Why Red Wine Tastes Different on a Plane

Nov 25th 2019

Why Red Wine Taste Different on a Plane

Red wine is one of the most favorite drinks by many people all over the world, especially the affluent ones. It has a distinctive taste and aroma which is one of the reasons why it is popular. Restaurants and hotels offer wines to their guests and patrons. However, it is also offered in airplanes today. Why do a lot of passengers do not enjoy the glass of wine while on an airplane? They notice a different taste. Read on to know more about the reasons why red wine or other kinds of wines taste different when you are thousands of feet high.


One of the main reasons why wine tastes different when you are on an airplane is your senses. When you are thousands of feet high, your senses become dulled making it hard to appreciate the multifaceted flavors and scents wine has to give. This is according to the test done by experts. What is more, the lower pressure of atmosphere means the flavor molecule is jetting past the sensory receptions very fast and as a result, you miss the taste and the aroma of the wine.

Having a frosty, pressurized cabin and dry air numb the taste buds and thus, compromise the sense of smell through drying out the nose. In view of the fact that the taste and zest is a mixture of both, things taste different on an airplane. It appears that your sense of sweet and salty could drop as low as 30 percent on an airplane.

Combination of Low Humidity and Altitude

Another reason why wine tastes different on a plane is due to the combination of low humidity and altitude. This is according to the report by Will Lyons in The Wall Street Journal. According to him, the combination of low humidity and altitude tends to draw attention to the wine’s acidity as well as alcohol. Wines of all kinds have a propensity to taste acidic as well as tannic at elevation.


According to one article written by Darrel Hartman in Travel and Leisure, the taste of wine is different on a plane as the palate may be affected by flight stress and plane velocity.


Bob Campbell, known as Master of Wine, explains that the taste of wine is different on a plane as the protein in your saliva wraps in tannin molecules in wine, making it look softer. In dry environment, people become less effective at salivating, so wines taste more acerbic or astringent.

Loud Noise

Current research also discovered that loud noise plays an essential role why wine tastes different on a plane. Loud noise makes flavors more intense as well as dulls others such as sweetness. It is the main reason why tomato juice is a favorite drink on a plane. According to the research, the umami taste of this juice was improved by the loud noise of the cabin.

Here are the reasons why red wine tastes different on a plane. If you are on the next flight and someone asks you the same question, you now know the answer.