Humans of Helsinki Airport: Kaisa Kallio
Kaisa Kallio serves fine wines and champagnes at Helsinki Airport’s Wine & View, which was chosen as airport wine bar of the year in 2016.
”I’m the shift manager at the airport’s Wine & View bar, working behind the counter with customers as well as drafting our by-the-glass wine lists. We usually serve around five options of champagnes, sparkling wines as well as white and red wines by-the-glass. We try to renew the list regularly to bring fresh tastes for our frequent flyer customers, and offer a broad selection of wines from different regions and grape varieties.
"We try to renew the list regularly to bring fresh tastes for our frequent flyer customers, and offer a broad selection of wines from different regions and grape varieties."
We get to serve dozens of different nationalities daily, so I’ve learned a lot about how wine tastes vary between regions. Finns tend to enjoy Rieslings as well as Chilean and Argentinian wines, while Americans are fond of oaky flavors in white wine, such as Chardonnays, and also Pinot Noirs in red. Australians, Italians and French usually look for grape varieties that are typical to their country’s vineyards, and the Japanese I find to be champagne lovers. One of the most popular wines at Wine & View is a Lebanese red called Château Musar, which is fairly rarely found in restaurants by the glass. My own top choice, however, would definitely be one of our blanc de blanc champagnes.
There’s always more to learn about wines, and I keep my skills updated by reading professional literature and attending tastings. We have some true connoisseurs in our regular clientele, especially when it comes to business travelers. On the other hand, a lot of holiday travelers like to start their trip with a glass of sparkling at Wine & View. I enjoy the cheery mood they bring in – it can be quite contagious.
"There’s always more to learn about wines."
Every day at the airport is like the most hectic day of the year in a restaurant: it’s always busy and interesting. Still, I feel that our bar is a sort of safe oasis in the middle of the hectic airport. It’s a place where travelers can come and relax, enjoy a glass of wine and have a moment for themselves before the flight. I think it’s the best way to start any trip – I myself tend to stop by for a glass each time I’m flying out.”