Wine flight: Cathay Pacific adds four China brands

Cathay Pacific has added one Chinese wine to its first class service and three to business class until May 31 as part of its ‘Discovery Wine Series.’

Domaine de Long Dai 2020 from the Shandong-based winery of DBR Lafite is the first class option, while a trio of Ningxia wines make business class.

That threesome includes ‘Tasya’s Reserve’ Cabernet Franc 2018 from Grace Vineyard, which has wineries in both Shanxi and Ningxia.

Also making the cut were Silver Heights ‘Jiayuan’ Marselan 2021 and Xige Estate ‘Jade Dove’ Single Vineyard Cabernet Gernischt 2019.

First in first class

Grace is no stranger to Cathay Pacific, with the airline’s website stating that, “In 2009, Grace Vineyard’s flagship wine Deep Blue 2008 was selected by Cathay Pacific as the first Chinese wine available in First Class and Business.”

At that time, Chan wrote a post called ‘Bold enough to accept an underdog’ on the Grace website, about the mixed reaction of passengers to her wine in the wake of high-profile food safety scandals in China.

Given that context, she wrote “I cannot blame those who fail to trust China’s wine” and contrasted with those who might defend an inferior wine.

“The brand determines the fame,” she wrote. “A man might find excuses for a vintage made by a renowned foreign winery that fails to please him. On the other side, it is impossible to accept a local vintage in such manners.”

Fifteen years later, trust and interest in Chinese wine is much higher, thanks in part to veteran producers like Grace.

Four from forty

The four China wines were chosen from among forty by Cathay Pacific drinks manager Ronald Khoo and consultants Debra Meiburg and Roy Moorfield.

There is also this from a press release that in general is taking wine just a bit too seriously:

“To ensure the wines are served to the standard expected by First class passengers, Khoo conducted a training session with a core group of cabin crew, guiding them through a tasting of the entire ‘China Wines’ Discovery series. Talking points about the series were also disseminated to other cabin crew members before the start of the promotion.”

I hope that didn’t cut into any of the time designated for safety training. Get more details about the Cathay Pacific wine program here.

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