July 10, 2015 – Qantas has announced that a team of wine experts and mixologists from the Rockpool Restaurant Group will select wine, champagne, spirits and other beverages for the Australian airline’s lounges and on its domestic and international flights.
The new team, named the Qantas Rockpool Sommeliers, features 16 highly experienced sommeliers including David Lawer, the head of Sommeliers Australia; and Sebastian Crowther, one of only two master sommeliers in Australia.
The sommeliers will blind taste, review and select from 1,200 Australian wines and champagnes and provide tasting notes for the international first and domestic business cabins.
Gareth Evans, CEO of Qantas International, believes the group will provide an exciting new direction for the airline’s wine and beverage program: “Qantas’ new holistic approach to food and beverage will mean not only matching our menus with the perfect wine, but with the perfect cocktail or champagne as well.
“We invest over AUS$15 million in the Australian wine industry every year, so we take the selection process very seriously. We are proud to showcase Australian wine to the world and we’ll keep supporting boutique Australian wineries as well as the iconic drops that have defined Australia’s global winemaking reputation.
“We also invest significantly in training our own teams to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge to recommend wines to our customers”, added Evans
Qantas chef and restaurateur Neil Perry said, “Rockpool has worked with Qantas for over 18 years and we are thrilled to be selecting beverages for the airline. The Rockpool Group has some of the most awarded and recognized sommeliers and mixologists in the country, and we are committed to providing the finest champagnes and the boldest wines from across Australia.”
As Qantas continues its investment in training, Rockpool Sommeliers will also be part of the Qantas Advanced Sommelier in the Sky training program for cabin crew. More than 150 cabin crew have been trained as onboard sommeliers and more will be joining this elite group in 2015. Over 2,000 Qantas Cabin Crew have completed an introductory, intermediate or advanced level of wine training.