Wine Tastings for Singapore Airlines 2010, Part I

24 February 2010
Author: Jeannie Cho Lee


A relatively easy day of tasting about 70 New World Chardonnays. All wines are tasted blind and the wines rated 17/20 (90/100) are tasted separately against each other. We (Steven Spurrier and Michael Hill Smith) are mostly in sync with our scores even though we taste and rate each wine separately. Today we only had to discuss 3 wines which happens when one person really liked or disliked a wine.


The Australian Chardonnays submitted for Business Class were disappointing. I only found two worth considering. This is surprising for me because when I judged at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show end of last year, I found the whites really impressive. The Californian Chardonnays from Sonoma and Napa at today’s tasting were generally good and more consistent across the board.


Wine submitted for tender for airlines are a special breed and not really representative of the class or region because of the sheer quantities involved. It automatically precludes many top small producers or even the large volume producers who just cannot afford to spare thousands of cases. For economy class on Singapore Air, the producer needs to be able to supply a minimum of 20,000 cases and even for 1st or Business class, the quantities are in the 1000s of cases!