Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin
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Originally founded in 1703 as the Ordre de la Boisson (Order of the Drink), and resurrected under its current name in 1934, the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (translatable as Brotherhood of the Knights of the Wine-Tasting Cup) is an exclusive club of Burgundy wine enthusiasts. It is headquartered in the twelfth-century Château du Clos de Vougeot in the Côte d'Or region of France. It maintains chapters (called Sous-Commanderies) worldwide, but because of its Gallic origins, its name and many of its ceremonial titles are always rendered in French.
The Confrérie is governed by a Grand Conseil of Chevaliers. Its president is called the Grand Maître and its secretary is called the Grand Connétable. In the U.S., the organization delegates authority to a Grand Pilier, who is assisted by a Grand Connétable. Candidates for membership are approved by the Grand Pilier or Grand Connétable, and are confirmed by the Grand Conseil.
Members are hierarchically ranked (in descending order) as Grand Officier, Officier Commandeur, Commandeur, and Chevalier. The Confrérie counts among its membership businessmen, luminaries, and celebrities, including national and military leaders, diplomats, executives, scholars, athletes, musicians, and artists. During initiation ceremonies, members wear ornate robes that are duplicates of those worn by doctors of theology in sixteenth-century France.
The primary goals of the organization are "To hold in high regard and encourage the use of the products of Burgundy, particularly her great wines and her regional cuisine. To maintain and revive the festivities, customs and traditions of Burgundian folklore," and "To encourage people from all over the world to visit Burgundy."
The organization's activities are generally scheduled around elaborate chapter dinners and other culinary events, at which Burgundy wines are served (although sometimes other types of French wines are sampled). At these events it is customary for members to comment in detail about the history and characteristics of each wine or dish that is served, in order to promote "viticultural and gastronomic education."
The most important annual event of the Confrérie is the tasting of Burgundy wines, called "Tastevinage", at the Château du Clos de Vougeot, where those deemed worthy by a jury of tasters are awarded the title of "Tasteviné" and are permitted to use a special label on their bottles.
- Kamen, Al (22 May 2013). "From planes to frames". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, booklet (June 1959).