The Napa Valley is a beautiful scene of one rolling vineyard after the other. With over 500 vineyards it is hard to decide which wineries to enjoy and no matter how hard I could try, I certainly could not taste and see them all. This is where the Napa Valley Wine Train comes into play.
With the sun shining and my hands without a full wine glass, I simply had to join the Napa Valley Wine Train to enjoy a beautiful four course lunch aboard the 20th century antique train. This train evokes the luxury of rail travel from the early 1900’s along a 25 mile (40kms) train track, and is all set against a beautiful backdrop of wineries and vineyards. One suggestion is not to drive. Catch a cab, Uber or Lyft because your day will be so incredibly scrumptious it won’t be safe to drive afterwards!!
I arrived at the Napa Valley Wine Train nice and early to enjoy a pre train wine, because when in Napa drink wine, and it was a little taster of the beautiful wine that was to come. Now there are a number of lunch, dinner and special occasion dining journeys to enjoy on the Napa Wine Train and I chose the Gourmet Express Lunch. After entering the lavishly restored vintage rail car, I took a seat in a lounge car with window facing lounges ready for a wine and to watch the vineyards roll on by.
With a buttery local chardonnay to start the trip off I browsed the rest of the wine menu to discover a selection of “flights” available. I chose the Sweet Wine Flight as I have a sweeter palette, but the other flights available included a White Wine Flight, a Red Wine Flight or a Napa Wine Flight. With my wine gradually increasing in boldness and flavour over my 4 course wine flight it was perfect to match with the views which seemed to be increasing in beauty as the train rolled along.
After an hour of enjoying these incredible views, my beautiful local wines and an appetiser we moved into the dining car to enjoy the rest of the journey. For my first course I enjoyed the most flavoursome cauliflower soup du jour I have ever consumed with crusty fresh bread to compliment.
For the entree course I chose the Pan Seared Potato Gnocchi with roasted fennel, saffron, fave beans and plum tomato. For those who follow my blogs you will know that I was supposed to be born Italian as my love for Italian food, especially gnocchi is inconceivable. In my time I have eaten a number of gnocchi dishes, and this one was so fresh, flavourful and delicious it was up there with one of my favourites! As I savoured my gnocchi the view was equally as beautiful as we pass wineries up in the St. Helena and Rutherford counties.
Like all good things my three hour scenic lunch aboard an exquisitely maintained vintage railcar must come to an end after an incredible dessert and the most delicious wines I have had. What an incredible day and the perfect way to see all Napa has to offer. For anyone looking for further information on the dining journeys the Napa Wine Train has to offer head over to their website http://winetrain.com. I could not recommend this experience enough as you are able to see the wineries and taste an incredible array of local wines all with in a beautiful 20th century railcar. What more could you ask for!?
Safe Travels Wanderers