American Wine Expert joins Singapore Airlines Wine Panel

Travel News Asia 10 March 2006

Karen MacNeil, one of Americas highly acclaimed wine professionals, has joined Singapore Airlines' distinguished panel of wine experts.

Hailing from Napa Valley, California, MacNeil is Chairman of The Professional Wine Studies Programme at the Culinary Institute of America and author of the best-selling book The Wine Bible, widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive and rigorous resources on wine written by an American. She is also host of the Emmy-award winning American television series Wine, Food and Friends with Karen MacNeil and has published articles in more than 50 national magazines and newspapers, including Food & Wine, The Wine Spectator, Travel and Leisure and The New York Times. 

Testament to her myriad achievements in the wine industry, MacNeil has received numerous accolades, most recent among which are the Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional award from the famed New York culinary association, the James Beard Foundation in 2004 and Wine Educator of the Year by the European Wine Council in 2005. She was also shortlisted for the Communicator of the Year award by the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London in 2002 and has been nominated three times for the James Beard Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing in America.

Karens renown as a wine educator is indicative of her authority and influence not just among the wine-drinking community, but also with those new to wines. We believe that her talents will complement the expertise on the panel, and look forward to many spirited discussions at our wine-tasting sessions, said Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President, Product and Services, Mr Yap Kim Wah.

Ms MacNeil commented, "I am thrilled to be a part of Singapore Airlines wine panel and to be a part of their commitment to bringing the great wines of the world to passengers."

Established in 1989, the Singapore Airlines Wine Panels other two members are Steven Spurrier from the United Kingdom, a leading authority on wine, and whose 35-year career includes founding the first Paris wine school, LAcademie Du Vin; and Michael Hill-Smith, the first Australian to pass the challenging Master of Wine examinations in 1988 and co-owner of Shaw and Smith winery in Adelaide Hills, Australia.

Together, the panel is responsible for recommending the wines and champagnes to be served in all classes and on all routes flown by Singapore Airlines. Wines are judged not only on their quality but also on their suitability for drinking onboard an aircraft, where the atmosphere tends to be drier. Close to 1,200 bottles of wine and champagne are sampled by the panel annually.

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