Selection Process - Qantas Inflight

At the heart of the Qantas Inflight Wine Program is being able to offer a selection of wine that will exceed our customer's expectations.


Supplying Wine to Qantas

image

Submitting wine for review by Qantas is open to all suppliers of premium Australian and New Zealand wine.

For potential and existing suppliers we hope that the information in this website is helpful in clarifying some of the detail and processes involved.

We look forward to working with you to deliver to our customers the very best of Australian and New Zealand wine.


The Process

 

Qantas selects wine for inflight service using a combination of regular and rigorous tasting sessions as well as the constant monitoring of new wines, new winemakers and growing trends.

The Qantas Rockpool Sommeliers meets several times a year to review wine for selection. It is the wines that rise to the top in these very competitive tasting sessions that form the core of the Qantas Wine Program.

Selection process:

  1. Wine submissions are received through this website and are initially evaluated from a customer perspective. Is this wine suitable for service to Qantas customers? Is the wine a positive representation of premium wine? Is it a benchmark example of its style?  Is it for First, Business or Economy?
  2. Wines are then reviewed by the Qantas Wine Panel. Wine is reviewed blind and scored under wine show conditions. Wines given a gold or high silver go to the next stage of evaluation.
  3. Wines are then considered for 'drinkabilty'. Although a wine may receive a high score when blind tasted and may technically be a good wine we also look for a wine that is drinking well. Will our customers enjoy it? Also, will the wine present well under flying conditions.
  4. The wines approved by the Wine Panel are then reviewed commercially. What volume of this wine is available? What is the price? And so on.

 

 


Wine selection considerations

At all times quality remains the central tenet of the Qantas Wine Program. Qantas looks to showcase wines that are not only Australia's finest but are world-class wines.

  • Premium wine
  • Australian and New Zealand+ wine
  • Iconic wines and rising stars
  • Wine that will satisfy both knowledgeable as well as aspiring wine drinkers
  • Wines that reflect current wine trends, whilst ensuring classic Australian wine styles remain in focus.

+ Served on flights to and from New Zealand.

Premium, Boutique and Limited Edition Wine

While the majority of the wine purchased for Qantas is purchased in pallet lots, there is opportunity for wine produced in limited quantity to feature in Qantas First or Qantas Business. Finding small, quality-obsessed producers who explore a variety's full potential is a real focus for Qantas and drives a diverse inflight wine offering.

Showcasing Australia's super-premium and premium wine and providing our customers access to a hard-to-get wine is a great honour for Qantas and we work closely with producers and suppliers of these wines to secure allocations for our customers.

Wine Styles

The Wine Panel looks for wines that are not too alcoholic, acidic, tannic or soft. A fresh wine with a balanced intensity of fruit is favoured. Essential:

  • Fresh fruit.
  • Varietal typicity and regionality. Is it a benchmark example of its style?
  • Elegance and balance.
  • Not too alcoholic, acidic, tannic or soft.
  • No sediment due to the rigours of air travel.
  • Wines that are fresh and stand the test of travel.
  • Nice clean wines that have been well made and present with a strong fruit character. No funky wine.
  • Oak flavours are acceptable but strong oak undesirable.
  • Drinking well at time of service.
  • And... simply, is it a nice drink? Will our customers enjoy drinking it?

Wines rejected include those that show signs of volatility or smell, even faintly, of hydrogen sulphide.

Cork versus screw cap

  • Screw cap is the preferred bottle closure for all wine.
  • Wine served on Domestic flights must be under screwcap.
  • Wine served in Business and First on International flights may be under cork.
  • Wine served in economy must be in 187ml PET under screwcap.

Bottle Selection

  • Lighter bottles are preferred over heavier bottles.
  • Dessert and Fortified wines cannot be in tall thin bottles as they are not stable enough on the beverage trolley as it is wheeled into the cabin.

Pricing

Quotes to be:

  • Australian dollars.
  • Net of all taxes.
  • Free Into Store to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

 

When forming your quotation, please consider the following:
  • Wine is not sold to our customers so your pricing is not disclosed to the market. Qantas does not discount your product to move stock. A competitive price will not devalue your brand.
  • Quantity prices.
  • High profile wine list, market exposure.

Supply Volumes

While logistics and operational requirements have long restricted airlines to purchasing large bulk lots, Qantas has been working hard to become much more nimble and now has highly sophisticated processes in place that provide the ability to purchase many small parcels of the very best wine from numerous producers.

This means that not only does the inflight wine list change more frequently, but customers can enjoy the kinds of high demand, limited-availability wines they might find only in the very best restaurants.

The flexibility of the Qantas Wine Program ensures we can provide a diverse selection of quality wines.

Depending on a number of factors including price and availability the volume purchased can vary from one pallet to over fifty pallets for one wine.

For rare and limited availability wines, Qantas can purchase less than a pallet.

With flexible buying volumes Qantas can also support wine producers in both high and low yielding years.

Flying Conditions

Wine tastes different in the air - cabin conditions (altitude and low humidity) tend to accentuate a wine's acidity, alcohol and tannins whilst dulling a wine's aroma,potentially making outstanding wines appear unbalanced inflight.

Recognition of soft fruit and citrus flavours are somewhat reduced, riper red berried fruit flavours are not so impacted.

If a wine is too young it can seem hard, so semi-mature wines are sought.

The rigours of flying are not kind to wine that has developed heavy sediment in the bottle.