SAUSALITO, CA, August 08, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Traditionally, finding a nice glass of wine at an airport was as challenging as finding a spare outlet for your dying laptop. But savvy, nationwide airport concessionaires like HMS Host, Delaware North, and SSP along with emerging brands like Vino Volo and Beaudevin are responding to a growing demand for better wines from travelers with increasingly sophisticated palettes. Changes in taste and advances in wine technology are helping to put a little luxury back into air travel, at least when it comes to indulgences like a perfect glass of wine.
Part of what's driving the trend is advances in wine preservation and temperature controlled environments that allow wine to be served for longer periods while still maintaining the taste that the maker intended. Airport wine bars and restaurants are beginning to serve finer vintages and more unusual varietals by the glass in sumptuous surroundings that make layovers a little less tiresome.
"In the past, airport venues shied away from serving desirable wines by the glass. Today, wine preservation systems keep wine fresher for longer periods so operators are able to let their customers experience a wider array of fine wines by the glass without the costly risk of spoilage," said Jayne Portnoy, Vice President of Marketing and Brand Strategy at Napa Technology, a Silicon Valley manufacturer of the WineStation intelligent preservation and dispensing system. Portnoy adds, "When you're logging miles for work or starting your vacation, finding that perfect glass of wine in an airport dramatically improves the experience."
Exceptional wines are just part of the experience at wine bars and restaurants that are more frequently popping up in newly renovated terminals such as LaGuardia Airport in New York. With updated decor, celebrity chef driven food offerings, fine wines and upscale service, airport operators are returning air travel to its glamorous roots - even if you're stuck in coach.
This new generation of airport wine bars and eateries often serves perfectly paired small plates of exotic menu items such as chickpea and chorizo chili or brie and prosciutto sandwiches on freshly baked artisan bread. Marble countertops, rare woods and luxurious furnishings typify the look of these venues and provide an appealing alternative to waiting areas normally associated with air travel.
Below is a list of eight great airport bars in the U.S. that best exemplify this trend.
1. Bubbles Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), Terminal 3
Listen to the grand piano while enjoying sparkling wines like Cavit Lunetta Prosecco and Domaine Chandon Brut with a charcuterie plate in this quiet spot away from the main concourse.
2. Shula's Bar & Grill Tampa International Airport (TPA), Airside C
Shula's famed steakhouse has created a new concept just for airports. You'll find the same commitment to quality meals and the same carefully chosen wine list found at Shula's traditional locations.
3. Beaudevin Miami International Airport (MIA), Concourse D
Serving wines like Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Ranches Chardonnay and old world reds like Chateau Pey La Tour Bordeaux, this bar also gets high marks for its inventive tartines like turkey berry with goat cheese, and other seasonal items
4. Vino Volo San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Terminal 2, Boarding Area D
Serving wines by the glass like Silver Oak Cabernet, it's also a great place to pick up a bottle to go. The Marcona almonds roasted with rosemary make the perfect compliment to whatever you're drinking.
5. Le Grand Comptoir Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Terminal C
Try the Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel from Napa or the Simmonet-Febvre Chardonnay from France and don't miss the superb menu with classic items like baked Camembert and croque-monsieur.
6. Lounge 5280 Denver International Airport (DEN), B Concourse, Mezzanine
This quiet bar, located on the mezzanine level above the hustle and bustle of the airport, serves familiar wines by the glass like Jordan Cabernet from Napa and regional vintages like Sutcliffe Merlot from McElmo Canyon, Colorado. The top selling dish is the three-cheese platter with triple cream Brie, Manchego and Dolcelatte.
7. Surdyk's Flights Wine Market & Bar Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport (MSP), Terminal 1
This bar specializes in wine tasting flights like the aptly named "festive whites" that includes Silver Beach Sauvignon Blanc, Di Lenardo Pino Grigio and Dutour "La Roche" Pouilly-Fuisse. In case you need a hostess gift, this is a great place to pick up a bottle of wine to take with you (the bar is past the security gate so you can take it onboard).
8. Lorena Garcia Tapas Bar Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Located on the mezzanine level of Concourse F, everything on the extraordinary tapas menu from this renowned chef is prepared fresh to order in the on-premise kitchen for travelers in a hurry. The Telemundo star also has a wine in her name under the Baywood Cellars label.
Look for fine wine bars and five star dining options to expand to more airports across the country. As restaurants continue to embrace preservation methods such as the WineStation, a wine found at an airport will be as perfect as the winemaker intended it.
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