ATLANTA, Jan. 10, 2008 – She may not wear that famous designer red dress worn by Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) flight attendants, but master sommelier, TV host and author Andrea Robinson is adding her own stylish touch to travel with a sophisticated wine program boarding in February and a new in-flight program revealing little-known travel tips from regarded foodies, called “Local Flavor.”
As Delta continues reinventing the travel experience for its customers, Robinson is redesigning the airline’s wine list to offer globe-trotting customers superior selections at 30,000 feet. Robinson’s selections make their debut in BusinessElite®, Delta’s international business class product beginning in February, and will expand to international coach and domestic first and coach class later in the year. The new wine choices will complement Delta's upscale BusinessElite culinary experience, including a personalized five-course meal with contemporary offerings by Michelle Bernstein, a prominent chef of the Mediterranean-style, highly acclaimed bistro, Michy’s in Miami.
Delta’s new tantalizing BusinessElite wine menu for February and March includes:
|Wente, Riva Ranch Reserve, Chardonnay 2006||Central Coast, California|
|Haymaker, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007||Marlborough, New Zealand|
|A-Z Pinot Noir, 2006||Willamette Valley, Oregon|
|Chateau Lacombe Noaillac, Medoc-Bordeaux 2005||Bordeaux, France|
|Mionetto, Prosecco Brut||Veneto, Italy|
|Duval-LeRoy Brut NV||Champagne, France|
|Chambers Rosewood Muscat||Victoria, Australia|
|Ferreira Dona Antonia Tawny Reserve Porto||Portugal|
“Andrea Robinson is one of the world’s hottest master sommeliers and is helping Delta create a unique, high-flying wine discovery for our global customers,” said Joanne Smith, Delta’s senior vice president of Global Product Development and In-Flight Service. “Andrea’s selections are perfectly matched with Chef Michelle Bernstein’s superior cuisine offerings in BusinessElite and appeal to our valued first and coach-class customers, making for a memorable flight experience.”
Last year, Robinson tasted more than 900 bottles, including dessert wines and champagnes from around the world, at Delta’s world headquarters in Atlanta. Top candidates then were tested in flight before she and Delta settled on the 2008 wine program. Finalists had to meet Delta’s strict criteria for outstanding flavor, brand recognition, diversity and destination connection, as well as ease of serving in flight. The result offers Delta customers more than 130,000 cases of some of the world’s best and most creative wine offerings to be enjoyed in 2008.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to treat wine connoisseurs or those who are beginning to develop their own wine tastes with as unique and exciting a wine experience as the destination itself,” said Robinson. “Since wines can taste different in flight, I’ve painstakingly chosen wines with enough flavor intensity to shine – even at 30,000 feet.” Beginning this spring, Robinson will host “wine culture” seminars with thousands of Delta flight attendants that will enhance the personalized service they provide to Delta customers. The seminars will focus on how to recommend wines that pair best with certain entrees, how to present a bottle, and how to properly fill a wine glass.
Delta’s new wine program is one of many enhancements planned for its international BusinessElite service. Also in February, Delta will offer BusinessElite customers a full, open bar before departure, versus the previously-offered champagne and mimosa service. This spring Delta will take delivery of the first of its new Boeing 777 long range aircraft, which will feature full lie-flat beds giving customers more comfort and personal space on ultra long-haul flights like New York JFK to Mumbai, India. Additionally, the airline is planning new BusinessElite meals created by Celebrity Chef Michelle Bernstein, new elegant china and serviceware and upgraded in-flight amenity kits.
“Local Flavor” reveals little known travel secrets
Andrea Robinson is also helping Delta customers find the very best in travel, food and wine destinations with a new onboard entertainment program called “Local Flavor.” In the 30-minute segments featured on Delta on Demand, Robinson and her husband John scour popular destinations like California’s Napa Valley, Seattle, Paris and New York to ask recognized foodies what they recommend as insider favorites for visitors to their area.
“As a wine educator, I’m often asked ‘how do you learn about wine?’ The answer is by tasting it,” said Robinson. “Of course we’re on a wine discovery in ‘Local Flavor,’ but we also look for tasteful side trips, great dining deals and the best places to stay so travelers can make the most of their travel.”
The first “Local Flavor” segments, featured on Delta’s transcontinental U.S. and international flights where Delta on Demand is available, include:
- Napa – Uncork the best of Napa Valley wine country with the locals! Delta’s Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson and her husband John take you for a fabulous foodie weekend of touring, tasting and dining on their home turf, guided by recommendations from celebrity insiders including Margrit Mondavi, and French Laundry Chef Thomas Keller. Viewers learn how to taste wine like a pro, where to find great dining deals, and which splurges are worth it to really make a memorable wine country weekend.
- Seattle – Taste the best of Seattle’s local flavor as Delta’s Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson and her husband John take you on the perfect foodie weekend in this amazing food city. They’ll take you out on beautiful Lake Union for some local wine, cheese, and of course, salmon. They’ll show you where to go for some of the best deals and amazing meals featuring the freshest local ingredients and of course, the local wines. With Seattle’s foodie celebrities as their guides they will put together an amazing weekend of outdoor fun and incredible cuisine.
- Paris - Savor Paris with Delta's master sommelier and her husband John as they take you to the heart of Paris' food obsession. Dial into the best artisanal breads, cheeses, charcuterie and patisserie courtesy of insider tips from Parisian experts Patricia Wells, Chef Daniel Boulud and Pastry Author Doree Greenspan's recommendations. Learn how to get food with three-star pedigree for a fraction of the price, and how to bike off the calories in this beautiful city. And taste France's best wines on two easy foodie sidetrips.
- New York - The city that never sleeps never goes hungry, either! You'll learn where to taste the unique flavor of every foodie neighborhood as Delta's master sommelier and her husband John take you to the heart of what makes the Big Apple food scene so vibrant. Uber-restaurateur Danny Meyer, Food & Wine magazine Editor in Chief Dana Cowin, and Star Chef Daniel Boulud, share their insider dish on the must-taste specialties morning, noon and night, and John and Andrea show you where to walk, dance and shop off the calories and find the best wine list deals in the whole city.
Customers can see more, and weigh in with their own picks at www.andreawine.com. “Local Flavor” segments will be refreshed every month.
Andrea Robinson, one of the country’s leading wine educators, is one of only fifteen women in the world who have been appointed Master Sommelier by the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers. She was the first woman ever chosen Best Sommelier in the United States by the Sommelier Society of America, and is also the first appointed Dean of Wine Studies for The French Culinary Institute in New York City, where she graduated with honors from its renowned 600-hour professional culinary program. Andrea was named Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional by the James Beard Foundation in 2002, and was selected by Bon Appetit Magazine as Wine & Spirits Professional of The Year in 2004. She is the author of the best-selling GREAT WINE MADE SIMPLE: Straight Talk from a Master Sommelier, lauded for its original, real-world approach to wine, as well as the author and publisher of GREAT TASTES MADE SIMPLE: Extraordinary Food and Wine Pairing for Every Palate, and ANDREA ROBINSON'S WINE BUYING GUIDE FOR EVERYONE, the annually-updated, pocket-sized populist guide to the most popular wines available in stores and restaurants. Her TV shows, Simply Wine, and Pairings with Andrea, both air weekly on Fine Living Network.
Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 321 destinations in 58 countries. Delta has added more international capacity than any major U.S. airline during the last two years and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 36 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers more than 500 weekly flights to 63 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on nearly 15,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 485 worldwide destinations in 106 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.