It’s all about the environmental conditions at 35,000 feet, and how it affects your body.
According to Andy Sparrow of Bibendum, “the most important condition of all is the humidity.”
“The low humidity on an aircraft dries out our mouth and nasal passages, so our taste buds don’t work properly," he explains.
“It takes a little while, of course. Next time you’re on a long flight try the wine at the start of the journey and then taste it again at the end - I guarantee you’ll notice a difference. But it’s not the wine that’s changing, it’s you.”
The key to good in-flight wine is balance, Sparrow told the Telegraph.
The ones that taste best? Fruit-driven wines.
"A fleshy, ripe red, with lots of dark fruit, a ripe tannic structure and low acidity is perfect,” he says.
“Conversely, some Muscadet wines, though not all, won’t work so well, because they tend to have an assertive, zesty, mineral character, which comes out too raw [when served on a plane]. Traditional Barolo isn’t ideal, either – too leathery and lean, with sharp stalky tannins. You don’t want any aggressive flavours.”
The good news is that champagne retains its flavour mid-flight, although the fizz is slightly reduced.
All the better reason to drink it quickly (but responsibly).