Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Napa Valley Wine Train, California

The days of the Napa Valley as a cheap date are long over. Currently, the wine tastings for a fee can be done anywhere. So that leaves food and touring around the valley. The way to combine the two is the Napa Wine Train.

It is a short four hour train trip from Napa to St. Helena. The options range from a $49.50 for just the train fare to $124 for a four course lunch in the Vista Dome car. There are also wine tours and lunch as a couple of wineries that are listed on their web site.

Wine tasting can also be done on the train for $10 for a flight of four tastings.

We chose the four course lunch in the Vista Dome car. The service was outstanding. The food rated a 4 out of 5. Very good, but not perfect. The lamb chop was slightly overdone. The Hors d'Oeuvre and First Course were actually better than the main course. Desert and coffee was wonderful.

One tip, ordering a bottle of wine with lunch is easy. Just order the house wine. For us the red was outstanding value. Think about it. It is a wine train. Would they serve a bad house wine??

The wine tasting car was fun and worth the $10. There is usually only a small group so you get to learn a lot about local wineries and wines.

A fun trip. The early part leaving Napa is not very scenic, but it soon changes as you head into the upper valley. If you decide on a dinner trip you might want to check sunset times since you might not be able to check out the scenery after dark.

Well, as we said the Napa Valley is expensive. If your are just getting started in wines you are probably better off visiting other wine regions in the country. Less hustle and bustle and you will probably learn more and have a better time. Sooner or later you will visit the Napa Valley if you remain interested in wine.

Sorry for the lack of pictures from and inside the train. We forgot to replace the SD card in the camera after posting the blog the previous night!!

Tomorrow we will close out Napa with looking at the local campgrounds, place to eat, and secrets to navigating the valley during those busy times of the year.

In the meantime here is the link for the wine train:

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