“Good afternoon passengers. This is your Wine Ponder captain speaking.”
Traveling abroad is fun. As much as we love home, leaving the daily routine brings excitement and the second we board that plane, we forget all of our worries and peacefully surrender to the captain and his crew who will take care of us for the duration of the flight. As far as I’m concerned, my vacation starts once I’m on the plane. Let the drinks of choice flow and eventually put you to sleep. My personal choice is a scotch on the rocks (or two), along with the notorious peanuts served in those tiny wrappers. With my meals, I am limited to airplane wine. I may be high in the sky, but I keep my expectations way low when flying. As Steven Stills said in his 1970 single, “If you can’t be with the wine you love, love the wine you’re with” … or something like that ; )
Airplane wine can taste a little more alcoholic and bitter due to the altitude and the dryness of the cabin… and also the simple fact that you’re not drinking a quality wine, but rather a wine that’s specifically made for the transport industry. How does one make airplane wine taste better?
• Unfortunately, you can’t bring your own wine. Though airlines do not have a corkage fee, security will not let you bring your own wine on board (unless you own the plane – in which case this article is completely irrelevant to you). This is for travelers who get their airplane wine in a single-serving resealable plastic bottle to pour themselves. Cheers!
• Decanting wine for a few hours before drinking allows volatile substances in the wine to evaporate and oxygen to enter the liquid, causing the wine to seem “more expressive, more aromatic and better integrated” according to Wine Spectator. Chances are, you will not have access to a decanter. So that idea is out.
• Some people have used a blender to quickly and successfully aerate wine. You will find many youtube videos showing that using a blender is just as good as your standard decanter, perhaps a little less sophisticated. But since you don’t have a blender either, this is a moot point.
• Another method consists in pouring the wine back and forth between two cups. This requires hand-eye coordination skills. This is by far the most viable proposition but turbulence and disorientation may cause the fine liquid to be wasted… on that beautiful hawaiian shirt you’ve been waiting to wear for such a long time. This is a drippy undertaking and I do not recommend it.
So let’s recap, you can’t bring your own wine, you don’t have access to a decanter or a blender, and juggling liquid on a plane is not recommended. You may not juggle, but perhaps a little jiggle might help… Shaking your wine in its bottle is the most practical and successful way to get rid of some of the acerbic flavors. This requires that you drink a small sip of the wine to allow air to enter the bottle.That is probably the most painful step of these instructions. Once you’ve endured the suffering of that first step, put the cap back on the bottle. Make sure it is on tight – the last thing you need is to throw wine all over your fellow travelers. Start shaking for about 60 seconds. Pour the wine in your oh-so-classy miniature glass, sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of your flight.
“We have pre-selected a list of wine movies for your enjoyment. We wish you a safe and happy ride. Thank you for flying with Wine Ponder.”