Wine Flight

When you’re up in the air, there’s not a lot of choices for drinking wine.

That fact came home to roost this weekend as I traveled to Tennessee for my nephew’s wedding.

I like to fly, but will admit to being bit nervous on airplanes. A cocktail to calm my nerves is usually a good thing, mostly because the wine served by many airlines is insipid.

Southwest Selection

I flew Southwest from Oakland to Nashville and decided to give the discount airline’s wine list a proper perusal. It didn’t take long.

There were just two selections — red and white.

California Chardonnay

The Coastal Ridge 2009 California chardonnay turned out to be fine. It is moderately dry with a great tart green apple taste.

It reminded me of a crisp chenin blanc, and it turns out there is some chenin blanc juice in the bottle.

There’s 80 percent chardonnay, 10 percent chenin blanc and 10 percent triplett blanc in this wine.

The latter is a hybrid developed by Fay Triplett, a Central Valley grapevine grower and breeder.

The wine ($5/glass) is pale gold/yellow with a mild green apple nose.

There is some grassiness/steminess on the edge, but it wasn’t harsh nor unpleasant.

I detected a bit more sweet fruit when I popped a couple of honey roasted peanuts into my mouth.

The finish was abrupt. Pretty much all of the flavor was gone as soon as the wine was swallowed.

California Merlot

The only red wine on this flight was a Coastal Ridge 2009 California merlot for $5 a glass.

The merlot tasted of plums. It was a deep purple color that came off soft in the mouth with moderate fruit.

There was a mild bell pepper edge to this wine, but it wasn’t annoying or overpowering.

Paired with cheese nips (there’s no food service to speak of on Southwest), I could detect a bit of green wood on the palate.

The wine was pleasant and sometimes pleasant is good enough, especially at 37,000 feet!

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