Virgin Australia Best for Onboard Beverages Award 2017

13 April 2017
Read Time: 1.7 mins

International Award Winning

Virgin Australia was named Best for Onboard Beverages at the Onboard Hospitality Awards 2017, held in Hamburg last week.

The airline received the global award for The Duo, a customised wine developed in partnership with Barossa Valley winery St Hallett and Fine Wine Partners specifically for consumption at high altitude and to compliment ‘The Business’ menu designed by Virgin Australia resident chef Luke Mangan.

Savouring a glass of good wine is the ultimate way to relax mid-flight - a fact that Virgin Australia well and truly understands and embraces. So to allow for the special effect that high altitudes have on taste buds, The Duo was created.

The judges, George Banks and Nikos Loukas, said: “A specially-blended wine from an historic wine producing region, this wine had a great taste on the palate with a balance of strength and elegance. It also brings an interesting back story and links to the onboard wine service.”

Virgin Australia’s General Manager In-flight Experience, Tash Tobias, said: “Our team is always searching for ways to deliver an outstanding experience for our guests in the air and to promote the ingenuity of Australian winemakers and producers.

“We are thrilled that the work of our In-flight Experience team and St Hallett winemaker Shelley Cox has been recognised with this prestigious award,” Ms Tobias said.

The Onboard Hospitality Awards are organised annually by Onboard Hospitality magazine and celebrate excellence and innovation in air, rail and cruise.

Higher altitudes impact have significant impact on taste buds and this needs to be factored when selecting in-flight wines. (Image courtesy of Virgin Australia)

Altitude Impact On Taste Buds

A key body of research has shown that in addition to white noise, that the low humidity and low pressure experienced at altitude will also affect the way and the order in which taste molecules travel to our senses. It has shown that at 30,000 feet, cabin air is drier than the air in most deserts, and this reduces our sense of smell, from which most of our sense of taste is derived. So when passengers savour a wine in the air, because the environment affects the way the brain interprets the signals means that flavours changes. So with these considerations in mind and accompanied by the inspired menu created by resident chef Luke Mangan, "The Duo" completes a business-class dining combo worth writing home about, and the world has noticed.

The Duo is served in ‘The Business’ on board Virgin Australia aircraft and in Virgin Australia lounges.


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