Recently, Paul had a work trip in Nashville, and the kiddos and I drove up after his conference was over so that we could all spend a few days out of the DC area. I’ll do a full “here’s what we ate and drank” post soon, but I wanted to give Arrington Vineyards its own review.
For what it’s worth, this review feels a little half-assed because we didn’t have our typical winery experience here. But that experience is why I’m still writing a full review post. Not for nothing, but we go to a lot of vineyards. We know how things are supposed to work, and I think we can safely say that we had one of our worst customer service experiences ever here. First of all, the grounds are HUGE, but the tasting room is tiny. You walk in, sort of randomly pick a place to stand, and hope a server notices you or that a spot opens at the bar. Although there was a hostess stand at the door, no one was manning it, so we kind of winged it and went by my vague recollections of visiting Arrington several years before.*
Once we finally got to the bar, we had already given up on doing a bar tasting (which is good since there was an additional 20 minute wait on top of the 10 or 15 minutes we were just standing there) and opted to get two picnic flights. I tried to hit the lighter side of the menu with Sparkle!, Chardonnay, Firefly Rosé, and Cab Sauv (sue me, I couldn’t find another light one I wanted to try), while Paul did the darker side with Antebellum, Russell, KB 814, and Syrah. Both the Sparkle! and the KB 814 came with a $2 upcharge for samples.
The wines weren’t bad – probably about on-par with Virginia wines, which is to say that some weren’t the greatest, but we found two that we liked enough to buy bottles. (Sparkle! and KB 814 – the most expensive bottles they had, natch.) And the grounds were lovely. There was plenty of space for Jeremiah to run around while we drank the Sparkle!, and even Eleanor got in on the grass-eating (which earned her an accidental scratch on the nose from me as I tried to knock grass out of her mouth).
If we were just going on the wine and the grounds, we’d pretty happily give Arrington a Green, but the tasting room experience was such crap that I’m giving them a Yellow instead. Womp womp, Arrington. Womp. Womp.
*I was there maybe five years ago, and I remembered it pretty fondly. If I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have suggested that we visit.
Rating: Yellow (It was fine.)
Tasting: $7 for 4 or 8 for $14 at the bar, 4 for $14 picnic flights
Price: I’m not sure what Tennessee prices are like, but they were low-average to high for Virginia prices ($16.99 – $49.99)
Kid Friendly: The grounds are great; the tasting room is not.
Highlights: Sparkle! and KB 814
Time Since Lacy Last Ate: ~4.5 hours
Strangers Invited to Dinner: 0