High-Flying Wine Dispute

You’re  not going to find anything except French wines  to drink on Air France. If you fly Alitalia, you’ll surely be drinking Italian onboard.

National pride shows up at 30,000 feet.

So what kind of wine does US Airways pour for its coach passengers?

Chilean.

That’s right. Nothing from Napa or Sonoma — or anyplace else in California — made the cut.

What gives?

US Air chose to offer a trio of Chilean wines, at $7/glass, on a recent flight to Florida.

I’m sure they got a good deal on the South American juice — a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay — but why not put something on the list with a red-white-and-blue background ?

I bet I could pick dozens of California wines that would deliver the same or better quality at a comparable  price of the Chilean wine, which retails for less than $12/bottle.

Unexpected Domestic Offering

On another leg of my trip, this time flying Air Tran, I ran into a Cresta Blanca Chardonnay.

The name seemed vaguely familiar, but I had to look it up.

Cresta Blanca was one of the first wineries established in the Livermore Valley back in1882.

The winery did not survive Prohibition, but the label was resurrected and went through other owners who couldn’t keep it afloat.

The land was purchased by Wente Vineyards back in 1981. Today, the historic old winery is part of the Wente sparkling wine complex and Cresta Blanca is a value-priced label in the Wente line-up.

The Cresta Blanca is a moderate-weight wine with a nice fullness in the mouth. It didn’t show much on the nose, but there was nice citrus streak alongside the chardonnay fruit that lingered pleasantly on the palate.

You can buy the Cresta Blanca at BevMo stores for $10-$12/bottle.

I wonder how it would taste on a US Airways flight?

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