Photo: josewolff, Flickr
Airline food is the butt of many a joke, and in most cases deservedly so. One airline is looking to (ahem) rise above that stereotype, however. Virgin America is launching new in-flight wine and food pairings that might make you feel like you're dining in the toniest bistro, not in seat 3G. As the airline announced yesterday, Gary Vaynerchuk, wine connoisseur and host of Wine Library TV, has teamed up with the company to offer "fresh, seasonal menu items" along with premium wines -- some of which will be making their debuts at 35,000 feet.
As befits the California-based airline, the first two wine selections are local: the Turnbull Sauvignon Blanc 2008 and Arrowood 2002 Sonoma County Merlot. More wines will be rolled out over the course of the year, promising to make the red-eye to New York one of the most unusual wine-tasting venues yet. In fact, it hearkens back to the early days of air travel, when people dressed up before heading to the airport; a wine list like this might inspire them to do so again.
"Wine is meant to be experienced in a variety of settings," Vaynerchuk pointed out in the company press release. Fair enough, but maybe not too much variety. The complimentary upscale food pairings, which include fruit and cheese platters (red Leicester and sage derby!), tropical fruit appetizers (pepino melon and lemon verbena!), and poached pear with hazelnut crisp cake, are limited to first class. So, spring for the pricier ticket -- or keep your fingers crossed that you'll get bumped up on your next flight.