In the next few months, I am going to put up a few airline wine lists and I propose a score that is based solely on price. Generally speaking, an airline will serve four classes of wine: Champagne, white table wine, red table wine, and a dessert wine.
What I propose to do is to take the most expensive wine in each category, get the best estimate of its retail value in the United States, add the four numbers together, and that will be the score. (If an airline does not serve Champagne or a dessert wine, it will receive zero for that category.)
Is this perfect? Not at all. For example, Virgin Atlantic is doing clever stuff these days. They have engaged the services of Berry Brothers and Rudd to select its wines, and many of the wines they serve are interesting wines from southern France. They are often wonderful wines, but the retail price is low so that will be reflected in the score I give.
Another flaw is that the plan is regrettably US-centric, but it is a world that I know. Also, the United States probably still offers a wider selection of wines than anywhere else in the world so it will be relatively easy to find the price although some wines will be hard to find at the retail level. (In Europe, it is hard to find good American wines, and countries that produce good wine tend to dominate their domestic markets.)
But at least it will allow readers to gain a general sense of how much an airline is putting into its wine selections. An airline that spends $250 on its top four wines is likely to be taking wine matters more seriously that an airline spending only $50.
Comments are invited as I would welcome the thoughts of anyone who can think of a better way of doing this.
I would love to hear comments on this approach.
As a matter of interest, when