What are the best wines to drink when you fly? We talk to a top sommelier, Anca Lazaroni, to get some tips.
Everyone knows that food tastes different when flying – flavours can taste bland and meat can dry out – and wine is no different. Thankfully flying private means the choice is all yours with suppliers able to source any vintage you could want.
Speaking with Anca Lazaroni a head sommelier with Coya, and currently based at its Dubai outpost, we got some excellent tips to make sure every sip will pack the right punch so you’ll be able to celebrate or relax in style.
Anca’s first tip is one that will be music to most travellers’ ears, to be sure to indulge in champagne. This fresh and crisp tipple is perfect she says, and recommends you go for a bottle with some “kick”, with more power and complexity to it to make sure the flavours come through. Her favourites are Krug and Dom Perignon, which will no doubt please their legions of fans.
As for white wine something that has primary fruit flavours is needed and never opt for something sweet Anca says. Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnays from the New World will keep things from tasting flat and the fruits and complexity will sustain themselves in the air.
For Anca red wines are a bit more interesting. You still need the same primary fruit elements as you do for white so opt for grapes like Malbec or Shiraz. What is interesting here she remarks is that aged wines taste amazing in the air as they lose almost all their primary fruit flavours to reveal instead secondary characteristics like mushroom, wet leaves, the forest floor, and pencil shavings. She recommends some nice aged Bordeaux, Tuscans or even Chileans like Don Melchor or Almaviva.
The science for why you should carefully consider what you consume is pretty clear, and the low air pressure and low humidity – dryer than your average desert – affect your taste buds in a major way. There is also evidence that the high background noise affects things too, as taste is a complex sense, as well as all that re-circulated air playing tricks with your taste buds.
For many flying and travelling is a time to celebrate, or to relax after a stressful stretch at work, so wine and champagne can play a vital role in making sure that getting to where you’re going is as much fun as the destination itself.
Follow Anca’s advice and you’ll be sure to get it right. It seems you cannot go wrong with some of the world’s most famous champagne brands as you board, and then our tip would be to explore some lesser-known aged reds and make your next trip a chance to find a new favourite vintage you’ll love to imbibe when you’re back on the ground too.
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