First Class Wines

Have you ever been in the British Airways First Class lounge?  Have you ever wondered what’s available in there? Well, loads of food options, free wifi, comfy seats and places to work with great big windows which look out over the runway.  And lots of free wine.  I’ve been lucky enough to travel in Business Class and, more recently, in First, and the lounge really is a lovely and relaxing experience.

On my most recent trip to the BA First Class lounge we had a bit of time to kill so I tasted a number of the wines on offer – always working – it’s a tough life!

White Bordeaux, France 
100% Sauvignon Blanc – this was very light lemon in colour with lovely lemon citrus, grassy and herbaceous notes as expected.  On the palate the wine was lemony with green pepper notes, refreshing acidity and a slight creaminess which added to the body of the wine.  A step on from a Loire Sauvignon Blanc and, with the more enriched mouthfeel, feeling a little more luxurious.

Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain
​Very light lemon.  I couldn’t get anything on the nose except for an unpleasant alcohol smell which put me off however, on the palate, lemon and lime, coupled with some grassiness, none of the alcohol I got on the nose.  A good mouthfeel with less acidity than I would have expected, a very smooth Albarino indeed.  I think it was maybe a little too warm to fully appreciate – a few degrees colder and this would have been a bit more zingy I think (apologies for blurry phone pictures!)

Santa Barbara, California
A very French blend of Grenache BlancViognierRoussanne and Marsanne.  Very light lemon which I was surprised at with this blend from California – I was expecting something with a bit more gold. Nose packed with lemon, lime and grapefruit citrus notes, some gooseberries and apple.  Very similar on the palate with added stone fruit juiciness – a lovely complexity that I was not expecting.  Tangy, juicy and bursting with freshness – this is a great wine!

Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, Australia
​Looking like a refreshing glass of Ribena, with unsurprising juicy red fruit on the nose and a slight hint of smokiness.  On the palate, more red fruit flavours but with an oaky spiciness I wasn’t expecting.  Clove, cinnamon and a surprising amount of tannin.

MalbecFamatina Valley, Argentina
Dark plum in colour with juicy black fruit, herbaceous and spice notes on the nose.  Some tertiary notes of dampness highlighting the oak influence.  On the palate, warming, smooth and round, not for the faint hearted:  very spicy and heavy tannin with no hint of the 14% alcohol – a lot going on, especially for 11am, just a shame there wasn’t a little more fruit to balance it out.  Still a great steak wine though!

All in all a very good selection!  Well stocked, well rotated and, in the case of the White Bordeaux, well sampled!  I have a theory that people just go for the Bordeaux as they presume it’ll be good as it has Bordeaux on the bottle?  I don’t know – maybe I’m just being cynical however, for me, my favourite was the Santa Barbara.

Obviously, I’m somewhat of a creature of habit, I left my impromptu tasting and finished off with a large glass of Champagne.  Sparkling is my thing – what can I say?!

Now, the only thing left for me to conquer is the Concorde Room….  I don’t know what’s behind those doors but I plan on finding out…!


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