Those little bottles of wine you can get on airlines have a reputation for being not so great, not to mention ridiculously expensive. if you do partake, the folks at Vinepair have a suggestion: Pour a little out and give it a good firm shake before drinking the rest.
It’s no secret that being in a pressurised tube tens of thousands of feet above the ground can change your palate. In fact, recipes for airline food are usually drastically different from their ground-bound counterparts in order to accommodate the change in our senses — changes that generally make food taste more bland and dull our sense of smell. Opening the wine bottle and pouring a little out allows some of the air in the cabin to get in, and shaking it for a little while effectively hyperdecants the wine and gives its flavours a chance to open up a little bit.
The video above is a taste test from the team at Vinepair (although I really wish they’d turned the phone sideways before shooting), and sure enough, the post-shake wine tastes better than the pre-shaken wine. Part of that is probably because all the agitation also makes the wine easier to smell in the cup.
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