Delta Airlines will introduce a revamped in-flight wine program this fall. According to a brand announcement Wednesday, the wine service will be available in both the main cabin and higher-fare classes, and will offer a diverse selection of wines for passengers to choose from during meals and throughout their flight.
Delta partnered with renowned master sommelier Andrea Robinson to conduct a rigorous tasting process to select the newly featured bottles. Over 1,300 wines were submitted for tasting, and were narrowed down through several rounds of sampling and scoring — eventually leading to the top 17 wines that made the final cut.
“While cultivating a list of delicious wines was paramount, Delta’s criteria in sourcing program partners went far beyond a wine’s finish,” said Kristen Manion Taylor, S.V.P of In-flight Service. “The final selections represent brands that share Delta’s values — brands that reflect the diverse community of the winegrowing world and lead their industry in sustainability practices.”
The selection committee also took into account the unique environment of drinking in the air, where elevation and pressure can alter your perception of flavors, stating in their announcement: “The team made sure that each wine would taste well at 35,000 feet, where taste buds are dulled and different flavors are accentuated.” While this might seem odd, it’s actually not uncommon for airline companies to factor in the altitude and pressure. Singapore airlines even conducts tastings in a pressurized cabin to ensure the quality of their in-flight beverages.
Delta’s new wine lineup will be available on a rotating basis, so customers will have access to a different variety of wines on each flight and can expect seasonal updates to the menu through August of next year. Some examples of bottles you can expect to see on board include: Famille Perrin Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Intercept by Charles Woodson Cabernet Sauvignon from California, and the House of Brown Napa Chardonnay.
The airline recently hit some turbulence when it announced an overhaul of its popular SkyMiles rewards initiative in September, with plans to place more of an emphasis on money spent than miles flown for earning rewards. After an outcry from loyal customers, the airline later admitted it may have gone too far with the rapid alterations. Maybe some upgraded booze will ease the transition.