Kinda plain on the plane

Cup o WineEven when you’re drinking cheap wine, ambiance matters, and crammed into the window seat of an Alaska Airlines Bombardier Q400 isn’t exactly the ideal spot for enjoying a glass. The experts tell me wine glass size and shape matter, too. I’ve never seen small plastic cups recommended, and I don’t know what the perfect pairing would be for those tiny parcels of stale chips and pretzels the flight attendants toss in your lap.

Nevertheless, those were the circumstances of my recent tasting of Trinity Oaks 2009 Chardonnay. Despite the less-than-ideal setting, the price was perfect: free. (Yes, I know. I did have to buy the plane ticket, but I would have been on the plane anyway, so props to Alaska for their complementary beer and wine, even on short flights like the one I was on, between Seattle and Boise.) On the ground, this wine sells for more than $8 per bottle.

Trinity Oaks ChardonnayI’m more of a red wine guy, but I enjoy a glass of white now and then. This particular variety was a little fruity for my taste, and served not quite as chilled as I like my whites. I guess that’s what I get for sitting toward the back of the plane.

While the wine itself was strictly ordinary, I was interested to learn that the Trinity Oaks Winery, part of the huge Trinchero Family Estates group (Sutter Home, Newman’s Own, Napa Cellars), is among the leaders in environmentally-friendly winemaking. They even plant a tree for every bottle of Trinity Oaks sold.

On balance, I’d call this a decent wine for the price. And the cool three-oak label certainly meets The Wineslobs© criteria for cool-looking bottles.

Aromatique: Quite fruity and lush.

SipQuips: Citrus-y with sweeter pineapple notes; not terribly crisp.

Kitchen Couplings: Maybe this should have been “cabin couplings.” Anyway, I’d serve this with milder cheeses or fish, salads or not-too-salty snacks.


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