Virgin Australia is the way to get to all of Australia’s finest wine destinations, and you can start your Australian in-flight wine tasting experience with round-trip flights from LA to Melbourne (starting at $1,260*). If you’re looking to mix wine and adventure, you could be off to Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef for an eight-night package including airfare and hotel for only $1,999*. Remember, Australia’s a big place. Virgin Australia can fly you to more than 50 other destinations all over the continent, putting you closer to Coonawarra, the Margaret River and of course Barossa, but the wine doesn’t stop there. Virgin Australia has regular flights to New Zealand as well!
No matter where you’re flying, Virgin Australia's Jim McMahon is thinking about your experience. You see, McMahon heads up Virgin Australia’s official wine-tasting panel, critically sampling all sorts of wines so that only the very best make it to customers’ lips. The first stop in-flight and on his agenda is always Champagne.
“It’s a great way to start the day for us,” says McMahon, who actually times how long the bubbles — or ‘beads’ — spiral from the bottom to the top of the glass. It’s this attention to detail that has earned Virgin Australia the top prize for best Champagne in the 2011 Wines on the Wing awards by Global Traveler Magazine.
Four times a year, McMahon and his team taste hundreds of wines, looking for crisp, lively acidity and fruit delivery on the nose and palate. When it comes to selecting Champagne for the airline, persistent bubbles is the most important.
“Some of Virgin Australia’s international flights are 14 hours in duration, so [the Champagne] must be able to stand up to the rigours,” McMahon says. Quality in all facets of an in-flight drink program is paramount, so the Champagne is served in Riedel glassware.
To keep things fresh, Virgin Australia’s Champagne selection is on board for a period of 12 months. Table, sweet and fortified wines are served on board for a period of three months, all to offer guests a new selection of Australian wine styles every time they step on board.
Visit www.VirginAustralia.com/ExperienceAustralia for more information on flights and packages.
*Subject to availability. Prices include all taxes and fees.