- Feature

10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines

Champagne is synonymous with celebration, luxury and opulence and is the perfect accompaniment to a special occasion, including a Business Class flight.

The exact origins of Champagne's discovery are debated and are something of a legend. However, one surprising fact isn't in doubt – the original sparkling 'Champagne' wine was considered a mistake due to the bubbles. The harsh winters of the northeast corner of France caused wines to cease fermentation during the colder season only to experience a secondary fermentation process in the warmer months, creating effervescence of carbon dioxide gases – and in many cases, an explosion of the bottles. 

An Englishman is credited with deliberately developing sparkling wine in the early 1600s but decades later, monk and cellar master Dom Pérignon is believed to be the first to produce Champagne as we know it. Dom Pérignon refined the second fermentation process of winemaking and is regarded as the first Champagne producer.

Airlines have long since realised the significance of treating elite passengers to the finer side of life, and complimentary Champagne is one such luxury - from the Business Class lounge to the cabin itself. The very best marques and vintages tend to be reserved for First Class passengers, but travellers in Business Class can still find some of the best-tasting Champagnes in the sky. Business Class customers are, on the whole, offered non-vintage Champagnes – made from grapes blended from different seasons and identified on the bottle by the use of the acronym NV.  

Non-vintage Champagne is not to be dismissed as a second-rate option, and Champagne houses have crafted some exceptional blends perfect for sipping as an aperitif or accompanying delicious Business Class meals at 39,000 feet.

Recently, airlines have also recognised the quality of English sparkling wines with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic leading the way.

The guide to the finest Champagne and sparkling wines served in Business Class: 

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
The Champagne selection starts in the Business Class lounge


Emirates is renowned for its extensive and expertly selected wine list and purchases more Champagne than any other airline. The Dubai-based airline is also the only global commercial airline to offer its passengers Veuve Clicquot, Dom Pérignon and Moët & Chandon Champagne at altitude. The Champagne service, dubbed 'Taste the Stars' is a nod to the words allegedly spoken by Dom Pérignon when he first discovered Champagne.

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Dom Perignon on Emirates

While vintage Dom Perignon 2008 is served to First Class passengers, those in Business Class will receive excellent alternatives. Veuve Clicquot is given to passengers on routes to the UK, Europe and the Americas, while those passengers travelling to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific can savour Moët & Chandon.

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label 

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label is the House signature Champagne containing up to 45 per cent reserve wines, some of which are aged up to 30 years. The Champagne offers a fine balance of fruity and toasty aromas and begins with hints of white fruits on the nose, followed by vanilla and brioche. The initial sip is fresh and bold, with hints of apples, pears, peach and citrus notes of mandarin, grapefruit and dried fruits, with elements of croissant and brioche. The Champagne works perfectly at altitude and can be paired with a wide variety of dishes, including seafood, pasta and wok vegetables.

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Moët Imperial Brut 

Moët Imperial Brut was first created in 1869 and made from over 100 wines, of which up to 30 per cent are reserve wines and blended from three grape varieties – Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. The sparkling nose is tangy with green apples and citrus fruit, and the fresh, crisp taste delivers apples, pear, peach, and hints of brioche and fresh nuts. Moet Imperial Brut can be enjoyed alone or paired with seafood, white meats, white fruits, savoury snacks or sweet desserts.

Read the review of Emirates Business Class

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Cathay Pacific indulges its premium passengers

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific offers an ever-expanding wine list carefully sourced from the finest global wine regions to match the variety of inflight cuisines. While First Class passengers can indulge in Krug Vintage 2004 Champagne, Business Class passengers can savour the refreshing balance of Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve NV. This delicious Champagne comes from a mid-sized family-run Champagne House founded in 1818 by Nicholas Francois Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon. The family House still maintains 100 per cent control of production.

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve NV. in Business Class

Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve NV is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier grapes crafted from 50 to 60 per cent réserve wines. This versatile light Champagne can be enjoyed throughout the day as an aperitif or paired with light and refined dishes such as seafood. The cuvée has a straw-yellow appearance, elegant slow-rising bubbles, and a mature aroma with floral and ripe fruit freshness and brioche. The Champagne delivers a balanced freshness with a full body and controlled richness.

