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Singapore Airlines downgrades to Henriot Champagne in Business Class on most routes

Business Class passengers on most Singapore Airlines flights will now be served Henriot Brut Souverain Champagne, instead of Charles Heidsieck or Piper-Heidsieck.

Singapore Airlines is having another reshuffle of its Champagne offering in the Business Class cabin, swapping out Charles Heidsieck on 60% of its flights routes to a less well-rated alternative from another producer in the same region – the Henriot house of Reims.

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This comes only seven months after the airline reintroduced Charles Heidsieck in the Business Class cabin on most flights in June 2022, after switching away from the label in 2019.

Henriot Brut Souverain Champagne. (Photo: SAS Champagne Henriot)

Though it’s getting rarer on the network, vintage Piper-Heidsieck is still making an appearance on some longer flights too, instead of Charles Heidsieck, with these two highly-rated drops now the preserve of the carrier’s longest routes.

Henriot is the latest fizz

Singapore Airlines is now pouring non-vintage Henriot Souverain Brut Champagne on all of its regional flights, including those to and from South Korea and Japan, plus some longer services too including those to and from South Africa, Dubai and Los Angeles via Tokyo.

This one brings home a very reasonable 4.0 out of 5 stars on Vivino, though that certainly doesn’t match up to the superb 4.2 out of 5 for the Charles Heidsieck it is largely replacing on these flights, nor the vintage Piper-Heidsieck which also gets 4.2 out of 5.

Nonetheless, a 4 star rating is still above-par for Business Class on many airlines.

Qantas, for example, is serving Duval-Leroy Réserve Brut (3.8 stars) or Jaquart Brut Mosaique (3.9 stars) in Business Class, so Singapore Airlines is still pipping some of the competition here.

Swiss and Lufthansa also serve Duval-Leroy Réserve on flights from Singapore.

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Here’s what SIA has to say about its new Henriot Champagne.


Henriot is a small highly regarded House founded in 1808 by Apolline Henriot – the first cuvee made was Brut Souverain.

It is a multi-cru, multi-vintage blend made predominantly from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir with a small percentage of  Pinot Meunier in some years. The vineyards are now farmed organically. The wines are made by Chef de Cave Alice Tétienne and are complex,  refined and long ageing.

This Champagne is straw in colour with excellent brioche-like aromatics, the palate is complex and long with excellent acidity and a dry finish. In all a delicious and sophisticated Champagne.

Singapore Airlines

This Champagne retails in Singapore from around S$75, which isn’t actually too dissimilar to Charles Heidsieck, despite the lower overall rating.

Retail prices do not translate directly to contract purchase rates of course, with airlines like SIA enjoying large discounts for the quantities they order, so we can’t say for sure that the new Champagne is saving the airline any money.

That said, Singapore Airlines gets through over 350,000 bottles of Champagne per year on its flights, around 1,000 per day, so even a small cost differential has a big impact on the bottom line.

“The Champagne bill for Business Class alone is close to $10 million Singapore dollars annually”, Hermann Freidanck, Manager Food & Beverage at Singapore Airlines, told Forbes in 2017.

Which flights?

If you’re travelling on Singapore Airlines in Business Class, you will probably now find that Henriot Brut Souverain is being poured instead of Charles Heidsieck or Piper-Heidsieck.

This currently applies for SIA flights operating to and from:

  • Australia / NZ (Cairns and Darwin only)
  • Middle East
  • North America (Los Angeles SQ11/12 only)
  • North Asia
  • South Africa
  • South Asia
  • South East Asia

This list represents 68% of SIA flights operating each day, meaning only 32% of services will still benefit from the superior Charles Heidsieck or vintage Piper-Heidsieck options.

Those routes retaining these better Champagnes are:

  • Australia / NZ (except Cairns and Darwin)
  • Europe
  • North America (except Los Angeles SQ11/12)
  • Turkey
Singapore Airlines still serves vintage Piper-Heidsieck on some of its long-haul flights in Business Class. (Photo: Piper-Heidsieck)

Many of our readers will be relieved to see that Aussie routes keep the Charles Heidsieck or Piper-Heidsieck Champagnes, though do note that shorter flights to and from Cairns and Darwin on the Boeing 737-8 MAX are now getting the Henriot.

Inflight menu

You can see which Champagne to expect on your next Singapore Airlines flight by viewing the menu for your flight online up to eight days before departure via the airline’s Digital Menu System.

  SIA Digital Menu

This allows you to see what’s on the menu with plenty of notice, including the all-important Champagne selection, so keep an eye out since this new Henriot Champagne could make its way to other flights and routes in the weeks ahead.

What about First Class?

Singapore Airlines recently removed vintage Dom Pérignon Champagne from its First Class and Suites cabins, so all flights with these cabin classes now have the option of two Champagnes on board:

  • Krug Grande Cuvée (4.6 / 5)
  • Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2008 (4.6 / 5)

Even Jakarta services, which used to only offer one Champagne in First Class pre-COVID, now offer both of these options, in common with all other routes featuring a First Class cabin.

Krug Grande Cuvée remains one of the options in First Class on SIA flights. (Photo: MainlyMiles)


 


 

Summary

Singapore Airlines is mixing up its Champagne offering again this year, with a very decent but arguably poorer-rated Henriot Brut now plying all regional flights, plus a number of longer sectors too.

The longest route with Henriot Champagne is Singapore to or from Los Angeles via Tokyo (SQ11/12), but some other notable services with this poorer-rated fizz on board in Business Class include Dubai, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Overall around 63% of services are now offering this Champagne in the Business Class cabin, according to the carrier’s inflight menu portal.

Meanwhile those flying to or from Europe, most North American cities and most Australian destinations will still be getting Charles Heidsieck or vintage Piper-Heidsieck, making these highly-rated drops the preserve of the carrier’s longest routes.

(Cover Photo: SAS Champagne Henriot)

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16 comments

  1. Actually Vivino is a good place to store info on wine that I had tasted, maybe not so much for grading the quality of wine. I would use it as a guide, whether vintage or not, even champagne will benefit from decanting. The problem is that in the air, no one will have the time to decant. But I’ll have to admit the catering out of Sydney was way better than Changi.

      1. We did BTC and out of Changi the only good thing was the satay. The beef cheek was salty but my wife had the salmon which was ok but this cannot be compared to what came out of Sydney, perfectly medium rare scotch fillet.