Taking the train to some fabulous coastal getaway sounds so fantastically retro, a high-speed getaway to a 1950s-era bungalow -- at least least until you get to those $100-a-pop Union Station ticket prices. Cheap summer train trip option #2: Pick up a few bottles of the band Train's recently released wines, and you can have a pretty great weekend at home. And not to worry; you're under no bottle disclaimer obligation to listen to Train music at the same time.
We realize this sounds like celebrity wine egoism at its finest, and there's certainly always a lingering off-note in that realm. But we thought these wines were surprisingly good for the price ($12 to $15). We love even more that the pop band has a wine blog on its website where you'll find random wine tidbits (a 15,000-cork wall sighting, the latest wine gadgets) and short posts on other labels the band digs such as Cultivate, which donates 10% of its sales to education and other human-interest causes. Well, now we know what they're drinking backstage.
Part of the proceeds from Train's wines, made by the band's Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co. (there is a lot of album cover overload here), benefit San Francisco nonprofit Family House, which helps families with children at Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco. As for the lead wine guy, it's guitarist Jimmy Stafford, who has written rather entertaining wine descriptions on the labels ("the boysenberry fruit leaps from your glass") and signs off with a "Cheers, Jimmy and Train."
Our tasters deemed the 2010 "Drops of Jupiter" Petite Sirah the best of the three-bottle bunch, and an inky, fruit-stained bottle we'd buy again, celebrity association or not. Once we heard the price, we had renewed appreciation for that 2010 "California 37" Cabernet. For around $12, it's the wine equivalent of finding a CD you sort of wanted, not for $15 but in the bargain bin for two bucks. And it's certainly much better than the soap opera-worthy music video the band shot at Shafer Vineyards recently.
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Jimmy, Pat, Scott, if you're reading this, a suggestion, meant in the politest way: It might be wise to have a few sips of Sirah before shooting your next video.
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