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Wine: Drinking at 30,000 feet

Next time the trolley comes round, ask for a high altitude wine

By Barry Smith   July 2014

I recently flew to Istanbul and back on British Airways to test the flavours of food and wine at high altitude with a journalist from Women’s Health. Many factors affect the appreciation of wine at 30,000 feet but wine buyers for the airlines are becoming quite skilled at selecting those that work well in flight. How do they do it, and what are the principles underlying success and failure?

When flying at high altitude, the dry atmosphere—which greatly reduces our ability to perceive aroma—low cabin pressure, cold temperatures and vibrations mean that even the best wines may not perform as…

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