luxury yacht wines
luxury yacht wines

Sip in Style: From Luxury Yacht Wine Cellars to Expert Tasting Tips, Enhance Your Time at Sea with Fine Wine

The superyacht lifestyle is a world unto its own, where only the best is good enough, and this sense of refinement is exemplified by the choice of rare wines and fine champagnes in your yacht wine cellar.

Follow this advice from some of the wine industry’s top experts, and not only will your guests be seriously impressed, but you will have a renewed appreciation of each sip.

Savour the Journey: The Opulent Connection of Yachting & Wine

The pinnacle of luxury travel, superyachts offer first-class service, VIP amenities, and access to some of the world’s most precious places that few will ever experience, and like everything else onboard, your wine cellar should have a sense of exclusivity to it.


While your yacht sommelier can advise on the best wine pairings, it’s important to give some serious thought to the wines and champagnes you want to bring with you before you leave port.


Sam Povey, WSET Wine Educator advises selecting yacht wines to suit your chosen cruising ground.


“There’s something special about sipping wine in situ,” he says. “As you cruise, cultivate a taste for local wines. While Provence is well-known for rosé, the appellation of Bandol produces phenomenal full-bodied reds.”

Two men enjoying dinner and a glass of wine from their private yacht wine cellar.
This Greek vineyard is a must-visit for selecting beautiful yacht wines.

And fabulous wines don’t always come from the most famous wine regions. Sam says local wines can be a good choice as they are well suited to their setting.


“Anchored in the Adriatic, cool down with delicate whites made from Istrian Malvasia,” he advises, “and while navigating the Cyclades, sample Santorini’s Assyrtiko, a grape variety that produces white wine that combines power and freshness.”

Yacht Wine Cellars: Designing a Maritime Haven for Luxury Wines & Champagne

Stocking your yacht’s wine cellar with a selection of exclusive wines is a job that takes careful consideration, and wine-tasting can be a very enjoyable part of the process.


Martin Dibben, Head of Champagne at Searcys, says that quite aside from its luxury reputation, champagne is favourite amongst sommeliers as it pairs well with many types of cuisines.


“You might be surprised to hear that champagne pairs perfectly with everything from steak and dauphinoise potato to fish and chips,” he says. “The key is differentiating between the different types of champagne.

A couple enjoying their superyacht lifestyle with a champagne breakfast on deck.
This exquisite beef tendeloin will pair perfectly with a rich Merlot from the yacht wine cellar.

“When you’re pairing with food, firstly taste the Champagne and savour its characters. Then taste the dish and return for a further sip of the Champagne. If the Champagne has a similar taste as before or even a more interesting flavour you have a match. But if you find you have lost some of the freshness and fruit flavours then move on. Every bottle is different, so it is a (very enjoyable) process of elimination.”


Sam Povey also agrees that you should start with champagne when building a wine cellar of note.


The prestige cuvées of the region’s Grandes Marques is a good start but many smaller ‘grower’ Champagne producers have garnered cult followings in recent years. Grand Cru Burgundy and classed-growth Bordeaux will form the ballast of your cellar, but lesser-known regions are guaranteed to make a connoisseur salivate.”


However, champagne is not the only wine variety worth considering, says Sam.


“Consider the opulent whites of Condrieu and Hermitage, complex super-Tuscan reds and the luxurious sweet wines of Tokaji to stand out from the crowd.”

A sommelier curates fine wines for an exclusive yacht wine cellar.
Friends make a toast to the beautiful selection of yacht wines available on their superyacht charter.

Toast to Luxury: Unveiling the Most Exclusive & Rare Yacht Wines

Martin Dibben also has some advice for any yacht owners or charter guests looking to bring some of the world’s rarest wines onboard.


“The most highly sought-after wines can fetch in the six and seven figures at auction, not only due to their exceptional flavour but also the history behind the bottle,” he says.


“For example, the Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947 only appears for sale every 10 years or so, with a thick texture and 14.4 percent alcohol concentration due to the unusual crop that year.


“The 1907 Heidsieck is considered the world’s most expensive Champagne, discovered in a shipwreck in 1998 in the Gulf of Finland. Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992 often tops the most expensive wine lists, at around half a million pounds per bottle.”

Friends raise a glass to their luxurious superyacht lifestyle.
A server pours a glass of chilled white wine from the luxury yacht wine cellar.

Tips for Tasting: Indulge in the Ultimate Wine Experience

To enjoy your yacht wine cellar to its fullest, one should adhere to a few tasting rules, says Martin Dibben.


“I always open the bottle an hour before tasting to allow the wine to breathe. Then a light swirl of the glass is encouraged to release the aromas and flavours – give it a gentle sniff to detect the initial flavours, then follow it with a small sip, letting the taste linger on your tongue for a little. The flavour can change after resting on your palette so give it a minute before taking your next sip.”


Martin also believes champagne sometimes deserves promotion beyond a mere aperitif.


“Enjoy a youthful Blanc de Noirs (a style made entirely from black grapes) as a pre-dinner drink, before pairing a crisp Blanc de Blancs (made entirely from Chardonnay) with a seafood starter before pairing a mature prestige cuvee with a richer main course”, he says.


Meanwhile, Sam believes proper glassware is essential: “Top-quality Champagne is best served in white wine glasses rather than flutes, as they give the wine a chance to breathe, showing off its full range of flavours,” he says.

A smiling couple enjoying a glass of their yacht wine on deck.
A server places a beautiful bottle of white yacht wine on a dinner table, set against a stunning ocean view.

And though most wine drinkers are used to Champagne, rose and white served chilled and red served at room temperature, Sam says that on occasion red benefits from some time on ice “especially when the sun is high.”


Sam also says that a well-stocked wine cellar provides the opportunity to serve pairs of wines side-by-side.


“Serve a young red Burgundy with a mature St. Emilion”, he says. “This allows guests to enjoy contrasting styles and gives them the chance to try different food and wine combinations.

Non-Alcoholic Elegance: Luxurious Alcohol-Free Wines to Have Aboard

For those who like an indulgent drink, free of alcohol, the market has really progressed in recent years as more of us choose to reduce our drinking or go completely alcohol free.


When it comes to alcohol free wine, expect the wine on offer to have a sweeter taste. High-end brands such as Wild Idol, whose sparkling wine alternatives are hand-crafted from a blend of grapes that are each chosen for their aromatic qualities, is a good choice.


For something truly show stopping that will ensure the non-drinkers in your party don’t feel left out, order in a case of French Blook’s La Cuvee, which at £100 per bottle is the most expensive alcohol-free wine in the world.

A woman being welcomed aboard, ready to embrace her luxury superyacht lifestyle.
Friends gather on deck to enjoy a glass of yacht wine together.

With a yacht wine cellar stocked with the finest yacht champagnes, wines, and alcohol-free wines, you can now embark on a superyacht holiday filled with the finer things.


To book your next superyacht charter, speak with Edmiston’s brokerage team today.


24 June 2024

Written by:

Jack Hartley