The grandiose and solemn Chapitre Exceptionnel of the Confrérie du Vin de Cahors where 11 American sommeliers were dubbed knights
Almost every wine region in France has its own “wine brotherhood”, confrérie de vin. Cahors, in the South-West is no different. The Confreries is mainly a fun thing that is used as an excuse to throw parties and to make friends with people. At grand “chapters”, chapitres, i.e. meetings of the brotherhood people are “intronised”, intronisés, into the brotherhood, becoming chevaliers, dubbed knights of wine. It is all good fun and the main purpose is of course to make the intronised people become “ambassadors” for the wine region.
This is what “enthronement” in a wine confrérie is all about!
At the 2014 edition of the Cahors Malbec Days there was a delegation of sommeliers from the USA who attended the week-long wine tasting event. The eleven sommeliers also had the honour of being admitted into the Brotherhood of Cahors wines, “enthroned” in the Confrérie du Vin de Cahors, on Monday 16 June 2014, at its extraordinary Chapitre Exceptionnel “Malbec Days”.
As in the case of all these intronisations there was a lot of pomp and a lot of wine. The newly intronised “brothers” (and “sisters”?!) also were given a very special wine to taste during the ceremony, an 1840 Cahors. (If it really was an 1840, I really don’t know. My informants said that the wine was odd and different, so perhaps it actually was.)
The new members were each given a huge medal (in some confréries it is a tastevin) and an even huger diploma.
This Brotherhood chapter was grander than most though. It was an extraordinary event that took place in the Cathedral of Cahors. It all started with a spectacular sound-and-light show inside the cathedral. We then proceeded out into the garden where there was a wine tasting of Cahors wine.
The intronisation was of course the culmination of the evening.
On this video you can see a glimpse of the son et lumière – absolutely spectacular – in the Cathedral and see what happens when you get intronised in a wine brotherhood. Watch the video!
The eleven sommeliers who became chevaliers, knights of Cahors wine were:
- Caterina Abbruzzetti, Sommelier, Eno Wine Bar, Four Seasons Washington DC- USA
- Beth Benz, Sommelier, Whiskey and Wine Off 69, New York City USA
- Kevin Bratt, Sommelier, John Seafood, Chicago-Illinois, USA
- Hannah Barett Grossman, Sommelier, City Winery, Chicago-Illinois, USA
- Meghan Haley, Sommelier, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Washington DC – USA
- Brent Kroll, Sommelier, Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Washington DC, USA
- Scott Mayger, Sommelier Telepan, New York City, USA
- Julian Mayor, Sommelier, Bourbon Steak, Four Seasons, Washington DS, USA
- Jason Prah, Sommelier, Acadia Restaurant, Chicago-Illinois, USA
- Jacob Schwimmer, Sommelier, Paris Club Bistro & Bar, Chicago-Illinois, USA
- Evan Workman, Restaurateur, BLI Fish, BLI Fish Shack, Private Dining, New York City, USA
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