Rating Airlines' Wines in First-Class and Business-Class Lettie Teague on Wine - WSJ.com: "But of all the wines that I tasted, those chosen by Air Zealand were the most remarkable in terms of selection, both in business and coach (the airline has no first class). The panelists encourage all New Zealand wineries to submit wines (they choose only domestic wines), and remarkably, they ask the wineries to self-designate whether their wines belong in business or coach. Further, the panelists aren't told the prices of the wines, which Mr. Barrie said was also unusual: 'I have friends who are involved with other airlines and they all have a price tag per bottle,' he noted.
Indeed, I couldn't distinguish the Pinot Noirs or Sauvignon Blancs by class. The two coach-class Sauvignons, the 2009 Mudhouse and 2009 Spy Valley, were vibrant and lively (both about $15), while the 2008 Deep Cove Pinot Noir (coach) was every bit as delicious as the deeply flavored 2008 Framingham Pinot from business—both are around $20 a bottle. In fact, the only critical difference between the two classes was that business received a much wider selection and some more serious reds, such as the 2008 Craggy Range Te Kahu ($20), a Bordeaux-style blend.
By the end of my tastings, I'd acquired valuable insight into the selection (and storage) of airline wines—to say nothing of all their rules and regulations. I'd also reached a few class-specific conclusions: I'd fly Singapore for first class, United for business and I'd be happy on Air New Zealand drinking in coach. What of those coach wines anyway? As Doug Frost had said, 'Coach is the big question for every airline.' Perhaps it's a question I'll pose soon. I can even conduct some in-flight research"