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Video: British Airways Appoints a Full-Time Master of Wine

Tim Jackson MW will be in charge of developing the airline's drink strategy, including tasting and selecting premium wines for First Class and Club World passengers

by Fergus Cole

December 20, 2022

Photo: Master of Wine, Tim Jackson MW. Courtesy of British Airways

British Airways has recruited Tim Jackson MW as a full-time Master of Wine as part of a campaign that seeks to elevate the airline’s customer experience onboard and in airports.

Under his new role, Tim Jackson MW will be tasked with tasting and selecting new wines to be sold on British Airways flights and in the carrier’s various airport lounges, creating descriptive menus, and heading the airline’s broader drinks strategy.

It’s not just fine wines and bubbles that Jackson will be testing and selecting, but he will also be in charge of choosing alcoholic and soft drinks to be offered on flights and in lounges. This includes selecting the best British beers, classic and innovative gins, and exciting non-alcoholic choices. 

The Master of Wine will also be expected to taste different beverages at altitude to see if there are any effectual changes.

“I’m delighted to be the first person to take this position at British Airways,” said Tim Jackson MW. “As an avid traveler, I have sampled wine from all corners of the globe, ranging from California to Chile, so I hope my love for travel, together with my experience and knowledge of beverages, will make a positive difference to the premium experience we offer our customers.”

The new Master of Wine has already got stuck into his job, introducing new Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines to premium cabins. Passengers flying First Class with British Airways can now try a Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc selected by Jackson, while Club World passengers can try a Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc. 

For the festive season, passengers in First Class have a choice of two 2010 vintage Bordeaux wines, from Chateau Haut-Batailley or Clos de l’Oratorie.

And from January 2023, the airline will introduce its wine-selection strategy in First Class and Club World cabins, which will showcase premium wines from selected wine-growing regions and destinations around the world. The first region to be showcased will be Cape Town, and wines on offer will include an award-winning tipple from South Africa’s Winery of the Year.

Inflight wine / Photo: Courtesy of British Airways

Sajida Ismail, Director of Onboard Experience at British Airways, admitted being “really excited” to have Tim at British Airways. 

“His knowledge and expertise play an integral role in our efforts to continue to deliver the premium experience that our customers look for when they fly with us and offer products that our colleagues are proud to serve,” Ismail said. “Going forward, we also have lots of exciting plans that will champion new drink offerings and celebrate the global network that we fly to.”