Emirates up the ante
I was flying Emirates between Dubai and Auckland (a 17-hour flight, the world’s longest) when the drinks trolley trundled down the aisle. I asked what red wine was on offer and was given a courteous and informed reply closely followed by a decent glass of wine from the Southern Rhône. The lady sitting next to me looked slightly stunned and said, “do they serve wine on Emirates?” This was her third trip and she’d assumed that Emirates was the airline equivalent of the pub with no beer simply because wine bottles were not displayed on top of the cart. She enthusiastically ordered a glass of white and one of red – both served with a smile.
Which brings me to the point of this blog. I’ve just learned that Emirates have added two fairly distinguished wines to their list; 1963 Graham’s Colheita Port and 2005 Château d’Yquem. That’s an added incentive to fly Emirates First Class, which I assume is where both wines will be served.
I’ve had several examples of vintage port from 1963, one of Portugal’s all-time great vintages. However, a Colheita port is quite different to a vintage port even though both may share a common vintage date such as 1963. Vintage port spends around 18 months in barrel or stainless-steel tank before being bottled. Their real development starts in the bottle. Colheita (pronounced Col-yate-a) ports are aged in cask for seven or eight years, although some spend 50 or more years in barrel. Like all tawny port, their development occurs in barrel and there is little to be gained by cellaring them. Emirates claim to have exclusive ownership of this wine, which is probably why I couldn’t track down a single bottle for sale online.
Château d’Yquem is arguably the world’s greatest sweet wine. It can be purchased in New Zealand for around NZD $1,400 a bottle. If only one First Class passenger wanted to taste the wine the rest would be wasted, which is sad.