In-flight wine review

I’m typing this aboard Lufthansa flight 455 from San Francisco to Frankfurt; I’m actually on my way to Finland for a week’s worth of meetings.  I had hoped to try out the “FlyNet” service and blog this live from the air, but they are using an old plane for this flight, so there’s no FlyNet, and when the guy in front of me reclines, I only have a couple of inches of legroom (it could be far worse — I could be in coach!).

Fortunately, the food and wine didn’t suffer from using an old plane; the meal was nothing special, but it was pleasant.  I tried all of the wines on offer (the glasses are small, and what the hell, I’m not driving anywhere for a week!), and thought I’d write up my thoughts while they’re fresh.

The first wine I tried (before any food arrived) was the 2004 Sonnenwind Riesling Spätlese trocken from Weingut Motzenbäcker in Germany.  I liked it; it was sweet, but not too sweet, with a definite flinty character. 

I had an Austrian wine with my salad, a 2004 Grüner Veltliner Spiegel, from Weingut Sonnhof Jurstchitsch.  The first taste was sweet, but it had a very strong mineral aftertaste.  I liked it less with every sip, and didn’t finish it.

They had two red wines available, and I tried a little bit of both with my main course (even though it was chicken).  The first was French, a 2001 Cháteau Castéra Cru Bourgeoise Médoc.  It was fruity and pleasant, but very simple.  One sip was all I took; instead, I tried the German red, a 2003 Dornfelder Classic, from Wingut Anselmann.  This was a winner — complex, fruity, with quite a bit of tannin.  Very drinkable, so I had a full glass, and would happily buy a bottle to drink at home.

I was shocked when I saw the desserts — there was no chocolate.  Fortunately, they remedied the situation by passing out little boxes of Peters pralines, which I’d never had before.  I would have preferred dark chocolate (these had mixed dark, milk, and white chocolate coatings, and the dark chocolate is only 59% cacao), but it’s a long way to the nearest See’s.

I should arrive in Frankfurt about 10am German time; my flight to Helsinki leaves about 2, so I hope to have time to do a geocache at the airport (there’s only one that I could find in the terminal).

Now it’s time for me to sit back, relax, and read something.  More later.