UK. London City Airport has teamed up with travel food services group SSP to launch a customer experience initiative aimed at enhancing the wine offering at the airport.
The initiative has several features, one of which is weekly wine tasting sessions with dedicated sommeliers on hand to provide advice to interested passengers.
The wine tastings, hosted by sommelier Ben Mulvaney and supported by Bars Manager Anthony Stanley, launched on 8 February and will be held every Wednesday until 28 March. Passengers will have the opportunity to sample fine wines, learn of their origin, get recommended food pairings, and receive complementary tasting notes.
Another feature is the recent installation of an Enomatic wine dispenser machine at the airport’s City Bar & Grill which allows tasting by the glass, giving passengers an opportunity to experience a vast range of old and new world wines, such as the renowned Chateau Petrus 1993, without needing to buy an entire bottle. The machine’s technology uses an inert gas preservation system to preserve the flavours and characteristics of the wine for up to three weeks.
Another feature of the initiative is “˜Wine Flights’. Each one of the six available “˜Wine Flights’ gives passengers the chance to enjoy three 50ml samples that can be matched with the new menu at City Bar & Grill in the departures lounge. Individual 50ml samples can also be purchased, allowing customers to sample wines before committing to buy. Wine Flights are priced from Â£8 (US$12.70) to Â£21(US$33) and six are available: Gems from the Med, Flight of Fancy, The King of Grapes, Pure Velvet, Powerful Reds, Tour de France.
The wine initiative at London City Airport features weekly tasting sessions with dedicated sommeliers to provide advice
A dedicated wine website, www.wineatlcy.com, allows passengers to order their preferred wines tasted at the airport, for delivery to their home. This service is currently available for UK residents with plans to extend this offering to international customers in the near future.
The wines on offer at London City Airport include world class wines such as Penfolds Grange 1994, Godello from Spain, classic producers such as Paul Autard from Chateauneuf du Pape and the Prinz von Hessen Dachsfilet Riesling from Germany.
London City Airport Chief Executive Richard Gooding said: “The provision of such an extensive wine programme, involving weekly tasting sessions and “˜Wine Flights’ is an interesting initiative for London City Airport, and indeed a first for any UK airport. We always look for ways to further enhance the customer journey and we think our passengers will embrace this experience.”
SSP UK Local Site Marketing Manager Jacqueline Smith said: “Our aim is to create a first class destination within the City Bar & Grill, and we believe our range of fine wines, the use of cutting-edge technology and great service from our outstanding team provide the key ingredients that really enhance the passenger experience. We are very proud to be able to offer these wine tasting events, which are unique to UK airports.
“They provide an ideal opportunity for us as The Food Travel Experts to demonstrate our high quality products, and to share Ben and Anthony’s knowledge of and passion for wine with our valued customers. We hope they will be so delighted with the experience that they will make a special effort to come early next time they fly from London City Airport so they can take part in future events.”