TOP CHAMPAGNES IN BUSINESS AND FIRST CLASS – announced last month at The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky Awards

The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky Awards have been running since 1985, with a record number of 36 airlines taking part this year. Blind tastings took place over two days on November 4 and 5 at the Grosvenor House, London, with five judges independently scoring. The judges included:

• Charles Metcalfe, TV wine presenter and co-chairman of the
International Wine Challenge;

• Sam Harrop, Master of Wine and winemaking consultant;

• Derek Smedley, Master of Wine for more than 40 years,
consultant and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge;

• Peter McCombie, Master of Wine, accredited tutor for the Wine and
Spirit Education Trust and consultant; and

• John Worontschak, leading winemaker and wine business development

Business Class Sparkling

1. Qatar Airways – Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle 1996;

2. Etihad – Henriot Blanc Souverain;

3. and
4. (JOINT) British Airways, Qantas and Singapore Airlines –
Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve AND LAN – Louis Roederer Brut Premier; and

5. Jet Airways – Dom Pérignon 2002.

First Class Sparkling

1. Qantas – Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1999;

2. United Airlines – Henriot Brut Millésimé 1996;

3. (JOINT) Qatar Airways, All Nippon Airways and Cathay Pacific –
Krug Grande Cuvée;

4. Thai Airways – Bollinger 1999; and

5. Malaysia Airlines and Jet Airways – Dom Pérignon 2002.

Participating Airlines:

Aer Lingus, Aegean Airlines, Air Astana, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, American Airlines, All Nippon Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, El Al, Etihad, Emirates, Finnair, Gulf Air, Iberia, Jet Airways, Kenya Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Korean Air, LAN, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, South African Airways, TAM, Thai Airways and United Airlines.

Liz Palmer

Linthwaite House Hotel in Cumbria is the annual winner of the Condé Nast Johansens Champagne Taittinger – ‘Wine List of the Year’ award

The judging panel for the awards included; Justin Llewelyn, ambassador for Champagne, Taittinger Sarah-Jane Evans, MW and wine editor of BBC Good Food and Olive Magazine, Andrew Warren, managing director, Condé Nast Johansens and Fiona Patrick, client services director for Johansens who acted as facilitator and joint organiser.

Judges described the wine list at Linthwaite House Hotel as: “A really well put together list which is easy to read, educational as well as humorous and a joy to handle.”

Lynn Murray, marketing director of Hatch Mansfield – the sole UK agent for Champagne Taittinger – said: “Linthwaite House Hotel has a truly impressive list and offers choice at great value, an important consideration in these challenging times.”

Carol Emmas, Harpers

Part I – Yacht Club de France: History; Location; Racing; Library & Membership

Philippe COURT, Président,
Yacht Club de France

The Grande foyer of this highly prestigious club is adorned with trophies, cups, sculptures, paintings and half-hull models (of its members).

Yacht Club De France (YCF) was founded in 1867 during the Second French Empire, and according to Maritime Literature is one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world.
Admiral Rigault de Genouilly served as the club’s first Président from 1868 to 1870. According to Philippe Court, twelve of the 20 past-Présidents have been Admirals. By tradition, a strong bond unites the Navy and the Yacht Club de France. This relationship extends to marine trade, fishing and salvage values which are fundamental to the Yacht Club de France and its members.
The club remains faithful to its mission: “helping the development of recreational boating in all its forms; cruise as race, defending and promoting values of solidarity, courtesy and moral elegance that motivate all seafarers”.

Yacht Club De France was formed and established to be close to the “Power” or the “Institutions”. Avenue Foch has the reputation of being the most expensive residential neighborhood in Paris and one of the most expensive addresses in the world, as well as home to many grand palaces, including international ambassadors, Onassis and the Rothschild families and others.
In addition to its landlocked Paris headquarters, Yacht Club De France has developed close–ties with yacht clubs located on all coastlines of the hexagon and overseas.

During 1907 Union des Yachts Francais, Société d’Encouragement pour la Navigation de Plaisance and YCF merged and were recognized by the International Sailing Federation.

