Emirates began its wine program 12 years ago, and since then it has spent more than $500 million to develop the best wine list in the sky. So, no wonder why if you travel with the Dubai-based airline, you can order glass of any wine you have on your mind. Joost Heymeijer, a senior vice president who runs the inflight catering service at Emirates, says at any point the airline is flying about 70 different types of wine across its network. The list is fluid, based on the flight path and what vintage is drinking best at that particular time.
Over a 12-month period, more than 300 vintages will be served, thanks to Emirates’ wine storage warehouses in Burgundy, France, where currently is stored 3.75 million bottles. Many of the wines served on an Emirates flight were bought years ago, and they are stored until they’re ready to serve.
“If you have a vision of limestone cellars with cobwebs, I’m sorry to disappoint you,” says Heymeijer. “Ours is more of a Fort Knox-style facility.”
If you’re flying first class, you might find a Premier Grand Cru Classé from Château Figeac, a highly rated red in the Saint-Émilion region of Bordeaux. And if you’re really lucky, you might be able to order a 2005 Sauterne from Château d’Yquem, the superior first-growth winery that was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson and is now owned by LVMH.