It was a special treat to go wine tasting on the historic Niles Canyon Railway. Although it was August, the weather was perfect. Sommelier (and Fenestra Fanatic) Sean Andrade picked five Fenestra wines for tasting, and paired them with a variety of cheeses. One hundred and twenty five guests were treated to the formal service so beloved by railroad buffs. “The Wine Tasting Special is operated to show how quality service was always maintained on railroads”, states the menu.
As a child, I spent many days traveling on the train with my family. My sister Jean and I learned many card games from the conductor. We especially liked having top bunks in the sleeping car, and we would play “monkey”, swinging back and forth from bunk to bunk. My father soon put a stop to this game, but it was fun while it lasted.
So I never pass up a chance to ride the train. Here are Sean’s selections. The wines were served at the ideal temperature, and the cheese selections were perfect, bringing out different aspects of the wine.
2004 Pinot Grigio, Contra Costa County with Chevre de Bella
2003 Viognier, Contra Costa County with Muenster McCadam
2003 Dry Rosé, California with Pink Lady apple and
aged Wisconsin cheddar
2001 Pinot Noir, Livermore Valley with Camenbert Le Chatelain
1999 Cabernet Sauvignon, Smith & Hook Vyd. with Manchego Fulvi