Apart from the trophies and cup races, YCF organizes the annual prestigious Coupe de France (the elite of the yachting world), the annual Autumn Cup, and together with the Yacht Club Italiano, the Giraglia Cup regatta from Saint Tropez.

The Coupe de France Cup is a beautiful ornate silver trophy,
designed by the jeweler of the Place Vendome Cardeilhac


Yacht Club De France is one of the world’s most distinguished and influential yacht clubs. The membership currently has over 500 members, (20% female and 80% male members).

A prospective candidate must have two sponsors in order to obtain membership admission. Ownership of a sailboat, large or small, civil recognition, civic and military, are not part of the election criteria, only a matter of adherence to the values of the club and the desire to “serve” to defend, at sea and ashore. The merit of the application is submitted by the sponsors to be reviewed by the Commission of the Interior, who shall in turn submit to the Council.
Distinguished Members include under the high patronage of the President of the Republic

Minister in charge of the Navy
Minister of Merchant Marine

HM Queen ELIZABETH II of England
HM King Juan Carlos of Spain l
HM King Constantin of Greece Il
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
HSH Prince Albert II of MONACO
HIH the Princess NAPOLEON
HRH Prince Consort Henrik of DENMARK

Since its inception, the Yacht Club de France has been and continues to build, collect and preserve prestigious maritime heritage that illustrates the memory, and new maritime adventures of its members. The Heritage Commission is working to highlight these treasures.

Through text, photographs, and illustrations you will find many big names in sailing such as Marin-Marie, Alain Gerbault, Olivier de Kersauson Virginie Heriot, Commander Charcot Montpassant Guy, Eric Tabarly, Damien, the America’s Cup Jules Verne.

Part II (coming February, 2011)

Dining, Menu and Wine list
Taittinger is a staple on the wine list
Secrets from Chef Benoît Fleury

Bubbles With Altitude – Champagne Taittinger’s Recent Bubble Experiment

Champagne Taittinger recently carried out an experiment in their hot air balloon into the effects of altitude on bubbles in Champagne. The balloon soared to 10,000 ft, its highest UK ascent, to study the size and speed of bubble formation at different altitudes and to taste the effect of altitude on flavor delivery. After initial sampling of five Taittinger Champagnes they were then sampled again at 2500ft, 5000ft, 7500ft and 10,000ft at wind speeds of up to 12 knots. The most obvious difference uncovered was that the bubbles got much bigger at higher altitude. Sensory Food Scientist, Margaret Everitt, who took part in the experiment, commented: “I thought that, irrespective of the individual Champagne, the overall aroma seemed to lessen and become softer with altitude. This might be due to the fact that, although the larger bubbles give an initial surge of aroma as they release the volatile compounds within them, the aroma is not maintained in the same way as with a steady stream of finer bubbles. The cooler temperature at higher altitudes, plus the fact that we were moving, may also have affected perception of the nose.”


Champagne’s stiffest competition comes not from Prosecco, Cava or English sparkling wine – but from Viagra, according to Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger.

Speaking at the Reuters Global Luxury Summit last week, the Taittinger chief executive also predicted that Champagne exports to China will outstrip the US within 15 years.

And he expects Champagne sales to rebound this year, aided by the weaker Euro, restocking in the supply chain and surging demand in emerging markets.

‘I am worried about pensions. I am worried about the debt of our countries. We will have less money,’ Taittinger said.

‘But we will always have the time to make love and drink Champagne, and we will do it even more.’
Like most of the major Champagne houses, Taittinger’s sales have been badly affected by the economic downturn, with volumes down 10% during 2009.

But Taittinger said he expected sales to rise 10-20% this year, aided by 40% year-on-year growth in China. Champagne’s only competitor? ‘Viagra’.

‘China is the new United States,’ he said. ‘There is no doubt that it will be a strong market in 15 years. It will be much better than the US.’

And he said that ‘nothing is better’ than a glass of Champagne to help forget the stress and pressures of the modern world.

‘We are an affordable luxury. For one hour we can behave like the Queen of England.’

Richard Woodard