As part of its effort to make air travel more pleasant, Lufthansa’s Vinothèque program offers wine loving travelers special wines, like the rich and flavorful Gracia 2004 Syrah from the Aconcagua Valley that I recently enjoyed on my return flight from Frankfurt.Chile makes spectacular Syrah, but weak demand for wines made from this grape in the US means many of them don’t make it to our shores. It was a real treat to find one being offered on my flight.
Gracia is produced by Chile’s large Viña Corpora group, which we visited when preparing Report # 21 The Chilean Wine Revolution.I was impressed then with the Gracia and Agustinos lines of wines, especially the Chardonnays and Pinot Noir wines from the Bío-Bío, and the Gracia 2004 Syrah confirms that earlier assessment.
Lufthansa’s Vinothèque program identifies high quality wines produced in relatively small quantities, so the wines are changed frequently, and the names of the wines being served don’t appear on their Business or First Class menus.These wines are usually a significant cut above the wines on the menu and are well worth asking for.
Markus Del Monego, who holds a Masters of Wine and was also selected as Sommelier World Champion, makes the selections for the Vinothèque program along with a small group of other tasters. He’s one of the reasons that Lufthansa was cited as the Most Improved Business Class Cellar in Business Traveller Magazine’s Cellars in the Sky Wine Awards.Markus also has some interesting ideas on pairing Sauternes with food that nicely complement our own recommendations in Report # 27 Sweet Wines of the World.