This Airline Has The Absolute Best In-Flight Wine Selection

Air travel certainly isn't what it used to be — and after a day of delays, missed connections, and terminal changes, a nice glass of wine should be the minimum of what an airline offers you. Unfortunately, those of us flying on any of the major American airlines can't even expect the plane doors to stay on the hinges, let alone a decent wine list to order from when we get seated (if we get seated). The best most will do is put you up in a Best Western close to the airport with a $20 food voucher. But not Emirates. Not only will you almost certainly get off the ground in time, but you'll have access to the absolute best in-flight wine selection there is over 30,000 feet in the air.

It's only fitting that the same airline that Tasting Table ranked number one on the list of airlines with the best quality meals has a wine selection to match. Emirates had invested over $500 million into its wine program by 2014 so that its passengers could enjoy the more than 60 different wines sourced from world class vineyards in 11 growing regions that it offers on board today. France's Bordeaux region makes up almost half of that, along with an impressive selection of vintages from the same region — from the Château Mouton Rothschild 2004 to the Château Léoville Las Cases 1998. New World wines from vineyards in Australia, New Zealand, and California also appear on the menu, which is updated seasonally.

Emirates gives high altitude wine a whole new meaning

There's a reason food tastes different on an airplane. Wine, however, is impacted in other ways. There are the more obvious environmental factors, such as the lower oxygen levels and the air pressure in the cabin, which cause a wine's aromas to dissipate much more quickly. Then, there are the more personal effects you might physically experience while flying, such as dry mouth or limited nasal reception, which chemically impact the way the wine meets your senses. 

There are also the little things that only an expert might notice — such as the bubbles of a sparkling wine sticking to the side of the glass, or the diminishment of the fruit flavors and preservation of bitter ones. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about that when you fly with Emirates. Emirates keeps all of that in mind when curating its wine selection, taking into account not only how it will be paired with the food that's served on the menu, but how it will react while flying in the air. And that's not all. 

As a part of their experiential approach to wining and dining in the sky, the Emirates service training team members are accredited with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, while senior crew members take part in wine appreciation courses, trainings, and seminars. This way, crew members are able to make passengers the best recommendations based on both what they're eating and how high they're flying — whether alongside a multiple course meal in Emirates' luxurious business class dining service or not.