The three tenets of drinking wine on airplanes in the economy.
You don’t have to sip your wine like it’s a bovine class just because you’re traveling economy. If you follow these principles, you’re going to be flying high!
Because of the nature of my job, I spend a lot of time in the air. My fellow Australians and I have become used to the fact that we must travel for 24 hours to reach any respectable location in the globe. Drinking wine on board has a dual function for me:
first, it helps me relax so that I can have a good night’s sleep, and second, it provides me with some type of entertainment.
Yes, I’m a total wine nerd; I get giddy about the 187-milliliter bottles of bargain wine. Be that as it may, you should know that in addition to wines labeled “THE EXCELLENT,” there are also wines labeled “THE MEDIOCRE” and wines labeled “I’LL HAVE A GIN AND TONIC INSTEAD!”
If you understand the process that is used to choose wines for airlines, you will have a far better capacity to select wines for yourself and others.
Because the air you’re inhaling is really recycled, it dries up your palate and makes wine taste somewhat different. This is one of the reasons why wine tastes different when you’re traveling at an altitude of 30,000 feet. It is only your perception of the wine that changes, not the wine’s constituent parts.
First rule: choose a flavorful white wine.
When I’m selecting a white wine to go with the meal that I’ll be served on an airplane, I look for one that has more flavor than the wines that I often consume when I’m not in the air. You will note that airplane food is never bland, and the reason for this is that there is always a rich sauce to compensate for your palate drying up during the flight. This may be balanced off with a fruit-forward white wine that has a body ranging from medium to full.
Rule 2: Go for a more muted shade of red.
Because of your dry mouth, red wines will taste more astringent to you due to the increased presence of acids and tannins. To get you through the trip, then, think of reds that are cozy and velvety, with abundant fruit flavors.
In a general sense, red wines from the so-called “New World” that are produced in warmer climes are going to be your ally. This is one reason why Australian wines are so successful in economics. I would recommend avoiding red wines from France and Italy since, in general, their styles are leaner. Of course, this is a very broad generalization, but there is always the possibility that…
Rule 3: Ask questions
If you are uncertain about the taste of the wine, you should ask for assistance. You don’t have to be in business class to have the service of first class just because you’re flying economy. The personnel of quality airlines receives training in wine basics, and passengers often have more than one choice to pick from when ordering wine.
Each long-haul flight on Qantas typically has a sommelier who has completed their training and is on board. All passengers, even those traveling in Economy, get access to these services. Their knowledge will assist you in selecting the ideal wine to accompany your meal.