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Monday 6 March 2017

Does wine taste different when you are flying?

Does wine taste different when you are flying at high-altitude? Virgin Australia and leading Barossa winery St Hallett have embarked on an exercise to find out.

Virgin has unveiled a wine that has been designed specifically for enjoyment in the sky and The Duo will be served exclusively in business class. It can also be sampled in Virgin lounges.

Environmental shifts at altitude, including atmospheric pressure and drier air, can affect the taste of both food and beverages. The Virgin team worked with St Hallett winemaker Shelley Cox to create a wine that delivers both balanced acidity and texture when consumed in the air.

Cox says The Duo, a blend of Barossa and Eden Valley shiraz, would complement the menus of Virgin Australia resident chef Luke Mangan.

"The drier air in a cabin can make it really hard to capture a wine's aroma," Cox says. "This is where the Eden Valley component comes in. The higher altitude of the Eden Valley means cooler conditions and creates shiraz with lovely overt floral aromas. You only need a small component to really lift the blend.

"We played around with a lot of different options to ensure the acid and texture balance was right. It was a great experience and we are confident the wine will deliver."

I won't be in Virgin business for a while, so please let me know your thoughts if you do get a chance to try The Duo.

The wine is on board Virgin Australia aircraft and in lounges this week.

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