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Why Oenologists May have to Forego that Glass of Merlot in Paris

18th October 2012 • Posted in Announcements

People booking cheap flights to Paris should not complain if the wine tastes a little off because the chances are it could be their taste buds that are to blame.

Paris Wine Image

Paris, the culinary capital of the world, is the perfect destination for lovers of good food and wine. However, those expecting to kick off their holiday with a refreshing glass of Chablis or Bordeaux may have to wait till they disembark at the Charles de Gaulle airport, because fine wines can taste distinctly different when consumed at altitude.

Flight operators like ourselves at pride ourselves on the care and attention paid to our in-flight wines. Each year millions of gallons of red, white, sparkling and rose wines, many of them rare vintages, are sold to the aviation industry. However, according to a recent CNN report, you might be better off settling for a young Chilean red than a fine old Bordeaux, when travelling at 35,000 feet. This isn’t because the wine is spoiled or altered in any way, but because the human palette undergoes subtle changes at high altitude.

Try a Taste of Chile on Your Way to Paris

Robert Joseph, of Meininger's Wine Business International, explained:

“Ironically, some of the finest wines in the world … don't taste good at altitude.

“The product doesn't change, it's the way you perceive it that changes … you perceive less of the fruit … and more of the acidity [and] tannins.”

Taking this into account, he added that sweeter, fruitier wines from Chile and California are often more pleasant to drink while on board.

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