Update: The winter 2016 Wine on the Rails is set for January 30, and tickets are available online.
Picture it: in your little-black-dress/suit-and-tie best, boarding a gleaming steel passenger train to take a leisurely trip out to the vineyards, sampling wine along the way as roots musicians serenade you. Sounds like an OK afternoon, no?
Bonus: That’s not a Napa-only excursion or a bygone relic of the upper-class ’50s. Courtesy of Muddy Roots Music and the Tennessee Central Railway Museum, Middle Tennesseans can hop on a restored 1950s stainless steel train in Nashville for a trip out to DelMonaco Winery & Vineyards in Baxter, Tennessee, trying different wines and listening to different musicians on the 75-mile-or-so trip.
The summer Wine on the Rails Excursion, set for Saturday, July 18, is an all-day, 21-and-up outing that we’re pretty smitten by — it’ll take you out of Nashville, out of the present and in touch with some of the wine being made in our state.
When you get the vineyards — 52 acres of pretty, with a grand winery home that’ll help you pretend you’re in Tuscany after the trip makes you feel like you’re in 1953 — you’ll get to take in the scenery, try more wine and enjoy more live music. If you like, you can also grab lunch (and snag a few bottles to take back, either to have at home or sip on the return trip).
There are two ticket options for the trip: First Class ($80), which puts you in large reclining seats with wide windows on either side of the car; and Dome Seating ($160), with 20 seats in a glass-enclosed dome that gives you a totally wide-open view of the Tennessee countryside as you roll east.
Seats are still available for Summer Wine on the Rails, and although this one’s coming up soon, they also do an autumn version, which’ll put you in prime colorful-foliage time, on November 7. (Some tickets for the autumn one are still available, but organizers say it always sells out well ahead of time.)
As lovable as Nashville in 2015 is, the chance to take a mini-vacation into the country and into the past sounds pretty incredible.
What do you think — tempted to spend a little wine-time on the rails? Any other day excursions you can think of that feel like a total escape? We’d love some more suggestions!