The Wine Train: Fine Dining and a Leisurely Ride

I had lunch today aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train … but “lunch” can’t begin to adequately describe the meal. It was a luncheon, and it was superb! And, of course, the train itself is a marvel … rail cars from the Golden Age, beautifully refurbished and a pleasure to experience.

I did have one disappointment, however, and it’s something I should have thought to ask about in advance. I made the reservation for one person only and ended up seated alone at a smallish table for two. For me, one of the pleasures of train travel is the opportunity to meet new people over a nice meal in the dining car, be it on Amtrak or on the Wine Train.

That didn’t happen today – the people at the table across from me were honeymooners and were exclusively focused on each other – and it detracted from my experience. There was a lot of time to be without conversation because the train meanders along very slowly on its three-hour trip from Napa to the town of St. Helena and back.

I went the whole nine yards and chose to have lunch in the Vista Dome car, which is the top-of-the-line option. I have made a follow-up inquiry to see if there is more inter-action among passengers in some of the other class-of-service choices.

Nevertheless, it’s a very enjoyable, albeit pricey, trip and when I get back this way, I’ll do it again. Next time, however, I’ll bring my wife along to share the experience!

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