A week ago I was first to cover that Singapore Airlines would drop Dom Perignon from its first class and Suites cabin, though generally still offer two outstanding choices: Krug and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne.
This was a surprising move from a carrier known for offering a choice of two top champagnes. Upon boarding I’ve grown accustomed over the years to being asked, “sir, would you care for any champagne?” and then when I agree receiving a wry smile and following question, “would you prefer Dom Perignon or Krug?” Many will actually prefer the Taittinger, but it isn’t the same ‘famous name’ that resonates broadly with consumers around the world.
It turns out that the reason for the change isn’t budgetary (they got a great deal from Taittinger) or a sourcing problem (there’s no Dom Perignon supply chain breakdown) but rather the airline, which was at one point reportedly the world’s second-largest purchaser of Dom, has been shut out from access in favor of an exclusive deal with Emirates.
Singapore and Emirates will no longer co-exist pouring the prestige cuvée. You’ll only be able to drink it in Emirates first class.
Emirates and Singapore have two of the best inflight wine programs. I enjoy Qantas for its Australian selections, though Singapore’s departures from Down Under have some incredible local wines as well (indeed, arguably better at the top end). Japan Airlines does a surprisingly underrated job with wine, and unsurprisingly Air France prioritizes it in first class but underwhelms in business. As for me, I’m far more impressed by Emirates offering Château d’Yquem up front than I am their exclusive tie-in with Dom Perignon. Emirates has the substance but can’t quite help themselves focusing on glitz.
Ultimately you can’t go wrong with the champagne or wine selections in Singapore Airlines first and Suites classes because of the attention to detail they place in their selections, going so far as to taste wines in a pressurized room on the ground, simulating the inflight experience. They do not simply outsource their wine program to Intervine.