If you read my last review of United Airlines and their wine, you know I won’t take “But, sir, we’re on an airplane,” as an excuse for a bad wine experience. So when I boarded my Delta flight from DC Detroit last week, I was hoping for a little more. Good start: the seats next to me were both empty. I like space.
Not unlike United, Delta offers a very limited selection. According to the stewardess, there was one red, and one white. (Never mind the fact that I saw an enviable selection of full-sized bottles in first class while I boarded, #classwarfare.) The red was a Merlot, and the white a Chardonnay, both made by Wente Vineyards in California. It’s grocery store wine, but sometimes good wine comes from a grocery store. Somewhat hesitantly, I asked for the Merlot.
If you’re interested in my tasting notes, you can read them on Vivino. (I’d appreciate the follow on Vivino as well, if you have your own account.) I’ve posted them below. More importantly than my thoughts on what is a pretty par-for-the-course Merlot, however, was the overall experience.
In general, the stewardess was friendly, and wasn’t going to tell me it was great wine when she knew it wasn’t. She was honest, and even offered to refund it if I didn’t like it. I appreciated that a lot. The wine paired relatively well with Delta’s signature airline cookies, and, all things considered, it wasn’t a bad experience. Would I like more selection? Absolutely. But at least I didn’t leave the Delta flight irritated with the situation, which is precisely what happened on United last month.
Presently, I’d still advise you to find a good airport bar rather than drinking on your flight, or, even better, have a cup of tea and read a book. That said, when a flight comes at the end of a long day, sometimes you need a glass of wine. And when that happens, though far from stellar, a Wente Merlot will work in a pinch. Next up: KLM.