Does wine taste different on a private jet?

Private aviation is all about the finer details. That can mean a specific aircraft; the right newspaper; the right cabin temperature; bringing your pets onboard; or ordering your favourite wine to enjoy during the flight.

So it can be disappointing to find that a much-loved wine tastes quite different in the air. Don’t worry if this happens, you didn’t get a bad bottle. It’s because, like food, the taste of wine can significantly alter when flying.

Fortunately, it is possible to enjoy a good wine on board a private jet – you just need to ensure that you make the right choice. Here are a few tips to enjoy your next oenological journey during a flight.


During a flight, the cabin air conditions are different from air on the ground, which affects our olfactory sensations and our tastes. Things like air conditioning and cabin pressurisation, which reduce cabin humidity, can reduce saliva and make our mouths drier, which reduces our olfactory powers and therefore our sense of taste.

This can mean that foods tasting bland and less interesting during a flight – including our drinks.

So how can you avoid tasteless food and drinks on board your next flight? By incorporating the right type of tastes. Umami, one of the five basic tastes, is not affected during a flight and can even be enhanced under the right conditions. Umami is found in foods like cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, meat and grilled fish. So these are all great menu choices.


Some passengers can find themselves surprised when they order a preferred wine for their flight and it tastes very different.

In the cabin, the wine becomes less strong, the tannins are more intense and the aromas are warmer. This can make the wine rougher and less intense than when tasted on the ground.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, it’s important to choose intense wines and leave out the lighter ones.

For example Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are often preferred grapes for white wine to drink onboard. For red lovers, Shiraz and Merlot are recommended.

So sticking with these grapes can result in a more enjoyable airborne drinking experience.

We can accommodate any wine or food preferences for your next private jet flight, and our private jet caterers can recommend specific wines to enjoy onboard. For advice or pricing on any global itinerary, contact us or call our Flight Team (24 hours) on +44 1747 642 777.

Posted: September 7th, 2016 by Adam Twidell

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