JetBlue’s wine expert Jon Bonné explains why your drink might taste different in the air, and why your favorite pink wine is the best choice of all.

Elisabeth Sherman
June 12, 2018

If you’ve ever had a glass of wine on a flight, you might have noticed that it tastes slightly different than it does when you’re on solid ground. Trust me, you’re not imagining things. The altitude really does change the taste of the wine—not that that should stop you from indulging in a glass or two. Here to explain just how the taste of wine changes in the air is Jon Bonné, a wine expert working with JetBlue, who will be hosting a rosé tasting with the airline on June 21.

“Flight can make things like tannins taste even more astringent, and wines taste less fruity than they might on the ground, which is why I prefer working with young wines that have a lot of fruit and freshness,” he explains. “That's what you want to have come through when you're enjoying a glass in the air.”

Bonné says that it’s tough to find a really good wine on a flight, which is why he’s especially excited that JetBlue will begin serving the Famille Chavin Duc de France Rosé d’Oc 2016. According to a description of the rosé (provided by JetBlue), it’s a “vivacious… rose petal pink-hued wine with notes of red currant and thyme.” This is a dry, “delicate” rosé, which also features “citrus and red berry flavors.”

According to Bonné, a classic red or white isn’t actually the best wine to drink on a flight—even though it’s typically the only type of wine available on most flights (if you’re lucky, you might get Champagne, too). Rosé, on the other hand, is rarely available on flights, so this is a really special treat from JetBlue.

“A good rosé is really the perfect thing to enjoy in-flight—fresh and bright, lightly fruity, totally versatile,” says Bonné.

During the in-flight tasting, which will take place on a JetBlue flight from Boston to Charleston, Bonné will serve the Famille Chavin Duc de France Rosé d’Oc 2016, while teaching passengers about the basics of rosé, which he has pulled from his new book, The New Wine Rules. Passengers will also be served a new snack pack, which features a trio of cheeses, crackers, and dried cherries—what more could you want to accompany a wine tasting?

Though the in-flight tasting is happening just once—on June 21— Famille Chavin Duc de France Rosé d’Oc 2016 will be available on JetBlue flights until July. This is not the first in-flight tasting JetBlue has held: Last September, the airline hosted a beer tasting, featuring a canned Sam Adams brew.

Update 6/12: A previous version of this article stated that the tasting will be available on a flight from Boston to Chicago. The tasting will actually take place on a flight from Boston to Charleston. The text has been updated to reflect this change.