As Europe’s first and only airline to be awarded the title of “Five-Star Airline”, high expectations follow and can often be hard to live up to. Year in and year out Lufthansa has continued to raise the bar with their dedication to both excellence and efficiency, certainly earning their reputation as one of the 10 best premium airlines in the world.
Our flight from Munich to Vancouver was on Lufthansa’s flagship aircraft, the Airbus A350-900, one of the world’s most advanced and environmentally-friendly planes for long-haul flights. According to the airline, it produces 25% fewer emissions, uses 25% less kerosene, and is considerably quieter on take-off.
Their business-class product was among the best we’d experienced to date not only because of the lie-flat seats, large screens and substantial entertainment library, but because the service on board was legitimately first-rate.
As for the wine selection, we were a little surprised, given Germany’s reputation for world-class wine, that of the 4 white wines and 4 red wines available on our flight, only one of the options was from Lufthansa’s home country. On the other hand, we were by no means disappointed in the choices provided as each of the wines were of very good quality, came from great wine growing regions, and were diverse enough to please virtually any palate.
As with the majority of airlines today, the wine list is curated in consultation with a sommelier. In Lufthansa’s case, they work with Markus del Monego, renowned wine critic and one of just 400 Masters of Wine in the world. Needless to say, there was not even a mediocre wine choice, and each were thoughtfully selected to make ideal pairings with the dining menu. We also found out after our flight that the wine menu is completely different every month, a first among the airlines we’ve reviewed through our Wine High Club series (and we note that the new month already has multiple German wine selections). The only thing that could have impressed us more would have been access to the airline’s renown caviar service in First Class!
What is particularly notable about flying with Lufthansa, is that they have managed to provide an outstanding experience (to more than 140 million passengers last year alone), while also being an industry leader in sustainability, diversity and giving back. For a quarter of a century, they’ve been reporting their improvements and the results are impressive: their fuel efficiency has increased by 30%; their workforce is currently made up of people from 176 different countries, and their charitable initiatives have supported more than 23,000 people to date.
The most effective way to reduce CO2 emissions is through new engine technologies and more economical aircraft. Lufthansa’s continued investment in more modern aircraft has meant a significant reduction in both CO2 emissions and aircraft noise. By the end of 2025, the airline is expected to receive 193 new aircraft which will help to ensure their leadership in this area continues for the foreseeable future. We certainly hope that experiencing Lufthansa’s business-class offering again is in OUR foreseeable future.
NV Champagne de Castelnau Brut Reserve
This medium body Champagne offers flavours of apple and lemon/lime with subtle hints of almonds. There seems to be a quite liberal dosage but there is enough acidity to keep the wine balanced. We enjoyed the roundness in the mouthfeel; great on its own and with light appetizers.
2017 Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc
Apple and pear notes are joined by minerality on this medium body, we-balanced Chenin. Refreshing and moderately complex, this went well with salad and would be great to pair with lighter, simpler fare. In our opinion Chenin Blanc needs to find its way on to more wine lists for the diversity it offers as this wine demonstrates.
2017 Hans Wirsching Blanc de Blancs
An interesting blend of different German aromatic grapes. We thought this choice showed the Lufthansa Somms were creative and brave as well! We picked up an array of flavours including grapefruit, lychee and melon. We would guess the dominant grape variety was Gewurztraminer with support coming from Pinot Blanc and Riesling.
2015 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
Black cherry and plum comes through intensely on a medium+ body. We have long been big fans of Washington State Merlot and this wine just further entrenches that opinion. Added complexity is derived from secondary notes of baking spice and slight woodsy notes. The structure is medium and the finish shows admirable length.