This all sounds rather pretentious, but I once conducted a wine tasting on a Virgin first class flight to the Caribbean. Let me clarify the situation by saying that I had used air miles for this experience and that the flight was not full.
I was sitting at the bar and asking about the impressive wine selection (from Berry Bros. & Rudd) when the stewardess said that she had not had a chance to taste the wines and that they were not permitted to drink on board. A shame about the former but the latter totally understandable. Nevertheless, she and a colleague were keen to learn and with little else going on we went through the six reds and six whites – mostly sniffing and smelling but sometimes a wetting of lips! They even took notes and seemed to rather enjoy the experience. They say that wine tastes different at altitude, but I’m not convinced they tasted much different from what I expected. So, when you next travel on Virgin ask for Sarah and Di – they really do now know their stuff!!
So I was intrigued to read that Invivo Air are now open for bookings in the New Year. This is the world’s first “winery” airline and they claim to offer ” the ultimate wine experience at altitude”. Tickets are about £600 and the guests will travel from New Zealand’s North to South island, experience vineyard tours and exquisite dinners as well as being put up in 5-star luxury overnight. They will also enjoy an inflight tasting by the company co-founders to be matched with local food.
This all seems to me to be a great bargain. The owners say that they are “thrilled to open Invivo air to the public and deliver a truly unique experience for those that come on board. We will be tasting some stunning drops in truly epic locations”
Incidentally they also make the point that they will be offsetting carbon emissions for every guest on the trip.
I’m thinking Sussex to Champagne – now there’s an idea!