There’s wine tasting and then there’s wine tasting with a difference. One where your feet leave the ground and it sends you soaring into the air with pleasure. 35,000 feet in the air to be precise and on this occasion on board an Emirates A380.
It may have been the shortest international round trip I’ve ever done but travelling Business Class across the Tasman from Sydney to Auckland and back in one day was certainly one of the more memorable.
This was my second time aboard an A380 and my first time travelling on the upper deck. Always one for a good sticky beak I jumped at the chance for a tour of the aircrafts facilities.
The main difference between first and business class is less seating and a more premium beverage offering (hello Dom Perignon). Then there is the spa facility. In first class everyone is invited to have a five-minute shower. A shower in the air! There are two showers on board, both with full time attendants to make sure they are kept pristine. Mile high club wannabes take note, they’re very spacious – plenty of room for two. All the spa products are Bvlgari Rouge, the bathrooms are decorated with fresh flowers and the floors are heated! Now that’s luxury.
Back in business class there’s plenty to be excited about. For starters you’ve got a large comfy seat that reclines to a flat bed. You can sit back and watch all the latest release movies and if that gets boring (said no one ever) take yourself to the Onboard Lounge. Yes, there’s a bar onboard! Here you can order French Champagne, made-to-order cocktails or a bloody Mary. They also have hot and cold canapés around the bar but with the amount of food you’re served during the flight you’ll probably be too full.
Upon our arrival into Auckland we were taken to Villa Maria where we sampled some developing wines straight from the barrel with the head wine maker. Then it was back to the airport for a glass of Champagne in the lounge and back on board the A380.
Hosting our trip was Huon Hooke, one of Australia’s leading independent wine writers. Huon has won a number of global awards for wine writing including being named Australia’s Wine Communicator of the Year in 2008. On the flight home Huon hosted a unique wine tasting in the Emirates cocktail lounge taking us through the Emirates Business and First Class wine list. It was certainly the highest wine tasting I’ve ever done.
A Business Class flight to Auckland will set you back about $1,500. It’s a bit of a cash splash but if you’ve never flown business before or you’re celebrating a special occasion (honeymoon, anniversary, birthday) it’s totally worth it.
To find out more visit http://www.emirates.com/au/
*Please note I was kindly hosted by Emirates for this experience