BEST BOT­TLES

Vir­gin Aus­tralia have gone the ex­tra mile to de­liver a pair of Ex­clu­sive Wines to be savoured in the sky.

Virgin Australia Voyeur - - EXPERIENCE -

The two most ex­clu­sive guests on to­day’s flight might just be a cou­ple of bot­tles of wine. Vir­gin Aus­tralia, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Hardys Wines and Grant Burge, have cre­ated two wines de­signed to be en­joyed at 30,000 feet.

The Ex­clu­sive Wines — a Hardys 2016 shi­raz, named the Magic Stick, and Vine View, a 2017 chardon­nay from Grant Burge — were in­tro­duced on board last month and are avail­able to Busi­ness Class guests. Som­me­lier Mauro Bor­to­lato, who by day works with Vir­gin Aus­tralia Res­i­dent Chef Luke Man­gan to per­fect the winelist at restau­rant glass brasserie at the Hil­ton Syd­ney, helped choose the win­ning wines in an in­no­va­tive and metic­u­lous process, based on the im­pact of alti­tude on taste.

“We had to keep in mind the fact that when you are at alti­tude your taste­buds are af­fected by the dry air that is cir­cu­lat­ing in the cabin and by the alti­tude it­self — the dif­fer­ent pres­sure,” he says. “They say also the noise of the plane makes the wine taste dif­fer­ently.

“We tried sam­ples that had been se­lected by the winer­ies be­cause the aro­mas were more ex­pres­sive. We looked for a wine that has char­ac­ter and is on the fruit-for­ward side, with less tan­nins and acid­ity as these are ac­cen­tu­ated at alti­tude.

“We nar­rowed it down to two sam­ples, then we took them up on a flight from Perth to Syd­ney. And out of those two can­di­dates for a chardon­nay and a shi­raz we chose one each that was best at alti­tude. It was a very en­joy­able and in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The cho­sen shi­raz has a lifted bou­quet of mocha spice, milk choco­late, ripe plum and blue fruits, and notes of sweet red fruit flesh and spices, while the win­ning chardon­nay, from the Barossa Val­ley, is rich with trop­i­cal and stone fruit aro­mas, and has a creamy, but­tery, com­plex­ity to the palate.

Chief wine­maker at Grant Burge, Craig Stans­bor­ough, was also ex­cited to be part of the process, de­scrib­ing it as, “a real high­light for me as a wine­maker”.

“It was a chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment road test­ing the blends up in the air as there were many vari­able fac­tors to take into con­sid­er­a­tion,” he adds.

And Paul Car­pen­ter, Hardys Wines wine­maker, was also glad to be in­volved.

“It was a rare op­por­tu­nity to be able to blend in the win­ery, then take that same wine up in the air and truly see the in­flu­ence that tast­ing it at 30,000 feet has on the aroma and palate,” he says.

FROM TOP On board: (from left) Craig Stans­bor­ough, Mauro Bor­to­lato and Paul Car­pen­ter; Vine View chardon­nay.

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