Flying a private jet, whether you own or charter or a member of one of the private jet service providers, necessarily means, you either belong to an elite class or a top corporate executive or one of the celebrities and hence private aviation means all the finer details need to be planned to the highest precision. These include a specific aircraft; the right newspaper; the right cabin ambience; bringing pets onboard; or having your favourite food and wine to enjoy while on board, etc.

It may be very disappointing and spoil your mood to find your favourite wine tastes quite different while sipping in the air. This doesn’t mean that your attendant chose a wrong bottle or the supplier has messed up with the quality but just like the food, the taste of wine can get significantly altered while flying. It is very easy to enjoy a good wine on board a private jet. One just needs to ensure that the right wine is chosen to be kept on board.

There are many reasons of wine tasting differently during the flight, the cabin air conditions are completely different than of air on the ground. This affects olfactory sensations and our taste buds. The cabin pressurisation and the air-conditioning tend to reduce saliva a bit and make our mouths drier, this, in turn, reduces our sense of smell and hence our sense of taste. This also is true in the case of foods; it tastes bland and less interesting during a flight, but drinks / wines are more affected by the aroma changes.

Choosing the wine of right taste to be carried on the flight is the solution to this. Umami is one of the five basic tastes, and is not affected during the flight and it even is enhanced under the right conditions. In the cabin, any wine becomes less strong, the tannins are more intense and the aromas are warmer. All this makes the wine rougher and less intense than when it was tested by you when on the ground. It is important that intense wines are chosen and not the lighter ones. Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are classic examples of them to have on board. For those who love red wine, Shiraz and Merlot can be better options.

Some owners, as well as the private jet operators, are hiring services of Masters of Wine nowadays. James Cluer (one of the only 338 Masters of Wine in the world today) who was an advisor to Qatar Airways for over a decade is now a consultant to many private jet owners and corporate flight departments.