programs that Food & Wine readers voted most outstanding.

01 of 09


Emirates in-flight service

Courtesy of Emirates

In first class, Emirates passengers have the opportunity to try bottles from the Emirates Vintage Collection, which includes casual offerings like a first-growth Bordeaux from Chateau Mouton Rothschild, or another bottle that has been aged for up to 15 years in the airline’s cellars. You’ll also enjoy a glass of Dom Perignon 2008 or Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2013 (depending on whether you’re seated in business of first class) before take-off, and the impressive in-flight list features producers from Australia, Germany, France, and beyond, so there’s something for every kind of drinker.

02 of 09

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways airplane bar

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If you love Champagne, you’ll find flying first-class with Qatar Airways to be a special treat. Toast with a glass of Krug 2004 upon take-off (with a side of caviar, of course); while you’re in-flight, choose from hard-to-find vintages of Sauternes, a 20-year aged tawny Port, and more.

03 of 09

Virgin Atlantic Airways

Drinks on Virgin Atlantic flight

Courtesy of Virgin Atlantic

Sure, you could have a glass of Champagne before take-off, but this is Virgin Atlantic, so there’s also a sparkling English wine to choose from — Hambledon’s Classic Cuvée, to be exact. Once you’re safely in the skies, make your way through the airline’s thoughtfully curated selections, like a 2020 Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, which plays especially nicely with the garlic and ginger prawns you can enjoy as a main course.

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Air France

Air France in-flight service

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Whether you’re a Burgundy fan or prefer a crisp glass of Loire Valley Chenin Blanc, Air France has the gamut of French wines covered for the duration of your trip. The airline’s list is curated by award-winning sommelier Paolo Basso, and champions high-end winemakers from all over the country. Of course, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2006 / 2007 is also on offer.

05 of 09


Iberia in-flight wine and food

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If you’re looking to get familiar with Spanish wine, a business class flight on Iberia is one of the best ways to do it. The airline’s rotating wine list features some of the country’s best expressions of Tempranillo, Verdejo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and of course, Cava. If you’re an Iberia Plus member, you can even sign up for the VIP wine club, which delivers bottles served in the airline’s lounges and on business class right to your home.

06 of 09

British Airways

British Airways in-flight service

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British Airways recently refreshed its first class food and beverage offerings, and the new wine list features multiple Champagnes in addition to some crowd-pleasing picks from Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Stellenbosch. It’s a more concise list than what you’ll find on other airlines, and the curation is done by Master of Wine Tim Jackson, who serves as the full-time resident expert for all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks served aboard BA.

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Aeromexico in-flight service

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Our readers love the options on AeroMexico flights, which serve more than 90 destinations around the world, with hubs in Mexico and Central America. And, as the airline explains, if you're taking off after 11 a.m., alcoholic beverages are always free, regardless of the length of your flight.

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Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines

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If you haven't tried Turkish wine before, Business Class on Turkish Airlines is a great way to sample what local winemakers are doing with Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. However, there's something special for those celebrating, too, with several sparkling wines to choose from.

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Editor’s pick: La Compagnie

La Compagnie in-flight wine service

Courtesy of La Compagnie

This relatively new, all-business class airline with flights to and from France offers a monthly-rotated wine list of exceptional French wines from around the country, curated by Bettane & Desseauve wine experts to pair with the in-flight menu. What’s more, the airline boasts rates that they claim are 30 to 50% less expensive than other international business class flights, so you can have an exceptional wine experience in the air at a relatively lower price point. — F&W Editors.

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