Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
The starting point is a brief article by Andrea Gori who comments positively the choices made by Airlines regarding wines << it is really difficult, at least in first class and business class, to not find specialities that have great value>>. In fact to capture and render faithful the frequent flyers it is necessary to also offer them wine experiences which gratify them and surprise them especially during long transatlantic flights.
Lufthansa and Air France have asked advice of two world champion sommeliers: Markus Del Monego, winner in 1998 and Olivier Poussier, winner in 2000, who will create for the Airlines some onboard cabinets, where the contents will be changed every couple of months. The German airlines keep an eye on trends and specialized press opinions, then they select the bottles though a blind tasting so as not to influence the opinion of the tasters with brand name or appellation. The wines apt for consumption while on board must have low acidity or very soft tannins. Those with a slight residual sugar level are fine, as those with high alcohol content, as these two elements are not at all perceived whilst in flight. Criteria which correspond to the requests of the very clever Andrea Gori <<fresh young wines that are very intense in taste and in the aroma>>.
USA Today (see WineNews) has recently published a survey regarding wine consumed on English speaking airlines. The most surprising case is that of the Australian airline Quantas that consumes every year 19 million dollars of wines from
its own nation. In fact the volumes of wines consumed during flights are impressive: the United Airlines serves on board 3 million litres of wine.
In most US Airlines wine is free only in first class and business class while in tourist class it is to be paid for. In the sector of the planes, where normal people are seated, the choice of wines is limited and the quality more simple: half bottles with screw caps and very well known brands. For years Alitalia has served Lungarotti wines, with tied to the bottle neck and invitation to go visit Torgiano. For me that was the best advertising ever made for Umbria.