Biltmore has a long and delightful history of inspiring toasts and rhymes. In fact, the Vanderbilt's kept a “Nonsense Book” in Biltmore House and encouraged their guests to write down thoughts and verses about the family, the property, and each other. Some of the entries are witty, some are poignant, and others illustrate the culture of the Gilded Age.
We continue that tradition today by making a “Nonsense Book” available to our Inn on Biltmore Estate guests. In the new Antler Hill Village, you may also encounter our Toastmaster who will encourage you to raise your glass and your voice in a light-hearted toast on any topic.
If offering a toast still seems like a daunting task, try these tips and you’ll never be at a loss for words!
In many cases, nonsense is a no-no, but in the world of toasts, nonsense makes perfect sense. All you need is a theme—or even a word or a name—to inspire a rhyme that will delight your listeners. If you have a little time to plan, see if you can come up with a rhyming couplet (two lines; each ends with the same rhyming sound) or even a light-hearted limerick (first, second, and fifth lines rhyme; third and fourth lines rhyme). Here are a couple of Biltmore-related examples:
- Rhyming couplet:
Let’s lift a glass of Biltmore Wine / To our friends’ good health and life and times!
George Vanderbilt collected wines,
And grandson William planted vines—
So now we are able,
To drink to their meeting of minds!
For some occasions, however, sincerity is the key to achieving the perfect toast. Your message doesn’t have to be long, but it should reflect your feelings and allow your listeners to share and enjoy the moment with you. Is there a quote you love and find appropriate? Incorporate it into your toast. Be sure to also use your own words, however, to impart a sense of your style to the occasion.
If you’re nervous about offering your toast in a public setting, write it down on a small card and simply read it to the group. Your audience would rather have you read and succeed than have you forget what you wanted to say.
Biltmore Wines are a time-honored inspiration for toasting and celebrating. Our sparkling wines, hand-crafted in the traditional method champenoise manner, are particularly festive and pair perfectly with any occasion.