Just in time for Valentine’s Day, on February 11, 12 and 14, 2017, Verde Canyon Railroad “sweetens” the experience aboard its most popular event, Chocolate Lovers’ Festival. Where else can passengers enjoy a flight of wine and chocolate decadence while catching a glimpse of bald eagles in flight?
The Chocolate Lovers’ Festival features sumptuous chocolate pastries and desserts served at the table, paired with fresh fruit, pretzels and marshmallows to dip into a bubbling chocolate fountain. Wines may be purchase by the tasting flight, by the glass and by the bottle. When pairing chocolate and wine, usually red wine, one doesn’t select a delicate bottle of wine. The luscious heft of a bold chocolate doesn’t need a kimono—it needs a fur coat. Faux fur, obviously. Passengers are invited to pair their sweet treats with a flight of Verde Canyon Railroad’s private-label wines for an added blush of romance.
Cocoa beans combine well with fruity notes, making a deep merlot a rich complement to velvety lava cake. Caramels and gourmet cupcakes pair nicely with the oaky Chardonnay and dipped strawberries make a fine complement to Verde Canyon Railroad’s private labeled Champagne. Everything is served aboard a finely-appointed first-class car, with rich sights, sounds, sweet scents and flavors filling the air. Verde Canyon Railroad’s Chocolate Lovers’ Festival may be most aptly described as Romance on the Rails.
Arizona’s Verde Valley is becoming a well-known destination for wine lovers. With abundant sunshine and well-drained soils, this region’s vineyards are transitioning from “up and coming” to “award-winning,” drawing connoisseurs to visit from all over the world. What better way to leisurely savor this region and a fine glass of wine than from the vantage point of a vintage train? Rich chocolate flows over taste-buds just as beautifully as wild scenery passes the panoramic windows of this heritage railroad.
The historic rail line was once a treasured connection between the booming copper mines of Jerome and distant civilization. Today passengers relax in plush comfort as the train rumbles into terrain where eagles soar from the edges of deep red cliffs, and the perennially flowing Verde River weaves a sinuous path through the high desert. At Verde Canyon Railroad it has always been about the journey, not the destination.