- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Aside from such Killer Films productions as Vox Lux and Colette, Christine Vachon is also known for the snark she sheds on Twitter while reviewing the (often underwhelming) refreshments in airport lounges.
“A couple of years ago, just for fun, I started tweeting specifically about all of these wines I was encountering,” recalls Vachon, 56. “I really like good wine and I was surprised by how terrible it was in lounges and in airplanes.” So she put on blast the “shitty” chardonnay in Seoul’s Asiana lounge and the overly sweet pinot gris at LAX. These weren’t positioned as earth-shattering observations, but what started out as a playful way to pass the time coagulated into an amusing side-project.
When it comes to viticulture, she’s never claims to offer expert counsel. “My background in wine is that I’ve been drinking it for 50 years,” she jokes. But that makes her more than qualified to know what she likes (Miraval rosé and early-morning Bloody Marys with funky garnishes).
Earlier this winter, an upcoming project had the producer making weekly visits to Cincinnati. She was filming a still-untitled legal drama about the DuPont Chemical Company starring Tim Robbins, Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway. “I started to worry that my followers were going to get bored of all the same [Cincinnati airport lounge] tweets.” That didn’t happen, of course, as Vachon found ways to keep her critiques fresher than the questionably colored cheese assortment that made a cameo. “Now I’m moving on to other places where it will be a whole new world of lounges,” she says. “You can tell a lot about a country from the lounge.”
In her travels, Vachon confesses to an unyielding adaptability. “I can find pleasure anywhere,” she says, refusing to single out any particular airport or lounge as her favorite. Here she rates the top five airport wines she’s found around the world.
1. Miraval Rosé 2018
Vachon’s top choice as an alternative to “the curse of the shitty chardonnay — big, syrupy, chemical and artificial-tasting stuff, no matter what lounge or what class you’re sitting in on the airplane,” she says. This delicate and floral offering from the South of France resides at most Delta airport lounges, including LaGuardia’s. “I fly Delta a lot,” she says. “I fly the airline of whoever’s paying.”
2. Fleurs de Prairie Rosé 2017
“Light and a tad acidic, but delicious,” says Vachon, who pairs it with soft-boiled egg halves at the United lounge in Terminal 7 of LAX.
3. Viña Santico Sauvignon Blanc 2016
On offer at the Asiana lounge at Incheon Airport in Seoul, South Korea. This one is a great chilled sipper, with hints of green apple and lemon peel. Crisp and complementary (even better).
4. Villa Sandi Cuvée Pinot Bianco
The Montale Lounge at Malpensa airport in Milan is open to OneWorld (American Airlines) fliers and provides an enviable array of Northern Italian specialities. Vachon is fond of their “huge assortment of teeny sandwiches,” and the fact that they keep zero chardonnay there. “The Pinot Blanc is nice and light and dry — a perfect lounge wine,” she tweeted. “There is also a heavier Piemonte white.”
5. 2018 Lorenza Rosé California
The American Flagship Lounge at JFK stocks a white Côtes du Rhône and the Lorenza rosé out of St. Helena, California; both get a thumbs-up from the producer. “I don’t usually love Cali rosé,” says Vachon, “but this is surprisingly dry and a little acidic. I like that.” The outpost has another plus: “Smoked almonds, truly the madeleine of airline travel.”
A version of this story first appeared in the April 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day