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Air Canada hires Gatineau sommelier to pair wines at 30,000 feet

Air Canada hires Gatineau sommelier to pair wines at 30,000 feet

Old Feb 13, 17, 12:24 pm
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Air Canada hires Gatineau sommelier to pair wines at 30,000 feet

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa...nada-1.3979808

Air Canada hires Gatineau sommelier to pair wines at 30,000 feet

World-renowned sommelier Véronique Rivest is rising to new heights — from her Gatineau wine bar to 30,000 feet in the sky.

The owner of Soif is Air Canada's new sommelier, tasked with pairing wine with food in the sky.

"That's something I'm looking forward to test a bit more," she said Monday on CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.

"You're obviously in a different environment — in a cabin up in the air, there's the altitude but I think there's, especially, the very dry environment of the cabin, which is said to really reduce our perception of fruitiness in wine and accentuate acidity and tannin."
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Old Feb 13, 17, 12:43 pm
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Ken Chase got the pink slip?
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Old Feb 13, 17, 1:07 pm
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Old news:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/27887935-post1373.html

(I didn't think it was worth a new thread.)
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Old Feb 13, 17, 5:22 pm
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If I could pick 3 Reds within price point and diversity:

1) Sandbanks Foch-Baco Noir 2014 Wellington, Ontario (CAN)
2) Domini De La Cartoixa Formiga de Velut 2013 Priorat (ESP)
3) Cannonau Di Sardegna Argiolas Costera 2013 (ITA)
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Old Feb 13, 17, 10:07 pm
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This must be a frustrating job given the budgets one would get to work with!!
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Old Feb 13, 17, 10:24 pm
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I am willing to give this person a chance. She has some rather hefty credibility including her selection in recent years as a top ranked sommeliere (that's the correct term as she is a lady.)

Appreciably she must work within some rather tight budget constraints. Hopefully, her selection was because AC wants to improve and I do hope I can come back with praise in April. I guess AC needs a couple months to get rid of the existing plonk inventory. The cynic in me says they can't give it away, it's so vile. Bonne chance Mme. Rivest.
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Old Feb 13, 17, 11:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer View Post

Appreciably she must work within some rather tight budget constraints.
Reading the piece, and given the context, might be that the constrains have been released somewhat.

Or is it wishful thinking? I can convince my wife that a $30 bottle might be OK. Much harder for a $15 bottle. For AC, the $15 bottle is really a huge loss of face. Now that they are draping themselves in the flag, a loss of face for all of us.
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Old Feb 13, 17, 11:41 pm
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Is it only International or Domestic Premium TransCon also?
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Old Feb 13, 17, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Jumper Jack View Post
Is it only International or Domestic Premium TransCon also?
My impression has been that wines served on domestic flights have actually been better than on international ones lately. Admittedly I have not checked prices.
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Old Feb 13, 17, 11:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer View Post
Appreciably she must work within some rather tight budget constraints. Hopefully, her selection was because AC wants to improve and I do hope I can come back with praise in April. I guess AC needs a couple months to get rid of the existing plonk inventory. The cynic in me says they can't give it away, it's so vile.
While I've repeatedly expressed criticism about the wines AC serves, I certainly wouldn't call the wines "plonk" (the wines in the MLLs on the other hand...)

Some of the int'l J wines are perfectly fine IMO, especially those from the Southern hemisphere. E.g. the Giesen Sauvignon Blanc from NZ I was recently served was hardly memorable, but perfectly drinkable IMHO (and a wine I've seen on the menu at various 4* hotels).

But long story short...I think the quality of the wines would improve substantially if AC increased the budget from <$15 to $20-$25 per bottle (talking retail prices; I'd assume AC would pay substantially less due to no taxes, discounts etc.)
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Old Feb 13, 17, 11:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Jumper Jack View Post
Is it only International or Domestic Premium TransCon also?
At least at the moment, AC does not distinguish between PLH and non-PLH routes within NA. But it's an interesting idea...
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Old Feb 13, 17, 11:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
While I've repeatedly expressed criticism about the wines AC serves, I certainly wouldn't call the wines "plonk" (the wines in the MLLs on the other hand...)

Some of the int'l J wines are perfectly fine IMO, especially those from the Southern hemisphere. E.g. the Giesen Sauvignon Blanc from NZ I was recently served was hardly memorable, but perfectly drinkable IMHO (and a wine I've seen on the menu at various 4* hotels).

But long story short...I think the quality of the wines would improve substantially if AC increased the budget from <$15 to $20-$25 per bottle (talking retail prices; I'd assume AC would pay substantially less due to no taxes, discounts etc.)
Not so tolerant on calling them plonk. Admittedly when it comes to white we have consistently stayed with the champagne, which while not necessarily great, is at least very drinkable.

But when coming to the reds... Plonk is not that inappropriate. But let us hope.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 7:05 am
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I have never been on an AC flight, but I have drunk a lot of wine in First and Business Class cabins on other airlines and finding a red served at the right temperature seems to be an exception. A well selected red at $15 served at the right temperature would almost certainly out-score a $20 served ice-cold.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by gbs1112 View Post
I have never been on an AC flight, but I have drunk a lot of wine in First and Business Class cabins on other airlines and finding a red served at the right temperature seems to be an exception. A well selected red at $15 served at the right temperature would almost certainly out-score a $20 served ice-cold.
If it's on the cold side, it's not so hard to fix. Too warm is harder.

And while I agree that it's not really enjoyable if too cold, one can still judge the quality of the wine when tasting it and taking temperature into account.

BTW I would also argue that when AC drape themselves in the flag, their loss of face is a loss of face for all of us. But no, I am sure they don't care.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
While I've repeatedly expressed criticism about the wines AC serves, I certainly wouldn't call the wines "plonk" (the wines in the MLLs on the other hand...)

Some of the int'l J wines are perfectly fine IMO, especially those from the Southern hemisphere. E.g. the Giesen Sauvignon Blanc from NZ I was recently served was hardly memorable, but perfectly drinkable IMHO (and a wine I've seen on the menu at various 4* hotels).

But long story short...I think the quality of the wines would improve substantially if AC increased the budget from <$15 to $20-$25 per bottle (talking retail prices; I'd assume AC would pay substantially less due to no taxes, discounts etc.)
I was pretty happy to see Sumac Ridge in the YVR MLL and had a wee bit too much last week. I've never had a bad wine from them.
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