TALK TO ANYONE... who grows anything and they're bound to say that the phases of the moon have an impact on their roses or their pumpkins or their tomatoes. Or they say it definitely does not, but either way? Moon phases definitely summon opinions on either side of the fence. Do grape growers and those who make wine abide by the night-to-night changes of our lunar neighbor? Well, some might -- there are longtime beliefs about the best moon phase to plant in -- but surely many a winemaker appreciates the art, myth, and whimsy to be found in moon stories. (You've seen a crescent or half moon on one or two or ten wine labels, yes?) It makes perfect sense then to plan a wine outing around that most memorable lunar night of the month, the full moon. Yes, new moons are memorable, too -- heck, all the phases are -- but the full moon illuminates our terrestrial surroundings best. And this is key if you're aboard a train, passing vineyards and historic wineries after dark. You want to see. You're also probably on the Napa Valley Wine Train, which runs a special evening train during every full moon.
MOONLIGHT ESCAPE: This is an easy one to digest: five courses served in the elegant train's elegant Vista Dome car. Riding in the Vista Dome car means you'll take in a lot of vineyard scenery while you dine, so just close your eyes and picture all of those soft moonbeams on the vines. Romantic? Yeah. Understatement. It's like a greeting card come to life, only most greeting cards don't come with a glass of excellent vino inside. (Now there's a technology that should be funded.) Cost? It's $174 per person. Moons? The Red Moon ride is on Aug. 19, Corn Moon is on Sept. 19, and Harvest Moon is on Oct. 18. (Spoiler alert: There are more full moons to come after that; our lunar bud isn't going anywhere.)