German flag-carrier chooses star wine for summer - from France

Lufthansa passengers can now enjoy a rather special tipple onboard their flights - direct from the estate owned by French film star Gérard Depardieu.

The airline is now serving the Cabernet-d'Anjou 2009 from Depardieu's Chateau de Tigné in the Loire estate to business class passengers on European routes during summer, describing it as an "outstanding summer wine."

Lufthansa says that the rosé, pressed from the two Cabernet vines, develops a "distinctive flavour reminiscent of fine citrus fruits and raspberries" and "is noted for its stimulating character and is delightful to the palate."

It was chosen by the airline's sommelier Markus Del Monego, a Sommelier World Champion who chooses wines specifically for the altitude - although many of his choices are from German vineyards, rather than French.

On-board wines are big business for airlines, with Lufthansa alone serving some 3.5 million liters alone in the sky every year.

The German flag-carrier was awarded a couple of awards for its sparkling and fortified wines at February's Cellar in the Sky awards, but the majority went to Australian airline Qantas, which took four awards.

Charles Metcalfe, the Chairman of the International Wine Challenge, said at the time that airlines were having to be much more creative with their wine choices, picking "lesser-known but more interesting" wines.