Virgin America Takes In-Flight Food and Wine Pairings to New Heights Award-Winning Airline Introduces Suggested New Wine & Food Pairings @ 35,000 feet; Partners with New York Times Bestselling Author and Host of Wine Library TV, Gary Vaynerchuk

SAN FRANCISCO, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing flying today unveiled a new in-flight wine and food menu.  The new wine selection was designed exclusively for the airline by world-renowned wine expert Gary Vaynerchuk and will roll out over the course of 2010 – the first two starting now.  In addition to an expanded range of premium wine options, Virgin America has expanded its onboard menu for summer to include a number of fresh, seasonal menu items.  Gary Vaynerchuk's accessible, entertaining Wine Library TV will also make its debut this month on the airline's Red™ in-flight entertainment system.  This summer, Virgin America is also planning an in-flight wine-tasting with Vaynerchuk in the First Class cabin.

(Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090123/VIRGINAMERICALOGO)

"As the only airline based in California we pride ourselves on our fresh approach to the in-flight menu and we're excited to partner with world-renowned wine expert Gary Vaynerchuk to take our summer food and wine menu to new heights," said Porter Gale, Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America.  "In addition to a new range of premium wines and new menu items, our flyers will also be able to stay up-to-date on the latest wine trends, with Gary's informative and accessible Wine Library TV episodes available on the Red platform."

The very first selections by Vaynerchuk making their debut in the First Class cabin on all Virgin America flights this month are:

  • Turnbull Sauvignon Blanc 2008  
  • Arrowood 2002 Sonoma County Merlot

Vaynerchuk is recognized internationally as a premier wine expert.  Vaynerchuk was named "Innovator of the Year" by Wine Enthusiast magazine and also joined other industry influencers on Decanter magazine's "Power List."  Vaynerchuk's Wine Library website, blog and Wine Library TV have become go-to resources for everyone – whether they are just curious about wine or are wine connoisseurs themselves.

"Virgin America has been very successful in bringing a quality dining experience back to air travel with personalized service delivered via tray and in-flight menus that focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients in keeping with the carrier's California roots," said Gary Vaynerchuk.  "Wine is meant to be enjoyed in a variety of settings and I'm thrilled to be working with Virgin America to give travelers a more varied, upscale food and wine experience at 35,000 feet."

Virgin America is also the only airline in the U.S. with a touch-screen seatback menu that allows guests to order what they want, when they want it during a flight.  The California-based carrier offers one of the largest selections of fresh menu items, with a focus on locally-produced options.  Since its launch in August 2007, Virgin America has captured a list of travel industry best-in-class awards including, "Best Domestic Airline for Food" in Travel + Leisure 2009 World's Best Awards readers' survey and the World Airline Entertainment Association's "Best Single Achievement in In-Flight Entertainment" for its Red in-flight entertainment system's on-demand food menu.

Virgin America recently launched new menu selections that vary by route and will complement Vaynerchuk's wine selections – pairing recommendations include:

First Class (complimentary):

Fruit and Cheese Plate: Selection of artisan cheese: brie, aged cheddar, red Leicester, sage derby, pepper jack, smoked gouda cheese and garnished with lambs lettuce, black figs, raspberries, and blackberries.

  • Paired with: Arrowood 2002 Sonoma County Merlot

Tropical Fruit Appetizer (breakfast): Fresh pineapple, pepino melon, mango, watermelon, papaya, kiwi and strawberry; tossed with a tangy lemon verbena syrup and fresh lemon zest.

  • Paired with: Turnbull Sauvignon Blanc 2008  

Poached Pear with Hazelnut Crisp Cake: Refreshing poached Williams pear stuffed with candied orange mascarpone, served with hazelnut crisp cake, creme Anglaise and chopped hazelnuts.

  • Paired with: Turnbull Sauvignon Blanc 2008  

With outstanding service and beautifully designed new planes, Virgin America has captured a loyal guest following and experienced significant growth since its launch. In addition to Orlando and Toronto, the airline intends to announce at least three more new destinations in 2010.

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Orange County (ends May 26), Fort Lauderdale, Toronto (starting June 23) and Orlando (starting August 19).

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S. controlled and operated airline. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.

About Virgin America: Headquartered in California and launched in August 2007, Virgin America is one of the fastest growing start-up U.S. airlines of all time and currently employs over 1500 people. Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features. The airline's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport's International Terminal. The airline's new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat for electronic gear. Virgin America offers in-flight internet service on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the U.S. skies via its touch-screen Red™ seatback system. Elevate is Virgin America's first-of-its-kind loyalty program, which offers guests the ability to redeem points for any unsold seat — on any Virgin America flight, at any time. For more: www.virginamerica.com

SOURCE Virgin America



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