Wine Flight: Everything You Need To Know

best wine flight ideas

Quick Answer: What is a wine flight? A wine flight, simply put, is a group of wine served together in small glasses so that you can taste and compare them. Wine tastings are no longer just at wineries- now bars, restaurants, and special events offer wine flights. And they are also becoming increasingly popular to do at home, on your own!

Wine flights are becoming very popular as more and more people become interested in wine and want to learn about the different varietals. Also they are a great way to discover new wines that you might not have tried before.

In this blog post, we will discuss the 10 best wine flights, as well as some FAQs about wine flights. And we hope that after reading this post, you will be inspired to try a wine flight at your favorite restaurant or wine bar or at home!

Table of Contents

What is a Wine Flight?

wine flight at winery

Wine flights, which are also called tasting flights sometimes, include multiple tastings of different wines. Usually, they are intended for those who want to enjoy and experience many different wines without having to drink an entire glass. And it’s also typically used to understand a specific region, vintage, terroir, or varietal better.

They are a great way to compare and contrast different wines side-by-side. Therefore, it can also be a great way to discover new wines that you might not have tried before.

Some wine flights will feature wines from a single region or winery, while others may be more diverse and feature wines from all over the world.

How Many Glasses are in a Wine Flight?

Most wine flights will include four (4) to six (6) glasses of wine, but this can vary depending on the size of the pour and the number of wines being tasted.

A normal/typical wine tasting pour will be approximately 2 ounces, but I have experienced tasting flights pour up to 4 oz to 5 oz per glass. Depending on the number of wines in the flight, the typical 2 oz pour would translate to 1.5 – 2.5 regular glasses of wine in a flight.

And wine flights are typically served with a small plate of cheese or other light snacks to cleanse the palate in between tastings. 

Why is it Called a Wine Flight?

The term “wine flight” is simply a group of wines. Basically, it is the wine world’s equivalent of a beer flight, which is a selection of small pours of different beers.

  • For wineries, a wine flight is a tasting of a selection of their different wines. Often referred to as wine tastings
  • For restaurants, a wine flight could be a wine pairing with each course or a wine flight on its own.
  • For wine bars, a wine flight could be different selection of wines from the restaurant.

What are the Types of Wine Flights?

  1. Vertical flight – A wine tasting of different vintages of the same wine. For example, a wine flight featuring three different years of Cabernet Sauvignon from the same winery.
  2. Horizontal flight – A wine tasting of different wines from the same vintage. For example, a wine flight featuring three different Cabernet Sauvignon wines from three different wineries.

10 Best Wine Flights

wine tasting event a few bottles

1) Old World vs New World: Classic Tasting

  • Old World wine regions such as France, Italy, and Spain
  • New World wine regions such as Australia, Chile, and California.

For this wine flight, you could choose three (3) wines from an Old World region and three (3) wines from a New World region. Make sure each pairing of wines is the same varietal. For example, you could choose a Chardonnay from France and a Chardonnay from California.

And this is a perfect way to taste the difference in wine making styles and terroir between the Old World wines and the New World wines.

2) Chardonnay: Love or Hate?

chablis vs chardonnay comparison (1)
  • Oaked California Chardonnay
  • Chablis

This wine flight is a great way to compare and contrast two different styles of Chardonnay. Because Chablis is a wine region in France that produces 100% Chardonnay wines. And the climate in this wine region is cool, which produces wines with high acidity and minerality. Therefore, Chablis is typically an unoaked Chardonnay.

In contrast, Oaked California Chardonnay is a wine made from the Chardonnay grape that is grown in warm climate regions of California. Typically, these wines are aged in oak barrels and have a higher alcohol content. And the oak ageing gives these wines vanilla flavors and a buttery texture.

And this wine flight will help you taste the difference in these two styles of Chardonnay.

3) Brunello vs Barolo: Who is the King of Wines?

Brunello vs Barolo

Brunello di Montalcino and Barolo are two of the most prestigious wines in Italy. And the main difference between these two wines is that Brunello di Montalcino is produced with Sangiovese grapes from the Tuscany wine region, while Barolo is produced with Nebbiolo grapes from the Piedmont wine region. With the climate and soil in these two wine regions producing wines with slightly different yet similar flavors and aromas.

