Wine+Food on the Napa Wine Train

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Ninety days ago I moved to Napa Valley from Boulder, Colorado and have to say it's been a blur.  There is so much good food and wine around this place, coupled with the fact I just watched Bottle Shock recently which leads me to believe I now live in one of the greatest places on Earth.  We have so much good wine here in the Napa and surrounding areas like Sonoma, Healdsburg and Lake County among others that are driving distance from where I live.  Add in Central Coast, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles and others—yessiree, California is an incredible wine producing part of the world.  A weekend drive to just about any wine region will be ripe with unexpected surprises both from the vine and locally picked food fare.



Of all the delectable offerings from Napa, one stands out as a true five-star experience—the Napa Wine Train. My wife and I had the privilege of enjoying an evening in the Vista Dome car recently.  It's not just the enjoyment of stellar Napa wines or the tantalizing offering from Chef McDonald.  It's complimented by the unique feeling of going back in time to a simpler moment in history where things were simple.  Once you get on the Napa Wine Train, you feel like you're transported through time to the 1940's.  Around each corner you expect to see characters like Humphrey Bogart smoking a cigarette wearing a suit and Fedora.

Just being on the train is a break from reality and worth the price of admission.  But then they start bringing you the wine and food...that's when you  thank yourself for taking the time to visit Napa Valley in the first place.  IMG_1604

Napa Wine Train

Our first course of the evening was a choice of Grilled Shrimp with Scallop Ceviche in a Lobster Jus OR Seared Fie Gras Au Poivre Served on Raisin Toast with Cognac Creme.  I went for the Grilled Shrimp and it was delightful.  We paired St. Supéry Sauvignon Blanc which was an ideal combination.

Next course was Soup du Jour - in this case a home-grown tomato bisque with tomatoes sourced from the Napa Wine Train organic tomato patch.  The soup was an ideal mix of tomato, cream, spice and a kiss of cognac.  Yum!

Next — Intermezzo! A delicate trio of the Napa Wine Train sorbet's.

Then, onto the main course.  I opted for the Roasted Beef Tenderloin wrapped in bacon.  Why? Because te chef added bacon to the menu just for me.  Sweet!  Freaking bacon!  Not only bacon, but bacon wrapped around some beef tenderloin.  He could have wrapped bacon around road kill-I would have loved it.  With this preparation, however, it was Beef Tenderloin wrapped with bacon with shallots, roasted garlic in a Chimichurri Sauce.  We paired St. Supery Elu with this one and it was sublime.  When you enjoy a good recipe, you can tell when the chef makes the extra effort to source quality, fresh ingredients as was the case here.  The beef was an organically grown cut sourced from local California cattle farms.

Tomato Bisque

Grilled Shrimp with Scallop Ceviche

From that point on the evening got a little fuzzy.  We had a good, a great time.  The Napa Wine Train treated us a special experience not only with the wine and food pairings served but the incredible scenery passing through some of Napa's most famous vineyards.  If you get a chance, I'd highly recommend taking a ride on the train whether it's for a full dinner or just for drinks.  The scenery alone is worth the ride.


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