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Organic wine in KLM’s World Business Class
KLM will serve organic wine in World Business Class in October and November. This is KLM’s first step in this product category. But what kind of wine is it? And is this the start of a tradition in organic wines aboard KLM flights?
KLM’s wine buyer, who was involved in the selection of the organic wines for World Business Class (WBC), is a fan of organically produced wines: “I’m against herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and excessive sulphite in wines, which is how I came into contact with a number of leading winemakers who operate fully organically. Based on my experience with them, I selected around 55 different wines for KLM, all of which are organically or biodynamically produced. That means they are free of chemicals and have sulphite content which is often only half that of conventional wine.”
The tasting panel selected the following wines:
Whites: “Potion” Sauvignon Blanc 2015; Hawke’s Bay, New-Zealand; and Giol Pinot Grigio 2015 Marca Trevigiana, Italy
Reds: Château Mignan ‘Minervois “Pech Quisou”, 2014, France; Matsu “El Picaro”, 2015, Toro, Spain; and Beyra Tinto Biológico, 2015, Beyra, Portugal.
Organic wines are ideally suited to KLM’s sustainability objectives. Owing partly to the low sulphite content, a glass of organic wine is also easier on the stomach. Outside the special promotional months, KLM aims to have at least one organic wine available at all times.
Flavour and price
There are now European regulations governing the production of organic wines. To gain official European approval for an organic wine, the manufacturer must meet far stricter standards than those applied in conventional viniculture. The use fertiliser is prohibited, for example. Some winemakers go one step further by applying “biodynamic” methods, based on the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, which revolves around the relationship between the earth and cosmos. The taste experience of organic wines is more intense, because it is more authentic. An organic winemaker would, for instance, never add wood flavouring to a wine.
Unlike many other organic products, organic wines are not much more expensive than regular wines. You can buy delicious organic wines for EUR 6-8 per bottle, although the organic wines served in WBC are in a somewhat higher price range.