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Why does airplane wine taste so bad?

Why does airplane wine taste so bad?

"Chicken or Fish?"

How many times have you heard that question on a plane, while simultaneously dreading your choice because you know both options are going to be awful?

So you pick the lesser of the two evils and think to yourself that maybe a nice glass of Bordeaux or Chianti will help it all go down. You open your mini bottle of wine, pour yourself a glass, and with that first sip you feel...disappointed. 

 

Why is it that wine on airplanes tastes so bad anyway?

Recent studies have shown that if food and wine taste bland on airplanes, it may be due to the lower quality ingredients being served, or it may also be because of the plane itself!

Inside the cabin, the air is pressurized, therefore making it drier. That's why your nose gets dried out, your sinuses become a bit painful, and your taste buds become dulled -- especially when it comes to perceiving acidity. The result? Food tastes bland, wine tastes insipid, basically everything just tastes flat.

That means airlines now have two choices:

  1. Given that your senses are already dulled by your environment, why not save some money and serve lower-quality food and drinks?
  2. Or the airline can try to make up for this sensory handicap by serving better-quality food and wine, with an emphasis on stronger, bolder flavors that you'll actually be able to taste. 

Whichever option individual airlines might go for, bear in mind that your bland meal might not be the airline's fault but rather due to the airplane and the air itself! 

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