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Bites: Take that train



There have been several occasions (more than I am willing to admit here) when I, in an effort to be responsible, have ridden my bike great distances to taste wine. Sometimes, I’ve even gone so far as to walk all day to do so.

Because driving drunk is stupid. We know this, and it ruins all the fun of being a little tipsy or simply enjoying your flight of white wines.

So, many wine aficionados (boxed or otherwise) are relegated to watching reruns of Happy Days and drinking their merlot straight from the bottle, at home.

But what if I told you there was a way to enjoy a nice glass of wine, some beautiful scenery, and one of America’s first and most powerful forms of transportation: the rail? You’d probably pour that bottle of merlot out on the carpet and ditch the sweatpants faster than the Fonz can say “Exactamundo.”

Well, I’m not in the business of making false promises, and there’s such an adventure waiting for you, and it’s just around the corner.

Second Sunday Wine Excursions are built for wine, train, and local history buffs to combine their passions into one fun afternoon the second Sunday of each month.

The next Second Sunday Wine Excursion will be held on Feb. 10 and starts in Paso Robles at D’Anbino Wine Cellars and Pomar Junction Winery, and the March 10 trip will start in San Luis Obispo at Café Roma and will wind around to visit a Paso Robles-area winery.

Wine Rail Excursions cost $59 for adults and $39 for children 15 and younger. This includes railroad history, a light lunch, and visits to rail-related wineries. The trips are limited to 24 people and generally sell out in advance, so don’t miss the train.

There will also be a Saturday Wine Rail Excursion on Jan. 26 that will take patrons to the D’Anbino Wine Tasting Room in the Paso Robles Amtrak Station complex and visit Pomar Junction winery in the hills east of Templeton.

But the trip that leaves my wine taste buds (they have to exist, right?) salivating is the special, Santa Barbara Day Excursion scheduled to depart on Feb. 20. This includes a round trip on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, a private tour of the Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Center, shopping, and—drum roll please—complimentary wine tasting.

The most important thing to remember in all of this (besides the wine! Don’t forget the wine!) is that these events are brought to you by the Central Coast Railroad Festival, which helps promote local history, train knowledge, and excursions around the world. The fifth annual festival will take place Oct. 10 to 14 of this year. The festival sponsors the excursions, concerts, and other wicked awesome train-related activities year round.

Tickets to the Rail Excursions have to be purchased online through ccrrf.com, and be sure to buy your ticket soon, because the train waits for no one. For more info on the events or the festival itself, visit the website or call 773-4173.

Calendar Editor Maeva Considine loves planes, trains, and automobiles. Contact her at bites@newtimesslo.com.

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