20 August 2016

Wines in the air

vino in aereo

What are the factors that influences to have a good flight?

For some it is important to have more space, for others one of the small but significant luxuries of flying is to get an excellent glass of wine.


Wine started to become a real priority for airlines companies. So, the airlines are investing more and more time and money into hiring expensive sommeliers to curate their wine offerings.

It is essential to know that a good wine on sea level does not mean it is good in the air.

Experts say that wines that on the ground taste quite fruity, suddenly taste thin, tannic and acidic at altitude. Wines certainly thin out and become much leaner and more structured. Liquids expand and contract according to atmospheric pressure and therefore perhaps this is what is happening to the wine. The mid-palate is tasting less fruity as the pressure changes.


Our senses are dulled at altitude, making it difficult to appreciate the complex scents and flavors wine has to offer.

Much like having a cold, the pressurized cabin and its dry air numbs our taste buds, and compromises our sense of smell by drying out our nose. Since flavor is a combination of both (in fact, almost 80% of taste is based on smell) things taste different on a plane.


The airlines have to find a solution and they have to select wines that are fruity with low acid and low tannin. This aspect is not always easy, because a sparkling wine is high in acid and lots of people want to drink it on board, so they need to find a stability.

It is important to know that lower air pressure depletes our ability to smell flavor while dryness prevents you from perceiving flavor and texture. At altitude, wines with high acidity tend to taste way too sour to enjoy.

Humidity changes our palate perceptions. So, if you want to enjoy more a wine at altitude, it is probably best to drink wine early in the flight rather than towards the end, when we have dried out considerably more.


What about the temperature or pairing?

According to Andrea Robinson, MW, red wines are being served at too warm a temperature. This is because many persons are guided by the axiom that red wines should be served at room temperature

Room temperature might have been appropriate when people were in a cottage or a castle. In our days, the temperature is higher in a room.


Speaking of wine pairing, the constitution of the dish is more important than the protein served. In fact, the preparation process, the sauce, and the bed on which the protein is served should all be taken into consideration.


There are several airlines that have the best wines for their clients: Emirates, Thai Airways, Qatar Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines.

Remember that not every wine is available on every flight; some selections are route-based.


Find more about it on The Wine-Lover’s Guide to the Best Airline Vintages: http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/airlines-airports/best-airline-wine