Peter McCombie MW on wines at high altitude
This show was published 16 March 2018
Peter judged at the Cellars in the Sky 2017 competition and had to judge wines on airline's lists across a range of categories, keeping in mind that wines taste different in an aeroplane cabin. At altitude, the air is drier, much less humidity and less air pressure which affects how we taste food and wine. Research on the influence of these factors has shown that the dry air makes the mucus in your nose dry up, making you less sensitive to flavours & taste. The air pressure makes the wines more volatile causing them to lose aromas. So in theory, fruitier more aromatic wines work better, with less structure, softer tannins and maybe lower acidity. As Peter says, this is in complete contrast to what first class passengers are expecting from the wine list, so we talk about the styles of wine that perform better in the sky.
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The music used for the UK Wine Show is Griffes de Jingle 1 by Marcel de la Jartèle and Silence by Etoile Noire.