Addendum: Delta Air Lines’ Business Elite Wine Program

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Still thinking about the wines served in Delta Air Lines’ Business Elite Class, I decided to purchase a bottle of the Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2008 and compare this bottle at 505 feet above sea level, Lima’s altitude, to that served at cruising altitude.  I attempted to duplicate the temperature of the wine as well as the type of wine glass used.  I tasted the wine immediately after opening it and during the next hour

Cabernet Sauvignon: less adaptable?

and a half.  As normal, the wine showed different aspects during the time period.  However, I can definitively conclude that the wine served on the ground was much more enjoyable than the one served in the air.  Of course, the same wine can show variations from bottle to bottle (Particularly a wine sealed with natural cork.  As a natural product and because of inconsistency from one cork to another, natural cork allows for variation from one bottle to the next), but my notes confirm the wine has the same profile on the ground and in the air, but the wine served in the airplane was much less expressive.  The interesting thing is the Pinot Noir served on board was much more expressive than I had expected.  So is Pinot Noir more adaptable to changes in altitude than Cabernet Sauvignon?  I certainly can’t draw a conclusion based on one wine.  Unfortunately, as with many wines, the Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2007 is not available in the Peruvian market, so for the moment it would be impossible to taste this wine to make a comparison.  I hope to repeat this experiment on a future flight.

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2008,
Central Valley, Chile
Medium intense ruby red in color. On the nose notes of black cherries, cassis, and black plums with hints of vanilla, tobacco and mint.  Very good quality considering a production of more than 1,300,000 cases. (dry red wine, 13.5% alcohol, natural cork closure)


About Gregg Smith

Gregg Smith is an American sommelier certified by The Court of Master Sommeliers living in Lima, Peru, and serving as director of the wine and bar program at Central Restaurante.
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