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Korean Air Offers Prestige Class Wines to Short-Haul Routes

Korean Air has collaborated with renowned sommelier Marc Almert to bring six new wine selections on their short-haul flights. These wines will be exclusively served in the Prestige Class cabin.

The selection of wines includes a mix of both classic and contemporary choices from France, Germany, and Australia. These wines will be served in rotation to complement the changing seasons. The collection showcases a diverse and distinctive blend of grape varieties such as Riesling, Grenache, and Merlot.

Korean Air arranged a special wine training session for 150 first-class cabin crew members as part of their dedication to providing exceptional service. Marc Almert led the session to enhance the crew’s knowledge and understanding of the wines served on board the airline.

Korean Air has rolled out a series of initiatives to enhance its in-flight services and experiences.

Korean Air selects new inflight wines

Last October, the airline overhauled its wine service, unveiling a new selection of 52 wines selected by Marc Almert. Korean Air showcased a selection of new inflight wines introduced in March 2023.

The airline presented 50 newly selected inflight wines. They included 19 First Class, 21 Prestige Class, and 10 Economy Class selections. Among the selected wines, were three types of wine – champagne, red and white wine.

Kenneth Chang, Korean Air Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, said, “As the inflight wine selection strongly impacts the customers’ first impression of the airline’s service levels, we carefully deliberated each stage of the selection process.”

Korean Air’s new inflight wine selected by world’s best sommelier’s blind tasting

Korean Air partnered with Marc Almert, the recipient of the prestigious “World’s Best Sommelier 2019” award by the International Sommelier Association. In collaboration, they examined a vast collection of wines from last year and carefully curated a list of 150 exceptional wines. After an extensive tasting and evaluation process conducted by sommeliers Marc Almert and Sang Jun Lee, 50 wines were selected to be served on Korean Air flights.

Diversifying the Wine Menu

Korean Air’s wine list, formerly composed mostly of traditional French wines, has expanded to include diverse wines from other European countries and continents.

Among the chosen wines for First Class is the Australian Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz. This wine is known for its concentrated flavor profile highlighted by peppery, minty, and eucalyptus aromas. This rich and distinctive wine complements the first-class meal options, including steak and Korean cuisine.

Furthermore, a new champagne option for first-class passengers has been added – the Henri Giraud Ay Grand Cru Brut MV. This champagne offers a velvety texture and a delightful effervescence. The initials “MV” signify a blend of grapes harvested from multiple years.

In the Prestige Class, passengers can enjoy the La Perriere Megalithe Sancerre, a white wine from the Loire Valley. Made from hand-harvested Sauvignon Blanc grapes, this wine undergoes a unique aging process in oak barrels for over six months. The result is a soft and subtle wine characterized by the fresh acidity of Sauvignon Blanc, with a delicate hint of oak.

Even in Economy Class, passengers can savor the Nik Weis Urban Riesling from Moselle, Germany. This refreshing and mild Riesling was chosen to complement the in-flight meals perfectly.

Marc Almert and Sang Jun Lee, Sommeliers

Marc Almert, a renowned sommelier from Germany, was instrumental in the wine selection process. At 27, he became the youngest champion in the history of the “World Best Sommelier Competition.” Currently, he holds the esteemed role of chief sommelier at Baur au Lac, a luxury hotel in Zurich, Switzerland.

Sang Jun Lee, a sommelier at KAL Hotel Network, also played a crucial part in wine selection. His expertise includes overseeing the wine selection for the Incheon 2014 Asian Games.

When making their choices, the sommeliers considered the unique environment inside an aircraft cabin and ensured that the wines would perfectly complement the in-flight meals.

Marc Almert said, “It was a huge task selecting the wines from so many fine options on the long list. The cabin pressure and a drier environment can distort the taste of some wines and we took this into consideration and chose fruity and aromatic wines that can perfectly compliment the inflight cuisine.”

New inflight wines pair with new meal options

In addition to new inflight wines, the airline significantly changed its inflight cuisine. The airline introduced new Korean cuisine options, including braised mackerel and spicy pork lettuce wraps in March. In July, the airline introduced Bulgogi rice with acorn jelly in cold broth and spicy noodles. The increase in Korean dishes available onboard reflects the growing global awareness of Korean culture and demand for Korean food. Already acclaimed for its award-winning cuisine, the selection of new wines, harmonizing with the inflight meals, continues to provide customers with special and high-quality inflight services.

Korean-style vegan meals inspired by temple cuisine

Korean Air has recently introduced a new meal option to cater to the growing vegan population. Inspired by Korean traditional cuisine, the airline now offers a Korean-style vegan meal that satisfies passengers’ dietary preferences and contributes to reducing carbon emissions.

The new Korean vegan meals feature fresh vegetables and seasonal ingredients, drawing inspiration from the flavors of traditional temple cuisine. Passengers can savor dishes regardless of their seating class. They include steamed barley rice with burdock, roasted shiitake mushrooms, mung bean jelly salad, and roasted tofu with plum salsa sauce. Prestige and First-class passengers can enjoy special treats like ginkgo nut porridge and roasted yam with soybean paste. The specific vegan dishes served onboard may vary depending on the route and season.

To avail of these delectable vegan meals, passengers can conveniently pre-order them on all international flights from Korea. Meal pre-ordering is available 24 hours before departure through Korean Air’s website, mobile application, or service center. The airline offers a total of six vegetarian meal options. They include vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, East Asian vegetarian, Hindu vegetarian, Jain vegetarian, and raw vegetarian. Korean Air strives to accommodate diverse dietary needs and preferences.

Korean Air’s airline-branded ‘KAL’s Lager’

Beyond wine, Korean Air partnered with Playground Brewery, a renowned Korean brewery, to create their unique craft beer. Called ‘KAL’s Lager,’ this refreshing beverage combines tropical fruit aromas with a smooth and enjoyable taste. It offers a delightful drinking experience. The beer’s packaging is visually appealing, with an aircraft soaring in the blue sky, embodying the spirit of travel.

Initially introduced at Korean Air’s lounges at Incheon and Gimpo International Airports in July, KAL’s Lager has been available for passengers to enjoy onboard since September. Beyond enjoying the new Korean Air lager on flights, customers can buy the special beer exclusively at Emart24 convenience stores and through the airline’s mobile application. This allows travelers to savor the flavors of KAL’s Lager both in the air and on the ground.

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