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A new wine list signed by international renowned experts

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Tuesday 14 October 2014

Since September, Paolo Basso, world’s best sommelier, has been signing the wine list on the entire Air France network. In La Première and Business cabins, he works together with Bettane & Desseauve, authors of the French Wine Guide.

A new wine list signed by international renowned experts

Coinciding with the grape harvest season, Air France is renewing its offer of wines and spirits to enable customers to discover the incredible wealth of French wine varieties. On its entire network, since September 2014, the Company has been offering a choice of wines selected by Paolo Basso, voted world’s best sommelier in 2013. In La Première and Business cabins*, he works together with Bettane & Desseauve, authors of the French Wine Guide.

Thanks to the knowledge of these internationally renowned experts, Air France customers can enjoy exceptional wines during their trip.

A wine cella in the sky

Paolo Basso, voted world’s best sommelier in 2013, is Air France’s new wine expert and has introduced a new selection of wines throughout the Company’s network.

In La Première and Business, Paolo Basso has worked together with Bettane & Desseauve, authors of the French Wine Guide. The sommelier has chosen the best wines selected by the two experts to offer a prestigious and varied choice in these exceptional cabins.

Combining Bettane & Desseauve’s thorough knowledge of French vineyards with the expertise of Paolo Basso enables Air France to offer a wine list of exceptional quality, a journey through the regions of France and its prestigious chateaux.

To guide Air France in its choices and offer wines which are suited for air travel, Paolo Basso has taken into account the specifics of inflight service, as cabin pressure and air conditioning can change our perceptions of the taste of wine.

Furthermore, the wine list is renewed every two months for the pleasure of frequent travelers.

An exceptional wine list for all customers

With Champagne offered during the aperitif and fine wines to accompany the meal, a unique selection, especially designed for Air France, is proposed in Economy and Premium Economy**.

In Business, there is an innovative wine list, highlighting the diversity of French wines, with many famous names. New wines are also in the spotlight and Paolo Basso’s favourite wines are given pride of place, such as Médoc Château Rollan de By 2009.

The La Première cabin is highlighting the excellence of French wines, particularly its most famous wine regions (famous Champagnes and Bordeaux, as well as Burgundy and the Rhone Valley). Champagne Krug Grande Cuvée or Saint-Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classé Chateau Beau-Sejour Bécot 2008, etc. Bettane & Desseauve and Paolo Basso have chosen the best vineyards and the most exclusive properties, with vintages suitable for use on board.

Every year, one and a half million bottles of wine including eight hundred thousand bottles of Champagne are served on board Air France flights.

About Paolo Basso

Paolo Basso, voted Best European Sommelier in 2010 and world’s best sommelier in 2013, is one of the best sommeliers in the world. He is one of only five sommeliers to win both European and world titles. Italian by birth, he now lives in Switzerland and has dual citizenship. He trained at the Hotel School and discovered wine during his internships in gourmet restaurants, pursuing his career in the wine business. He continued his training with the Swiss Association of Professional Sommeliers and acquired additional knowledge and skills through independent study. Paolo Basso has worked in various restaurants recognized by the most famous restaurant guides. With vast experience in the field of rare and collectors’ wines, he has become a key expert in the field.

About Bettane & Desseauve

Since 1995, Michel Bettane, Thierry Desseauve and their teams of experts have been traveling up and down the vineyards of France to draw up their annual wine guide: the Grand Wine Guide to France. Every year, they taste between 40 and 50,000 wines to select the best. For almost 20 years, they have been creating and developing a comprehensive database on wine growers and their wines. A total of 4,000 chateaux and 60,000 wines are figured and analyzed by Bettane + Desseauve experts but also characterized with technical and commercial details, such as grape varieties, cultivation (organic, etc.) and vinification, etc.

Air France and the french fine dining experience

Air France is committed to promoting French haute cuisine in all its cabin classes. With a unique legacy, Air France is continuing a tradition that values excellence, pleasure and exclusivity. Committed to a major project to upgrade its products and services, Air France is constantly expanding its offer with new products and services for its customers. By working together with Paolo Basso and Bettane & Desseauve, it is reaffirming its role as ambassador of French cuisine, showcasing the best of French wine varieties around the world. The highlight of any flight, each mealtime on board is an opportunity for customers to enjoy new flavours highlighting French culinary expertise around the world.


*Paolo Basso works together with Bettane & Desseauve in La Première long-haul, Business long-haul and Business medium-haul on flights over three hours.

**Champagne offered in La Première, Business, Premium Economy cabins. Also served in Economy on long-haul flights except on flights to Cayenne, Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre, Réunion, Cancun, Havana, Orlando, Mauritius, Punta Cana, San Domingo, Saint Martin, Antananarivo, Montreal, Lima and Bangkok.

Excessive alcohol consumption can seriously damage your health. Consume with moderation.


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