Upgraded airplane wine & the libraries of NYC
For Labor Day weekend we headed to New York to see an exhibit on James Joyce at The Morgan Library, see the NY Public Library 150th anniversary Treasures exhibit (amazing), and catch Moulin Rouge on Broadway. It’s generally hard to get any where without a connection when flying in/out of Bentonville, but there is a non-stop to LaGuardia.
Delta Air Lines has raised the bar (no pun intended) with the wine selection, at least back in Comfort+. It’s about time! I was totally unprepared for decent wine on the plane, so I was also totally unprepared to write anything. I used the napkins and while writing ideas on napkins seems very “Mad Men,” in reality I’m struggling to read my handwriting.
Une Femme, The Betty (California sparkling wine, NV)
Free (in Comfort+)
First I had a sparkler and I was very surprised when it arrived in a can1 (← see footnote if you’re curious about the can). Une Femme is “made by women winemakers” and supports charity. I can easily get behind both of these things. (It was pretty nifty that we had a female pilot on this flight as well.)
Per the web site, this wine is by Samantha Sheehan of POE Wines in Napa. A percentage of the wine sales go to Dress for Success.
I love a nice dry sparkler, and I love it when they are “yeasty.” This one was yeastier than I expected. I didn’t get a lot of citrus, although the can told me I should. That’s marketing for you - ever hopeful. The wine is very light, including the amount of fizz on my tongue. The Betty had more structure than I expected too, and was nice and dry, not sweet.
I would have no problem buying this wine for use in a mimosa - in fact, I think it’s the perfect Mimosa wine! It’s so light, it would also drink well on a patio, at an outdoor concert, or a picnic. Basically, anywhere you might want a bottle of something but it’s also 90 degrees out and you don’t want the hassle of a glass bottle.
On it’s own:
In a mimosa of any flavor:
Would I buy it again? Only on a plane or for mimosas (← not a bad thing).
Imagery Estates NV Chardonnay (blended with Chenin Blanc)
Free (in Comfort+)
I remember, 20ish years ago, I visited Imagery Estates. They are owned by the Benziger Family Winery, which is a fully sustainable farm in Sonoma. Imagery is just across the street. Imagery also has a female winemaker, Jamie Benziger, who was named Best Winemaker at the International Women’s Wine Competition in 2019.
I have loved Chenin Blanc since we visited South Africa in 2018. I also like anything that can lessen the heaviness that shows in so many chardonnays. Once again, I was surprised by the wine in a can. Now, it’s not super balanced - the structure felt more like a wiggly ladder than a new aluminum one. That said, there wasn’t a lot of oak in this. I’m not 100% on this, but I think it was aged in oak anyway, although on tasting I wondered if it had been in stainless steel. The wine had a strange sort of slight fizziness that I’m attributing to being in a can at 36,000 feet. I liked the citrus in this though - overall, it was refreshing and not too heavy or alcoholic.
Would I buy it again? Only on a plane.
Books! And New York City!
I’d give this city my highest ratings or more at any time of the year, even when it’s freezing. I love to visit. If you get the chance, visit The Morgan Library. On this trip, we were specifically there for the James Joyce: 100 Years of Ulysses exhibit (ended 10/2) and the exhibit on building the library. There’s an upcoming (2023) exhibit I’m watching for on Belle Greene, the first librarian there with quite an interesting story, and the women librarians at the Morgan throughout the years. (See The Personal Librarian below.)
Additionally, get yourself to the City to see the New York Public Library’s 150th Anniversary Treasures exhibit of the most amazing things from their vaults! Like what? Oh, Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Declaration of Independence with some surprising notations, first edition printings of ... well, all kinds of things, including Candide and Alice in Wonderland, a letter from Lewis Carroll to Alice Liddell, Bob Dylan’s lyric notations for “Changing of the Guard,” Charles Dickens’s writing desk, a very unique Matisse, and so much more.
Go forth! Go visit! It’s free! Be careful of the gift shop - it’s an expensive place when you’re a book nerd.
Related historical fiction:
The Personal Librarian: This is about Belle Greene, and inspired me to seek out The Morgan Library for myself. I really enjoyed this book and I own this one in both eBook in hardback. Without a doubt, I’ll read it again.
The Lions of 5th Avenue: I enjoyed this, but I’d rate it at our purple level. I loved getting a peek behind the books, at the apartments in that famous NYPL 5th Avenue building. It sent me down a rabbit hole to find out about the apartments that used in exist in the entire NYPL system! I would love to live in a library.
Thanks for reading!
*Any linked books are through my affiliate link at Bookshop.org. Shop independent!
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Delta Air Lines has moved to canned wines in Comfort+ and Economy in an effort to reduce their use of plastic. (Yes, the cups are still plastic.) Moving to canned wines will reduce Delta’s annual plastic use by as much as 250,000 pounds. I’m pretty open to sustainable packaging, from cans to cartons to boxes. I appreciate the effort.