Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Biltmore

Tips for visiting The Biltmore:

It is worth the price of admission. It's gorgeous, and just driving the grounds and checking out the this and that is a nice way to spend a morning. So go.

But eat a good breakfast first. I am a theme park queen, I live in the Vacation Capital of the World, I have seen the high prices and the weird food and I am hardened to it all. I have been to NYC, I lived in LA, I have dined in South Beach and Miami and all of the Beaches, and I grew up in suburban DC, so high restaurant prices do not shock me. Still, our $41 lunch for two (before tip) for two pretentious sandwiches will go down in history as the most I ever paid for a lunch without alcohol. Because it was too early, even for us. So go, do see the Biltmore, it is great, but eat a big breakfast. Grab an ice cream cone if you are weakening, then leave and eat downtown at any of the lovely funky restaurants where they will feed two royally for under thirty bucks with a big cold beer each.

Do go do the wine tasting. Do not be intimidated, it's very non-threatening, and you will be surrounded by people who think Boone's Farm is the peak of chic. Me, I'm bowling alley class. My cousins and I have been known to dump ice in the cheap vino to chill it to make it drinkable. A wine snot, I am not. Boy knows microbrews and can discuss hops and malt like an expert, but isn't into wine. So we went, we tasted, and we bought - nothing.

I am a white wine girl, I live in a hot climate and reds tend to give me hot flashes. But the pinot grigio had the nose of grass clippings in the hot sun, in a Hefty bag, with maybe a trace of dog poop, and that was the most memorable of the whites. The pinot noir actually did not suck, and if I liked reds I might have bought a bottle. But still, it didn't scream, "Take me home!"

Go do the wine tasting, if only for the experience of the Christmas White and the Christmas Red, both so sweet and charming and innocent, Grandma will be facedown on the lawn when the fire department arrives to put out the turkey.

Biltmore photos to follow, because Blogger can only do words or pictures, but not both.


Sue Woo said...

I have a great Biltmore story. One Christmas my parents' most excellent church choir sang in the Palm Court in the evening. We got to go in before the public did, so we got to see the decorations all up close and personal. Christmas at Biltmore is highly recommended. Anyway, they sang and during breaks we'd go to the wine section, which was a stable at some point. On the way home my mom, my sister and I were dozing in the backseat, Daddy and BIL were in the front. The radio was on low. I heard "Blue Christmas come on the radio at which point I said "Elvis". Mom wnet bolt upright and yelled "Where?"

Catherine said...

I think the Christmas White could cause Elvis sightings.

Patricia said...

Oh, I still have my hotel booking for the weekend of the 26th for the FFA in Ashville. Alas, I would have to go it alone! The Biltmore was on my list. Although I've traipsed through it twice before, I'm sure that I could hack it again. The lunch is crazy 'spensive. I did like the horse stalls though. Cool place.

Catherine said...

I had to go when I did, because Girl is booked and my coworkers are on vacation for the rest of the month. And I'd have killed someone if I'd waited two more weeks. Seriously. I still might.