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GrapeRadio on American Airlines

American Airlines is launching a new channel dedicated to wine on its in-flight programming, run by internet podcaster GrapeRadio.

Frederick Paniotis of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Margrit Mondavi, Gaia Gaja of iconic Piedmont producer Gaja will feature in the first programmes, along with information on wine buying, tasting, varietal preferences and restaurant etiquette.

This is the first such wine-specific programming on any US airline, according to GrapeRadio, which has been broadcasting on the internet since early 2005. It has some 20,000 listeners currently nationwide.

Producer Jay Selman told decanter.com he would like to coordinate programming with airline wine lists.

‘Imagine being able to not only coordinate with the wines served onboard but also the food,’ he said. ‘I am absolutely convinced that this type of content could be perceived as a motivation for the passenger to select a carrier. Passengers want more than transportation.’

Podcasting is a hot trend in the US. In its April 2005 report, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that over 22m people (11% of the population) owned an iPod or other MP3 player.

Of those, 29% (6m people) had downloaded and listened to podcasts.

Written by Panos Kakaviatos

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