La Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin

Ever since its creation in 1934, the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin has set itself the task of promoting Burgundy, notably its wines and cuisine, preserving and reviving its traditional festivals, folklore and customs, and encouraging the development of tourism in the region.

Thanks to the gracious invitation of  Arnaud Orsel,  I and four of my colleagues from the Association de la Presse Etrangère were invited to participate along with 600 others in this annual celebration of Burgundy.ceremony

Ever since its creation in 1934, the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin has set itself the task of promoting Burgundy, notably its wines and cuisine, preserving and reviving its traditional festivals, folklore and customs, and encouraging the development of tourism in the region.

The Order has some 12,000 knights or Chevaliers world wide and is devoted to defending Burgundy and burgundy – the region and the wine – in grand style

An active participant in important events that take place in the region, the Conférie was instrumental in establishing the Saint-Vincent Tournante, the Tastevinage and in the restoration of the Château du Clos de Vougeot.

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The festivities began with airy gougères, the choux pastry mixed with cheese that is emblematic of the region accompanied by crémant de Burgogne followed by the installation of 40 new Chevaliers de Tastevin in a ceremony that resembled both a Friar’s Club roast and a solemn religious rite.

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And now into the dining hall that would have been fit for a king in a Warner Bros. swashbuckler featuring Errol Flynn. As we found our seats seven wine glasses sat before us in anticipation of this Bacchanalian ritual.

15 cooks, 40 servers and 16 sommeliers attended our every whim while 2,000 eggs were cracked in the preparation of this feast.

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The first plate was la fraicheur de Homard pattes bleues aux jeunes pousses d’épinard accompanied by a Montagny 1er Cru 2009 that was followed by sandre sauvage au légumes croquants et crème de caviar harenga served with a Chablis Grand Cru Blanchot 2008.

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Next up was an entremet of les oeufs en meurette vigneronne, a burgundian tradition with a Mercurey 2009. And now the main course of l’estouffade de Sot-L’y-Laisse de volaille fermière aux girolles d’automne. With it we were served a Beaune 1er Cru Dames Hospitalières 2005 Hospices de Beaune poured from a magnum.

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The hour is late, after 1PM, so we select from an assortment of fromages de   Bourgogne washed down with a Corton Grand Cru Bressandes 2007. On to dessert accompanied by a Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé.

After coffee and a choice of le vieux Marc and la liqueur de Prunelle de Bourgogne 600 merry revelers worked their way to the waiting coaches to carry us back to our hotels.

And this being France and it was inevitable that I would run into my dear friend Nadine Belissant-Reydet and her husband Chevalier Christian Reydet. The have just taken over the Maison Blanche in Beaune and I look forward to a visit and a chance to report to you. Knowing Nadine and her flair for hospitality I have no doubt it will be a warm, welcoming experience.

Chateau du Clos Vougeot

Rue de la Montagne  21640 Vougeot

03 80 62 86 09

   

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