Singapore Airlines has made some adjustments to its Champagne pours in Business Class this month, with a surprise reintroduction of the popular Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve on the majority of routes, though the recently-introduced vintage Piper Heidsieck Brut hasn’t gone away just yet.
Almost all long-haul services are now loaded with either of the two well-rated bubblies, while some routes like Bangkok and Manila will even switch to exclusively offering Charles Heidsieck from 1st July 2022.
Unfortunately there has also been a downgrade on some regional services to the Ernest Rapeneau Brut Champagne, including to and from Bali, Cairns and the Maldives, from a superior Ayala Brut Majeur.
Charles is back
Singapore Airlines has not served Charles Heidsieck Champagne in its Business Class cabins since late 2019, when the carrier switched away from the label in favour of Laurent-Perrier’s La Cuvée Brut.
That news met with mixed reactions at the time. The airline had poured Charles Heidsieck for over three years, and many regular Business Class flyers, ourselves included, had come to know and love the more complex, textured finish of this Champagne.
More recently, in November 2021, Singapore Airlines switched across to a vintage Champagne in Business Class, in the form of the Piper-Heidsieck Brut Vintage 2012 (later the 2014 vintage also joined the fold).
Here’s what SIA has to say about the Champagne.
If you’re travelling on a long-haul flight with Singapore Airlines, you may now find that Charles Heidsieck is being poured instead of vintage Piper Heidsieck.
That means you won’t know in advance of boarding your flight which of the two will be available, but sadly it will not be both.
This currently applies for SIA flights operating to and from:
- Australia / NZ (except Cairns)
- Bangladesh / Sri Lanka
- India (except Kolkata)
- Middle East / Turkey
- North America
- North Asia
- South Africa
Selected regional routes now also get either Charles or Piper in Business Class:
- Bali (except SQ938/939)
- Ho Chi Minh
- Hong Kong
- Phuket (except SQ727/728)
It will be interesting to see whether this reintroduction of Charles Heidsieck is the beginning of the end for vintage Champagne in Business Class on Singapore Airlines, since this could potentially be a way to manage supply, as the Piper Heidsieck stock is phased out.
Some routes are going Charles Heidsieck exclusive
While the majority of Singapore Airlines routes now offer either the Vintage Piper-Heidsieck or the Charles Heidsieck Champagne in Business Class (but not both), there are some regional routes going ‘all-Charles’ from 1st July 2022:
- Ho Chi Minh
- Hong Kong
That means no chance for a vintage pour on these routes from next month, with the possibility of Piper Heidsieck phased out.
Additionally, some specific flights on two other routes will only pour the Charles Heidsieck Champagne:
- Bali (SQ944/945)
- Phuket (SQ725/726/731/732/739/740)
Other regional routes downgrade
While we welcome the return of Charles Heidsieck to the Business Class cabin on the majority of SIA flights, there’s less good news for those on some regional services where Singapore Airlines has previously been offering Ayala Brut Majeur Champagne.
This is already being swapped out for the more poorly-rated Ernest Rapeneau Brut, and will switch completely to that cheaper label from 1st July 2022.
Update: Singapore Airlines has now removed the Ernest Rapeneau Champagne from its inflight menus in Business Class, so good news is that this section should no longer apply, and all flights will get either Charles Heidsieck or Piper Heidsieck Champagne, regardless of flight length and route.
Even SIA’s own wine critics can’t think of too much to say about this one!
Ernest Rapeneau scores 3.7 out of 5 on Vivino, the lowest rating we’ve seen for a Champagne being served in SIA Business Class for years (even the Ayala Brut Majeur it is replacing picks up 3.9 stars).
While perfectly respectable, it’s nothing special.
This label was originally served in Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Class when the cabin first launched in 2015.
Later this was upgraded to Jacquart Mosaique Brut (3.8 out of 5), though Premium Economy sadly no longer offers Champagne on any routes after its initial COVID-19 removal was made permanent.
Affected routes where the Ernest Rapeneau will be served from 1st July 2022 are:
- Bali (SQ938/939 only)
- Phnom Penh
- Phuket (SQ727/728 only)
It’s strange that the airline has chosen to downgrade the Champagne offering on the morning Bali flights and a single afternoon return Phuket service, while other flights on those routes currently have either Charles Heidsieck or Piper Heidsieck, and will exclusively switch to Charles from 1st July.
It’s also surprising that the 6-hour 45-minute Cairns services on the 737 MAX will be Ernest Rapeneau flights, while the shorter Darwin route on the same aircraft type picks up the premium pours.
Those heading to and from the Maldives on the 737 MAX will also be disappointed to see this inferior Champagne on their flights.
What about the SilverKris lounge?
At the new SilverKris Business Class lounge in Changi Airport T3, there has been a mixture of Champagnes served over the last few months, while the facility has been used as a temporary home to all lounge-eligible members, and more recently as the dedicated Business Class space.
Charles Heidsieck has not made it back to the facility yet, to our knowledge, with SIA most recently cycling between the following options:
- Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Brut Champagne – 4.1 stars
- Taittinger Brut Réserve Champagne – 4.1 stars
- Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Champagne – 4.1 stars
What about First Class and Suites?
There have been no changes to the First Class and Suites on-board Champagne offerings since our last update, with all flights picking up two out of three different options:
- Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne 2008/9 – 4.5 stars
- Krug Brut Champagne N.V. – 4.6 stars
- Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2007 – 4.6 stars
Here’s what you can expect on board by route in July 2022.
Remember you can see which flights have the latest Suites cabin and which have the older First Class seats at our continually updated reference page.
Check the inflight menu
Champagne and wine options do change from time to time, but the good news is that since SIA ditched printed menus in all cabins back in 2020, the latest inflight menus can now be viewed online up to eight days prior to departure.
That means you can check what’s being poured on your flight in advance with good certainty.
As you would expect, the inflight menu also includes the food selection for your flight in all cabin classes.
Charles Heidsieck fans will rejoice at the return of this popular Champagne to the Business Class cabin on most SIA routes, though some flights will have vintage Piper Heidsieck instead, and in most cases you won’t know which you’ll get until you board.
On some routes, however, all flights will pour Charles Heidsieck in Business Class from 1st July, including those heading to and from Bangkok.
It’s too early to say whether this is the beginning of the end for vintage Champagne in SIA Business Class, with Piper Heidsieck potentially being phased out on longer flights and disappearing completely next month on other routes.
Nonetheless, for now there’s still a mixture of both of these two excellent Champagnes being served on all long-haul routes.
Unfortunately for some regional flights, even those as long as Singapore – Cairns and Singapore – Male, ther