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Air Tahiti Nui Awarded Two Gold Medals in Cellars in the Sky 2023

The Polynesian carrier took the top prize for its Business Class sparkling and Business Class rosé wines at the annual award ceremony in London

by Fergus Cole

February 23, 2023

Air Tahiti Nui welcome / Photo: Courtesy of Air Tahiti

Air Tahiti Nui has been recognized for its outstanding wines by winning two Gold Medals at the annual Cellars in the Sky Awards organized by Business Traveller.

The French Polynesian flag carrier won the Gold Medal in both the Business Class Sparkling and Business Class Rosé categories for its Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve NV and its 2021 Château des Demoiselles from Côtes de Provence, respectively.

Chef Sommelier Olivier Poussier, voted the best sommelier in the world in 2000, selected both French wines available to Air Tahiti Nui passengers traveling in its Poerava Business Class cabin.

The judges described Air Tahiti Nui’s winning Champagne as “creamy and complex, vanilla, brioche, light and reductive on the palate,” with an overall score of 95 out of 100. A 2014 champagne offered by Singapore Airlines came in second place, followed by EVA Air, Finnair, and Qantas in joint third.

Air Tahiti Moana Premium Economy / Photo: Courtesy of Air Tahiti

Meanwhile, its winning rosé was described as “vibrant, lively, savory, hints of lavender and rosemary,” and beat Qatar Airways’ offering in second and a Virgin Atlantic tipple in third.

“Air Tahiti Nui is honored to receive these two gold medals and views them as a result of the airline’s commitment to making every trip on board a Tahitian Dreamliner a memorable experience for the senses,” said Air Tahiti Nui in a press release. “The combination of its luxury cabins with impeccable service and the finest of products, ensures guests’ Tahitian holiday starts the moment they step on board.”

The annual award ceremony is now in its 37th year, first launched in 1985, with the 2023 edition being held in London on Monday, February 20. The competition is open to any airline worldwide that serves wine in business or first-class cabins on mid- or long-haul flights, with each carrier able to put forward two reds, two whites, one rosé, one sparkling, and one fortified or dessert wine from each cabin.

Air Tahiti Poerava Business Class / Photo: Courtesy of Air Tahiti

The winners were selected by expert judges who sampled each airline’s showcase wines during a tasting session at Haberdashers’ Hall in London in 2022.

This year’s judges were head judge Charles Metcalfe, founder of the International Wine Challenge, Masters of Wine Peter McCombie and Sarah Abbott, and John Worontschak and Helen McGinn.

Other notable Cellars in the Sky 2023 ceremony winners include Singapore Airlines, who won five Gold Medals, including the Best Overall Cellar and Best Business Class Red. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways won the Best First Class Fortified / Dessert Wine award, and British Airways had the Best First Class Red.