Airline’s master sommeliers create new wine lists for Admirals Club, Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining, including complimentary custom label
American Airlines is unveiling new wines this month in its Admirals Club lounges, Flagship Lounges and Flagship First Dining.
The goal in creating new wine lists is to provide diversity of choice and serve wines that appeal to varying tastes and palates. Consistent with American’s food and beverage strategy to provide local flavors whenever possible, guests visiting the Flagship Lounge at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York will see bottles from vineyards in the Finger Lakes region while guests at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will enjoy wines from Northern California vineyards.
“We’re diligent in offering a broad selection of wines so that every wine drinker can find something they like when traveling,” said Bobby Stuckey, one of American’s master sommeliers. “We look at it more like putting together a restaurant wine-by-the-glass menu. Customers can go for a great glass of Champagne or a full-bodied red and everything in between.”
There are only 255 professionals worldwide who have earned the title of master sommelier and American has two on its team — Stuckey and Desmond Echavarrie.
It takes more than a year for Stuckey and Echavarrie to design a new wine list and sample more than 900 wines. Each quarter, they identify their top selections based on their notes and historical data on what has been most popular in lounges around the world. From there, they present options to a variety of American team members to solicit feedback and identify which wines are best suited for the Admirals Club, Flagship Lounge or Flagship First Dining.
The new wine list for the Admirals Club introduces two new custom-designed complimentary wines exclusively made for American by Stuckey under the labels Veloce Rosso and Veloce Bianco. Stuckey and his team worked with grape producers from Southern Italy to develop wines that were aromatic, bright and crisp.
American has won twice as many Global Traveler Wine on the Wings awards than any other U.S. carrier, including four gold medals in 2018 — the year Stuckey began leading American’s wine program. Since 2015, American has been among the top three airlines for first- and business-class wines in North America.
New wine selections for Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining (click to enlarge)