Despite airport food and beverage being infamous for its overpriced, usually quite boring, and at times even inedible inedible, Executive Traveller discovers a few wine bars which are worth mentioning.
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
A few steps away from the security area and in the heart of the mall an offshoot of Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese shop stands proud. Along with some great wines, this little joint offers some scrumptious gourmet picks as well as wine pairings on the menu.
Quick Tip: If you are around just in time for brunch, make sure that you don’t miss the Huevos Wrap, and of course, a glass of Malbec wine.
Palm Springs International Airport (PSC)
Serving mostly California wines in an outdoor courtyard setting, California Vintages – located just past security – has been a fresh alternative. They do serve a few wines from other climates as well, including a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
Quick Tip: Locavore twists are healthy sandwiches crafted using fresh and local ingredients
Bubbles Wine Bar
Terminal 3 near gate H4 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and at Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Featuring tunes from a baby-grand piano, a colour palette of black, white and blue, Bubble’s Wine Bar is more like a chill jazz club than a food & drink joint. The menu boasts of a mix of high-end wines including Niente Winery Chardonnay as well as value wines.
Quick Tip: Try the shrimp cocktail too.
Vintage Washington Wine Bar
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Situated in the main terminal before security, Vintage Washington Wine Bar pours wines like Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14 Hands Winery, Columbia Crest, and Hogue Cellars, and serves seafood dishes like Dungeness crab Louie and shrimp.
Quick Tip: Riesling being the hottest wine in Washington right now, there are two on the wine list to definitely try: Townshend and Waterbrook.
Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT,) and Miami International Airport (MIA)
Loosely translated as “beautiful wine” in French, Beaudevin offers 30 selections ranging from cult winery Caymus Vineyards in Napa Valley to more budget-friendly varieties. It also serves a full food menu including starters like ceviche and a cheese-plate as well as larger portions.
Quick Tip: The leaf motifs printed next to each wine on the menu give an idea of the wine’s level of intensity.
One Flew South
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL)
Serving five sparkling wines by the glass, including Heidsieck & Co. “Monopole” Champagne from France and Gruet from New Mexico, the list of 30 odd offerings in One Flew South also includes the cult-classic Kung Fu Girl Riesling and Super Tuscan.
Quick Tip: Six dessert wines—from Austria, Spain, and Portugal—are a nice treat for those wanting sweeter wines.
Le Grand Comptoir
George Bush International Airport, Houston (IAH) and Newark International Airport (EWR)
Three size pours and fifty wines by the glass can please pretty much any palate. Le Grand Comptoir offers a wine list of over 100 wines, categorised by type rather than regions or varietals.
Quick Tip: Try blue-cheese chips or baked camembert with caramelized red-onion chutney.
Vino Volo Wine Bar
15 airports including Boston Logan International Airport, Detroit International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, SeaTac, and Dulles International Airport
In Italian, “vino volo” means “wine flight”, and the Vino Volo Wine Bar offers an upscale wine-bar experience as well as boutique wine shop with a food menu too; which is hardly unexpected, since the person behind the Vino Volo concept is the founder of Ravenswood Winery. The menu provides suggested matches with white, red and dessert wines.
Quick Tip: The “Sommelier Series” flight of winesspotlights two exceptional wines.