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Financial Times article on BA wines. FT gets a mention.

Financial Times article on BA wines. FT gets a mention.

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Old Feb 22, 19, 1:49 am
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Financial Times article on BA wines. FT gets a mention.

Good column by Jancis Robinson (BA wine consultant during the golden age) re airline wines in today's online FT (will be in Saturday's print edition). This FT gets an honourable mention, BA doesn't come out well.

(link only works if you're a subscriber)
https://on.ft.com/2tzCCOZ


In 2009, Willie Walsh, then head of BA, abandoned the policy of choosing wines on the basis of what they tasted like, cutting costs by appointing a single exclusive supplier for each of the three classes.
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In 2010, I resigned.

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BAs wine-buying is now in the hands of two young Frenchmen working for the parent company IAG. They seem to have had little experience of wine-buying. The dire state of their budget can be judged from a recent discussion on Flyertalk.com. The Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc on offer in BA first class was spotted in Morrisons at 5 a bottle, two for 9. (BA says it is no longer on the menu.) In a recent first class tender, submissions that were over 6 a bottle from the cellar door were rejected. (The budget for forward buying of claret used to be 25.)
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Old Feb 22, 19, 3:56 am
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Just read it, a pretty reasonable summary on the whole

one close trade observer describes the current state of wine-buying at BA as “rock bottom — there’s only one way for them to go”
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I don't fly so much CW these days, but the drop in quality in F is quite noticeable, and not just the appearance of Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc (which I haven't seen on the four F flights I've taken in the last month). You can still find some decent bottles in the lounges, but not on a consistent basis.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 4:13 am
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Ah yes Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc - served by Air NZ, in economy.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 4:27 am
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Originally Posted by libertyuk View Post
Ah yes Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc - served by Air NZ, in economy.
I think that it was established in that thread that it was not the 5 per bottle Villa Maria.

One might not think that what was actually on offer in F should have been there in any event, but I suspect that regular BA bashers probably never read enough of the thread to notice which wine it actually was, and perhaps did not get beyond what other BA bashers automatically assumed it to have been.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 6:16 am
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A case of sour grapes from the ex BA retainer?

Last edited by HIDDY; Feb 22, 19 at 7:12 am Reason: To add a smiley just in ace
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Old Feb 22, 19, 6:44 am
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€6 as the threshold for exclusion. Wow....
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Old Feb 22, 19, 6:50 am
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
6 as the threshold for exclusion. Wow....
That's ex cellar and so presumably excludes VAT, duty, logistics and what not. Assuming a bit of a bulk discount that's 15 - 20 a bottle on UK retail prices or maybe a bit more.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
That's ex cellar and so presumably excludes VAT, duty, logistics and what not. Assuming a bit of a bulk discount that's 15 - 20 a bottle on UK retail prices or maybe a bit more.
BA shouldn't be paying duty for FC wines as they would all be served up in the air on international flights. I suspect that they might not be required to pay VAT either, assuming that those FC wines aren't produced in the UK. [Note that I'm not including predeparture champagne in this statement.]
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Old Feb 22, 19, 7:09 am
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The Villa Maria on offer was that multi-national's special version. Available for UKP5 in Calais.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 7:22 am
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To be fair I've had a decent French white Burgundy in F which I'm guessing was 15-20 in bond. 100 years ago (OK around 2000) I flew F LHR->BOG (stopping somewhere on the way) and was the only passenger in F. I quite liked the Premier Cru bordeaux so they gave me an unopened bottle for free. I think it was Chateau Palmer though my memory may be playing tricks. This no longer happens.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 7:25 am
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Cant they just empty the water from the flower pots at BA HQ? That would taste the same and be even cheaper than Villa Maria.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
That's ex cellar and so presumably excludes VAT, duty, logistics and what not. Assuming a bit of a bulk discount that's 15 - 20 a bottle on UK retail prices or maybe a bit more.
Not sure BA would pay VAT and duty on airborne wine, but even if they did 15-20 retail is still a significant downgrade from not so long ago when Chateau Beychevelle and Chateau Smith Haut-Lafite were a regular feature in F, indeed I can remember BA pouring much of the former down my neck in the tent at Taste of London one year.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 8:29 am
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So what red would anyone recommend I drink tonight on BA with a lamb pairing?
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Old Feb 22, 19, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by Schwann View Post
So what red would anyone recommend I drink tonight on BA with a lamb pairing?
A Bloody Mary?
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Old Feb 22, 19, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
A case of sour grapes from the ex BA retainer?
Always the BA apologist eh Hiddy?

JR made it clear she resigned as BA wine consultant in 2010. Nine years ago and she's clearly disappointed in the direction they have taken, like many of us.
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