Read the review of Cathay Pacific Business Class

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Air France Master Sommelier, Paolo Basso

Air France

Air France takes its wine and Champagne selections seriously, as one might expect from the home of Champagne and fine wines. The airline's Master Sommelier, Paolo Basso, voted the world's best sommelier in 2013, today delivers one of the best wine lists in the sky to accompany the airline's celebrated cuisine created by some of the world's finest Michelin-starred chefs. The airline rotates its wine and Champagne offerings, and while La Première customers might expect to see Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006, Business Class passengers are treated to a variety of Champagne offerings, including Taittinger Brut Réserve, Deutz Brut Classic or Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve.

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Taittinger Brut Réserve NV 

Taittinger Brut Réserve NV is golden yellow with a delicate nose of fresh citrus fruits and brioche. The palate has depth and elegance with a long fresh finish. Fifty per cent of the blended grapes come from the Taittinger Estate, and the Brut Réserve is aged for three to four years before release, adding to its considerable depth. Taittinger uses a high percentage of Chardonnay in its winemaking, with up to 40 per cent used in the Brut Réserve, allowing for its delicacy and elegance.

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Deutz Brut Classic - a great Champagne

Deutz Brut Classic is a well-rounded Champagne blended from roughly equal proportions of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Selected harvests of between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of reserve wines are added to the blend each year. The Champagne has a golden appearance with floral aromas followed by ripe fruits, toast and marzipan notes. The full-bodied elegance of the taste has a silky texture and intensely fruity finish.

Read the review of Air France Business Class

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Sparkling wine in BA Club cabins

British Airways

The British flag carrier has recently introduced 'Best of British' English sparkling wines to the list of wines served in their Business Class cabin, Club World. Sales of English wines have increased by nearly 70 per cent in the past two years, and the airline is looking to promote four such sparkling wines on a rotational basis every three months. The English sparkling wine will complement the airline's current Champagne offering of Heidsieck Monopole Silver Top Non-Vintage in Club World. Heidsieck & Co Monopole is one of the original and most respected Champagne Houses and one of the more popular Champagne brands consumed in the UK.

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Heidsieck Monopole Silver Top - A BA favourite

Heidsieck Monopole Silver Top Non-Vintage is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The yellow colour has reflections of emerald green, and the first floral aromas develop into more pronounced notes of white peach. The bubbles are discreet, and flavours are harmonious with emerging aromas hinting at cocoa and coffee, with a long finish without being heavy. This is the perfect Champagne for an aperitif or paired with seafood or white meat.

Read the review of British Airways Business Class

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Qantas masterchef Neil Perry pairs the wines with his cuisine 


The flag carrier of Australia has the longest-running airline relationship with any celebrity chef, Neil Perry and also provides highly trained Qantas Neil Perry Sommeliers in the sky who offer an exceptional selection of wines and Champagnes to premium customers on a rotational basis. Currently, passengers in Business Class can enjoy Duval-Leroy Réserve Brut though alternatives might include Jacquart Mosaïque Brut, Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve and Taittinger Cuvée Prestige Brut.

Duval-Leroy Réserve Brut is made by the Champagne Duval-Leroy House, first established in 1859, producing both vintage and non-vintage champagnes. The House is firmly committed to the sustainable development of vineyards and cellars. Duval-Leroy Réserve Brut is made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, with up to 40 per cent réserve wines. With a straw-like colour and light bubbles, the Champagne has aromas of dried biscuit, cinnamon, roasted yellow figs and hints of chocolate. The palate is light-bodied and refreshing with a long, balanced finish – a perfect aperitif or accompaniment to white meats.

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Jacquart Mosaïque Brut

Jacquart Mosaïque Brut is from the relatively young House of Champagne Jacquart, founded in the 1960s. The Jacquart Mosaïque Brut blend consists of up to 35 per cent reserve wines and at least three years on the lees in bottles. The nose is delicate and fresh, with floral notes, white fruits, pears, and apricot. The taste is exuberant, with a finish of white fruits and lemon zest. Drink as an aperitif or pair with chicken and tempura.

Read the review of Qantas Business Class

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Virgin bar!

Virgin Atlantic 

The British airline treats its Upper Class customers with a lesser-known Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur Champagne from the Ayala House, which dates back to 1860 and is one of the original twenty-six Grandes Marques Champagne Houses. Pioneering the dry style, the Champagne became a favourite mark in the 1920s, and the House became regarded as one of the finest Champagne makers. Subsequent years saw the House produce smaller, quality batches until 2005, when the Bollinger family purchased the estate and made significant investments to restore the historic House to its former glory. Virgin Atlantic also provides a further option of Hambledon Classic Cuvée English Sparkling wine. 

