Sunday, November 04, 2007

Acela Express - "High Speed" Wine

The Acela Express is the closest thing we have in North America to a Euro-style high speed train. Not quite the same deal (I recently rode the Eurostar through the Chunnel, very cool), but it seems to me a great way to travel that Northeast corridor.

Travelling from Philly to Baltimore in one hour, downtown to downtown, I enjoyed a salad and a light snack (some chilled duck slices and Asian noodles) with wine, of course. Blinded, I sampled a small glass of white with salad and a small glass of red with the duck.

The white was a 2006 Santa Ema Chardonnay from Chile (I guessed Aussie Chardonnay). Yellow gold, with spicy oak, red delicious apple, lemon, butter and some nice minerality. On the palate it was appley toast with a nice soft mouthfeel and good acidity, very flavourful. A nice choice - one of the best freebie whites I have enjoyed. Score: 15.5/20

The red was a 2004 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, which was definitely a Californian. Dark, dark purple in the glass, it looked like Shiraz but smelled like Merlot. Vegetal on the nose, with some spicy oak and ripe berry cassis, vanilla and nutmeg. On the palate it was medium-bodied with jammy fruit and a short spicy liquorice finish. Great balance, but a bit hot. It worked nicely with the duck, but fell apart quickly - don't cellar, don't decant. Very competent. Score: 15.5/20

Overall, kudos to Amtrak for making good selections at what I assume was a low end price point.


Sonadora said...

Always wanted to take that train from DC to NYC but can't seem to justify the huge price tag for what amounts to about a 30 minute time difference, if that. Good to have a review though, especially since you got to experience it on someone else's dime!

Joe said...

Hi Sonadora. I have to confess that I don't know the price as my work booked, but it seemed cheaper than flying. However, I bet the DC-NY ride is pricier, and the airline competition more fierce, so you are probably right.