This wine flight will be a fun way to taste the difference between these two iconic Italian wines.

4) Sauvignon Blanc: Which One Is Best?

Sauvignon Blanc is a wine grape that is grown in many different wine regions around the world. Again, the climate and soil in each of these wine regions produce wines with similar yet very different flavors and aromas.

And this wine flight will help you taste the difference between these three (3) popular Sauvignon Blanc wines to figure out which you like best! Or if you like them all! 

5) Bordeaux vs Napa Valley: Two of the Most Famous Wine Regions

  • Left Bank & Right Bank Bordeaux
  • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon & Napa Valley Merlot

Bordeaux is known as one of, if not, the most famous wine regions in the world. This wine region in France is divided into two sub-regions: Left Bank and Right Bank. And the Left Bank is known for producing wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes while the Right Bank is known for producing wines made with Merlot grapes.

The beautiful Napa Valley in California is one of the world’s finest New World wine regions, known for producing excellent New World red wines such as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

This wine flight is an amazing way to taste the difference between these two premium wine regions and figure out which style of wine you prefer or if you just love both!

6) Pinot Noir: Warm vs Cool Regions

  • Burgundy, Willamette Valley, Sonoma Coast
  • Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Sta Rita Hills, Australia

Pinot Noir is a known as the fickle wine grape that is grown in many different wine regions around the world. Although it can only grow in certain areas of world, its a great wine to show how climate can affect the wines taste and flavor.

Pinot noir wines from cooler climates are lighter body with tart fruit flavors and more earthier notes while Pinot Noirs produced in warmer areas are fuller body with fruity fruit flavors and a higher alcohol content.

7) Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio: Same Grape, Same Taste?

  • Alsace, France
  • Italy

Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are two different styles of wine made from the same wine grape. Pinot Gris originates from Alsace, France and is usually a fuller bodied wine with richer fruit flavors. In contrast, Pinot Grigio originates from Italy and is typically a lighter bodied wine with zesty citrus flavors.

This wine flight is a fantastic method see if you can taste the difference in these two styles of wines made from the same grape!

8) Cabernet Sauvignon vs Merlot: Is Merlot Underrated?

  • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon vs Napa Valley Merlot
  • Left Bank Cabernet Sauvignon vs Right Bank Merlot

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are two of the most popular wine grapes in the world. They are often blended together or created on its own.

Merlot, despite being the most popular red wine, receives little attention. Is Merlot not deserving of its own headlines? Did Merlot become the most underappreciated red wine after “Sideways” (movie)? Are Merlots consistently behind Cabernet in terms of flavor and quality?

After this wine flight, you can come to your our conclusion.

9) Sparkling Wines: Which One Do You Like?

sparkling wine champagne vs prosecco

There are many different styles of sparkling wine from all over the world, each with their own unique flavor profile. This wine flight is a great way to taste the difference between these three (3) popular styles of sparkling wine from different countries, regions, winemaking methods, and grapes: Champagne, Prosecco, and Cava.

10) Port Wine: What Does Aging Do?

port wine flight aged wine
  • 10 Year Tawny
  • 20 Year Tawny
  • 30 Year Tawny
  • 40 Year Tawny

Port wine is a fortified wine that is made in the Douro Valley of Portugal. And with Port wine, the effect of aging is very evident with appearance, taste, and aromas.

FAQs

What is a flight of wine?

A wine flight is a selection of wine served together so you can compare and contrast the flavors, aromas, and body of each wine.

What is the difference between a wine flight and a wine tasting?

Both “wine flights” and “wine tastings” are effectively the same thing. More often than not, I’ve seen the term “wine flight” used in restaurants and bars when trying a selection of wines. That being said, at wineries it is more common to refer to it as a “wine tasting”. Even still, both terms are regularly used interchangeably regardless of location.

And I’ve even seen both added together to create the term “wine tasting flights”. 

Why are flights called wine?

Flights are just a collection or a group of something. So a wine flight would be a group of wines.

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