Grape Britain? – British Airways Launches Its Own English Sparkling Wine In First Class…

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British Airways is celebrating its centenary year with the launch of its own English Sparkling Wine. First Class customers will be able to enjoy the bubbles from the award-winning Hattingley Valley from July 1 and raise a toast to the airline’s milestone birthday.

The wine is a Pinot Noir dominant blend that BA claims will work perfectly at altitude. The grapes were “hand-harvested” and “gently pressed”, before being bottled at Hattingley Valley’s winery in Hampshire. It will be available exclusively in British Airways’ First cabin as well as the airline’s flagship lounge, The Concorde Room in Heathrow Terminal 5, from July 1.

Kelly Stevenson, British Airways’ Wine and Beverage Manager, said:

“There’s no better, or more British way to toast our milestone year than with an English Sparkling Wine.  We’ve loved working with Hattingley Valley to create something really special for our First customers and this will be the first time we have ever served an English Sparkling Blanc de Noirs on board. This blend will excel at altitude as the notes of red apple skins and light red fruits really shine through.”

Emma Rice, Hattingley Valley’s Director, Head Winemaker and Winemaker of the Year in 2014 and 2016, said:

“English Sparkling Wine is now incredibly popular around the world so we’re thrilled to have partnered with British Airways to create an exceptional wine that can be enjoyed on the ground and in the air across their network.”

Bottom line

Assuming that isn’t going to lead to less Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle being loaded onboard, I’d be very happy to try BA’s English Sparkling Wine. I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of English fizz in the last few years, but nothing that compares to LPGS!

What do you think? Sneaky backdoor cost-cutting move from BA (LPGS isn’t cheap!), or a nice innovation?


  1. CrisC says

    is this the result of Brexit British Airways?
    I really like BA but this sounds quite sad if compared with the quality of comparable Italian or French wines.
    Just my opinion 🙂


  2. Mark says

    There are 2 arguments here.

    If we are seeing this introduced because of cost cutting, then that is a devaluation of the First Class experience.

    If we are seeing this introduced because they will serve it as an accompaniment to LPGS, then I am happy to try.

    However if that means they will PURPOSELY not carry enough LPGS to keep serving throughout the flight, so when it does run out, they can switch to sparkling wine, then I won’t be happy.

    I don’t mind supporting UK products but they must be on a par with the best out there. Ok so we don’t get caviar in BA first but the sparkling wine could have just been for J class.

    BA first wine and champers collection is still quite below par AF J and even AZ J. My last flight in Alitalia’s A330 J Class was was much better than BA F interns of food and drink!


  3. Bob says

    Some English sparkling wines are absolutely superb – arguably just as good if not better than French ones at similar price points. I have no doubt it will be better than the current and previous offerings in the champagne section in Galleries First. And hopefully BA will be paying more than £5 a bottle for it…

    • Craig Sowerby says

      I can’t claim to have any experience whatsoever with English sparking wine and don’t have any prejudice against a nice Brut Nature vintage regardless of nationality. 🙂

      However the comment I would make is that there are some excellent Spanish cavas and Italians proseccos, except you’ll never see them on an airplane or in a lounge. You will however see some borderline undrinkable – i.e. cheap for the airline – options. Whether that’s due to available volumes or simply cost-cutting is an open debate..

      The concern, more likely in the medium term rather than today, is that BA gradually phase out the LPGS and other champagnes in favour of something cheaper and/or available in greater volumes than the good English stuff…

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