No, I am not shocked at all that Delta has the cheapest wines on-board their jets! Are you?

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The WSJ this week had an interesting piece on wines in the air (story is behind the pay wall fyi). It even linked to Gary’s post on how Delta served up $4/bottle sparkling wine on a Delta One flight to welcome guests. They “say” it was a catering error but others on FlyerTalk have reported this has happened other times.

But to me the “news” that Delta offers cheap wines is nothing new as I have reported this for years now. The wine you see above, that runs as low as $6/bottle retail, is common not just on domestic flights but even was featured on the inaugural A350 flight in Delta Premium Select seating (what other airlines call Premium Economy).

Most Delta domestic red wines are really sad (don’t even get me started on the coach choice) and the Delta Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson agrees. I talked to her at length about the horrid choices on domestic flights during the grand opening of the Atlanta B Sky Club and she lamented that is not up to her as she is over the international Delta One choices.

I have found the Delta One choices on international routes to be quite acceptable no matter what the price. Many will say that due to the impact of flying at altitude that your taste buds are so impacted that high priced wines are not worth it. I would largely agree but the inverse is not true when it comes to cheap wines. To me a cheap wine tastes even WORSE in the air than on the ground.

And that is the point of my post today. I really wish Delta would spend just a little bit more on domestic 1st class wines. After all, many more are actually paying for the current 1st class “experience” compared to everyone getting “free” upgrades in past years. Does not this alone demand better onboard choices when it comes to wine selections?

You tell me (if you are a wine drinker, that is). Do you care about the wine offered by Delta either domestically or internationally? Do you like either one(s)? Most importantly does the wine offered by Delta have ANY impact at all on your choice of buying an airline ticket on Delta or buying on another airline with better choices? Let us all know please! – René


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  1. Hames Creek Red is a very well-reviewed label, despite its price point. It represents excellent value. While I wouldn’t drink it with a nice meal, it’s a perfect spaghetti wine that also works quite well up in the air.

  2. I haven’t flown any other airline in years so nothing to compare to except really bad wine in general. The wine is so bad on Delta domestically. It’s only ok intentionally. A very weak program if you ask me. Sorry Andrea. Thank God they’ve added sparkling wine to the mix. The thing about that is when you’re on the ground it’s better in 1st class than when you’re in the air as they use a large bottle of nicer cava for the sparkling selection. They use the small bottles of a mediocre prosecco during the flight.

    This doesn’t effect my flying the airline but directly effects my drinking. I’m a huge wine drinker and moderate collector and I rarely drink wine while flying. I might be snobby but I’ve had plenty of decent “cheap” wine. There are definitely other options that exist at a similar price point. Sometimes I even bring on a Starbucks to go cup from the sky club since selections are way better there. It’s very disappointing.

  3. Domestically I could not care less. Paid or upgraded.
    D1? Absolutely. That is their flagship product. I know that huge shareholders want massive cost cuts short term(I’m looking at you Blackrock, Vanguard, Fidelity etc…) but cheapening their supposed best product is poor form. And cutting back on wine is such a small line item I cannot imagine it saves THAT much towards next quarter’s earnings.

  4. Glad to see I’m not the only wine snob! Delta’s wines are horrid on domestic first. Especially their white (think apple juice expertly blended with vodka). While the Delta One wines are palatable, I consider it an offense that they are serving me bottles of wine that cost less than $15/bottle after I’ve paid $4-5k on a ticket. Don’t get me started on the pre-departure “champagne” in Delta One.
    Food and wine is the only thing I look forward to when I take an American flight instead of Delta.

  5. Currently sitting in 1A in a RJ900 sipping a prosecco that is totally acceptable. After that, it’s a Woodford. Everything else is wine I wouldn’t cook with.

    As for D1… Sorry Andrea. Even some of those wines I wouldn’t put in my cellar. And, can we get CHAMPAGNE and not sparkling wine in D1? It’s only $4-6k to fly up front.

  6. I don’t touch the Delta wine either in Delta One, Premium Economy or coach. I’ve been fortunate to fly F and J on Asian and European carriers and they make Delta look like a 3rd class carrier which in some respects it is in J. Delta keeps descending w/catering, on board drink selection, perhaps that’s why they posted record profits.

  7. I rarely drink it (white or red) due to the poor taste. The international is tolerable at best. I am sure this is working perfectly for them and the bottom line. Make it so bad we only go through a few bottles of $4.00 wine per flight because so few will drink it.

  8. Red wine is my drink of choice but I find it so bad in coach that I prefer not to order anything. It seems they could make a better tasting wine available at a low price point with a little effort.

  9. I fly at least 12 flights a year on paid international Delta One. I gave up eating or drinking anything. I usually eat before leaving my home or at the lounge in Europe (food at Virgin lounge in London is really good) and don’t bother on the plane. San Pelegrino sparkling water does the trick for me. Not to give any credits to Delta but all Us airlines are extremely frugal on everything they serve.

  10. really dislike the CRJ white wine selection and not a big fan or Prosecco! On a recent JFK-DUB i passed on the P//sparkling to wait for the real Champagne to find that they ran out asap!!!

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