THESE days, what we eat and drink 30,000 feet up in the skies is a big deal. Just look at how the top airlines are flaunting their consultant panels.
Singapore Airlines has a star-studded culinary panel which includes chefs like Gordon Ramsay from Britain and Matt Moran from Australia.
Its wine consultant panel, though, is really the best around. There's the iconic Steven Spurrier from Britain, Michael Hill Smith MW from Australia (who also owns Shaw and Smith winery), and lately, Karen MacNeil (a wine consultant and author with a very sharp palate) from the United States.
For someone who tends to park herself in economy rather than business class, I've always wondered if wines taste all that different when you're up in the air.
Is this a consideration the wine consultants bear in mind when selecting their wines? After all, we know that food tastes different when you're in a plane.
The answers I've received have been mixed, although most will agree the difference is minimal.
So when owner of the local Denise wine shop chain David Lim told me that Heartland Shiraz 2005 - one of the new wines he represents - has been selected to be on the wine list for Singapore Airlines' business class, I swung over for a drink at his Balmoral outlet.
The pillar of Heartland Shiraz is Ben Glaetzer, one of Australia's superstar winemakers who won the Qantas Young Winemaker Of The Year award in 2004.
He's perhaps more known for his work in the family winery, Glaetzer, where he and his father work together to produce the super premium Barossa Valley Shiraz, Amon-Ra, fashioned in a classical style.
Heartland, on the other hand, is what he makes for the masses, as is apparent by its 56,000-bottle production and friendly pricing.
All grapes that go into the wine are still sourced from South Australia, mainly from Limestone Coast and Langhorne Creek.
It's also here where Glaetzer has broadened his winemaking skills - he's included rather avant-garde blends such as Viognier Pinot Gris and Dolcetto Lagrein in this portfolio.
Heartland Shiraz, however, will only be available on Singapore Airlines from July onwards. Meanwhile, to satiate your curiosity, just grab a bottle at any of the Denise wine shops.
A fruit bomb - a must for those who love intense, juicy wines. Cassis, blackcurrants, raspberries, with a layer of spiciness and a hint of mint. Glycerin-like texture. An easy pleaser.
Perfect for grills and barbecues.
All 12 Denise wine shops islandwide. For locations, visit www.denisewine.com.sg or call 1800-8888-333