Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wining and Training

We may have been cavorting around lesser stations of San Francisco until rather late last night but today we’ve got revel in more gourmet food, wine and then just in case we aren’t feeling lavished enough we have a rather fabulous Champagne tasting. What more could a diva desire?

The first part of our day starts with wine tasting in the Napa Valley Wine Train station where we could stocks up on all things grape-related if we weren’t anxious about excess baggage but M does find a rather fetching hat. It is the sort of perfect Californian day for wearing a big brimmed hat yesterday’s fog is left behind in San Francisco, I am happy to oblige and M can now join me in the shade.

The curious thing about our journey on the Napa Valley Wine Train is that we get off one luxurious train and then board another. Many of the other passengers have however arrived by car so the novelty of dining on a train is more apparent; however I am not the slightest bit jaded by all this magnificence and am looking forward to what delights we have for lunch.

As our suitably burgundy wine coloured train carriage named ‘Chardonnay’ starts snaking its way through the golden slightly Provençal style scenery we started on our intriguing plate of Cold Summery Canapés.

Next we enjoy the Soup du Jour, which rather fortuitously turns out to be a tasty Lobster Bisque with not an excessive use of tomato.

For the main course we have a choice of: Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Cheese & Cabernet Red Onion Marmalade in a Red Wine Shiitake Mushroom Sauce ~or~ Roasted Green Peppercorn Encrusted Pork with Sautéed Chard and Fried Plantain in Pork Cabernet with Cranberry Apple Chutney ~or~ Grilled Chicken Breast with a Orange Carrot Baby Corn Sautee on Grilled Bread ~or~ Grilled Salmon Served over Pappardelle Pasta and Sautéed Spinach In Champagne Ginger Cream with Crayfish Cake ~or~ Spinach and Eggplant Wellington with Yam Stuffed Gypsy Peppers. M and I continue the fishy theme and chose the Grilled Salmon Served over Pappardelle Pasta and Sautéed Spinach in Champagne Ginger Cream with Crayfish Cake. The salmon is lovely, not quite to the heady standards on ‘our’ train but we have being truly spoilt at every meal so other restaurants have a lot to live up to.

But you cannot beat the scenery, the train carriage have arched vestibules that beautifully frame the stunning little vineyard vignettes appearing alongside our train.

I didn’t realise how soothing these endless neat rows of vines are as we sweep majestically across the plains enjoying our Crème Brulée and Chocolate Cake with Toffee Sauce in the mahogany panelled lounge car accompanied with a little choice honeyed dessert wine.

After our relaxed meal we have to disembark from the wine train and start more wine tasting, but this time with bubbles!

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