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur  - the Virgin option

Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur is blended from the finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes of over 70 crus. The cuvée is aged for three years on lees to mature into a pure and elegant non-vintage Champagne. The light gold colour and fine bubbles draw the nose into delicate notes of citrus fruits, flowers and white fruit. The Champagne is balanced, fresh, precise and fruity with a long finish. Perfect on its own as an aperitif or equally at home paired with each meal dish, including seafood, white meat and cheeses.

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Hambledon Classic Cuvée on Virgin today!

Hambledon Classic Cuvée NV English Sparkling wine is produced by England's oldest commercial vineyard in Hampshire. Established in 1952, the vineyard is grown on Newhaven Chalk – the same chalk found at the best Chardonnay grounds in Champagne, France. Blended from more than 50 per cent Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, the Champagne is aged for a minimum of 35 months on the lees. The nose is vibrant with magnolia and lily, and the palate has a structured acidity with a ripe and fruity character and a lasting finish.  

Read the review of Virgin Atlantic

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines

Japan Airlines (JAL)

Well known for its fine selection of Japanese sake, the flag carrier of Japan also offers Business Class passengers an impressive wine and Champagne list carefully curated by the airline's wine advisor Motohiro Okoshi. While First Class passengers experience the exclusiveness of Salon Champagne, Business Class passengers have enjoyed a rotation of Champagnes, including Delamotte Blanc de Blancs, Ayala Brut Majeur and Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Champagne. However, the airline currently offers Business Class customers NV Champagne Drappier Carte d'Or.

Delamotte Blanc de Blancs is made only from Grand Cru Chardonnay, with the addition of a modest 10 per cent of reserve wines and a four to five-year maturation on lees. Delamotte is the fifth oldest Champagne House and is a sister company to next-door neighbour Champagne Salon. The Delamotte Blanc de Blancs has an alluring mineral style with a light-yellow colour. The aromas are bursting with citrus, hints of ginger, and freshly baked bread. The palate is also citrus and vanilla with a long acidic finish.

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Drappier Carte d'Or

The Drappier Champagne House has been a family business since 1808 in the small village of Urville. NV Champagne Drappier Carte d'Or expresses the Drappier style and finesse. The red grape and white juice of Pinot Noir makes up 80 per cent of the blend alongside Chardonnay and Meunier. The Champagne has a golden colour and delicate bubbles. The nose has an aromatic richness of baked apples, nuts and spices. The taste begins with white peaches before powerful and complex spicy notes emerge. The palate is dry and elegant with a long, crisp finish.

Read the review of Japan Airlines Business Class

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Dom Perignon - vintage only

EVA Airlines

Taiwan's leading independent airline EVA Air brands its Business Class product as Premium Laurel Class. Offering flights across the globe, the airline also delivers exceptional Champagnes to Premium Laurel customers, usually only seen in First class cabins. Depending on the destination, passengers could receive a glass of Vintage Dom Pérignon, Krug, or even Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2008.

Named after the Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon who pioneered Champagne, the Champagne House only produces Vintage Champagne from the most exceptional years, the first of which was in 1921. At least eight years on lees leads to the first phase of interest, known as Plenitude 1. Bottles that enter the Plenitude 2 and Plenitude 3 phases – up to thirty years on lees are limited-edition vintages and are considered at their ultimate peak. Dom Pérignon Vintage 2012 (P1) is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a pale straw colour. The nose is smoky and intensely fruity with lemon zest and toasted notes. The palate is vibrant with bright acidity and a very long finish.   

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
The famous Krug Grande Cuvée

Krug Grande Cuvée is another famous Champagne mark. The House of Champagne Krug was established in 1843 with a vision to craft the very best Champagne every year, regardless of climate variations. Krug Grand Cuvée is always blended from around 120 wines, individually kept for over ten years. Each year, a singular new creation of blend and bottling brings a new Krug Grand Cuvée Édition before resting in the cellars for around seven more years. Krug Grand Cuvée has a light golden colour and fine bubbles. The nose is of flowers in bloom and ripe, dried citrus fruits with warm notes of gingerbread and marzipan. The hazelnut, citrus fruits and almond palate soften to honey and brioche and a smooth finish.

The house of Veuve Clicquot was founded in 1772 and is one of the largest Champagne Houses today. Madame Clicquot was a forward thinker credited with creating the first vintage Champagne in 1810, and the first blended rose Champagne in 1818. To mark the 200th anniversary in 1972, the House launched a vintage cuvée La Grande Dame in tribute to Madame Clicquot.

Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006 is light and golden with thin bubbles — complex on the nose, revealing mineral and floral aromas, fresh fruits and toasted notes. The taste is precise and fresh, with a long finish. This outstanding Champagne is perfect as an exceptional aperitif or paired with caviar, shellfish, truffles and crab.


Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Qatar Airways Business Class

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is known for its lavish lounges and impressive in-flight service. The Business Class experience is one of the finest in the skies, including the meal and beverage service, and the Champagne on offer are no exception. Qatar Airways gives Business Class passengers a choice of Champagne, including Brut Rosé. The airline rotates its Champagnes with current offerings of Laurent Perrier Brut NV and Joseph Perrier Esprit de Victoria Brut Rosé 2006.

Laurent Perrier Brut NV is a signature Champagne of the Laurent-Perrier House, established in 1812. The Laurent Perrier Brut NV blend is made from more than 100 crus and between 15 and 30 per cent reserve wines and is aged for at least four years. The colour is pale gold with fine bubbles. The nose is delicate, with white flowers and fresh citrus notes. The palate is fresh with hints of ripe peach, citrus, honeysuckle and a light toasty finish — an excellent accompaniment to delicate seafood and shellfish or as an aperitif.

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Laurent Perrier Brut NV on Qatar 

The House of Joseph Perrier was founded in 1825 and remains a family-owned business. The Gallo-Roman cellars date back to the fourth century and extend for nearly two miles, and Champagnes age for at least three years. The Vintage Perrier Esprit de Victoria Brut Rosé 2006 is left to age for a minimum of six years and consists of 61 per cent Pinot Noir, 33 per cent Chardonnay and 6 per cent Pinot Meunier. The colour is raspberry pink with fine bubbles and a subtle nose of wild violets, Morello cherries and redcurrants with toasted hints. The palate is of red fruits, ripe plums and notes of vanilla. Try pairing this excellent Rose with seafood, shellfish or mild cheeses.   

Read the review of Qatar Airways Business Class

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve on Singapore Business Class

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is renowned for its hospitality, refined service and superb Business Class experience. Connecting the world with a global presence, Singapore Airlines is one the best airlines with a reputation to match. The airline's wine experts taste over 1,000 wines per year – tested at cabin pressure to give the possible experience to the customer. Annually Singapore Airlines serves more than 350,000 bottles of Champagne. The Champagne varies between routes, with the majority of flights offering Henriot Brut Souverain Champagne. On most flights to Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, the airline serves either Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Champagne or 2012/2014 Piper-Heidsieck Brut Vintage Champagne. The House of Piper-Heidsieck was founded in 1785 and later separated into three different entities - Charles Heidsieck, Piper-Heidsieck and Heidsieck Monopole.

Henriot Brut Souverain Champagne is a multi-cru, multi-vintage blend made predominantly from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with a small percentage of Pinot Meunier added in some years. Henriot is a small yet highly regarded House founded in 1808 by Apolline Henriot, and today their vineyards are all farmed organically. Henriot Brut Souverain is straw in colour with brioche-like aromatics, the palate is complex and long with excellent acidity and a dry finish.

Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve NV comes from the smallest Champagne House bearing the name Heidsieck. Blended from roughly equal quantities of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes alongside Meunier, and containing 50 per cent reserve wines, with three years of ageing on the lees. The colour is deep gold with fine bubbles. The aroma is of candied fruit and toasted almonds with a creamy, rich and full-bodied palate that is also nutty. The finish is smooth and very long. This is regarded as one of the finest non-vintage Champagnes today. 

Airlines Toplists - 10 Best Business Class Champagnes & Sparkling Wines
Wine service on Singapore Airlines

Piper-Heidsieck Brut 2014 Vintage Champagne has an elegant and radiant intensity from a blend of 55 per cent Pinot Noir and 45 per cent Chardonnay. Its golden colour and very fine bubbles lead to a nose of orange blossom, dried apricots, brioche and light toast. The palate is fresh and medium to full-bodied with citrus, tangerine and liquorice flavours and a long, dry finish. Drink on its own or perfect with seafood, shellfish or cheeses.

Read the review of Singapore Airlines Business Class


The flight search on includes information on which Champagne is served in Business Class and First Class on many airlines. We do our best to keep track of any changes but feel free to let us know if we missed something. searches hundreds of travel sites simultaneously to help you find the best premium flight offers. also compares all the major hotel suppliers to give you the very best prices in the finest hotels. 

More from