2023 Chapitre and Induction Dinner of the Chevaliers du Tastevin
@ The Fort Orange Club, Albany, NY, 10/14/2023

The Albany-Capital Region chapter of La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin held its 2023 Chapitre and Induction Dinner at The Fort Orange Club, in Albany, NY.

The host for this dinner was George Weissman, who is a member of the Fort Orange Club.

The wines were from the chapter's cellar. None of the wines were decanted, but they were opened for some time before serving. See each wine note for details.

Click on any image with a border for a larger view of that image, and in many cases more image.
Most of the photos here are mine, but some are from Rob Brass, Harlan Bauer, or Severn Goodwin.


The Venue

The Fort Orange Club was founded in January 1880 by a group of Albany businessmen and city and state officials. They wanted to create a club elevated in character, worthy of the city, broadly representative and inclusive in membership, and faithfully maintaining a high standard. The club was named after the fort built in Albany in 1624 by the Dutch West India Company.

Five months after the initial meeting, the club members purchased the 1810 mansion, located at 110 Washington Avenue in Albany. It had previously been a family home, as well as a boarding house where Aaron Burr once stayed. The house chosen in part because of its location close to the New York State capitol building, city hall, and the main business district. Over the years the mansion was dramatically expanded and refurbished. These efforts won an award for preservation and decoration in 1997.

I took these photos of the exterior of the Club in May of 2016 before a previous dinnner:

Reception Wines

Before the induction ceremonies, two wines were served with passed appetizers.
I did not taste them, but here is a photo:

The Induction

Paul Curtin (Délégué Général Nord-Est) was supposed to preside over the induction ceremony, but he came down with COVID-19 the day before. This meant that the Grand Sénéchal of our chapter, Larry Teal, and the other officers of our chapter (Argentier Jared Shulman, Archivist Rob Brass, L'Intendent des Caves George Weissman) had to lead the induction for the first time.
Left to right: Larry, Jared, Rob, George:
Our new Chevaliers: Nate Sullivan, Kat Wisnosky, Dan Wisnosky:

You can find a large collection of photos and videos of the entire induction ceremony here.
(Do not click on this link if you're paying for data. The videos are large files.)


The oddly creepy menu cover (the red is wine):

First Course
Seared Diver Scallops with Parsnip Puree, Toasted Hazelnut Butter, Pomegranate Seeds:

Second Course
Hudson Valley Duck Breast with Luxardo Cherry, Mizuna Salad, Radish, Truffle Vinaigrette:

Third Course
Elk Loin with Sweet Potato Puree, Port Reduction, Charred Shallot, Asparagus:

Fourth Course
Beef Short Rib with Crispy Leeks, Pommes de Terre, Horseradish Butter:

Fifth Course
Hudson Valley Camembert, Old Chatham Ewe's Blue, Three Milk Gouda, Fig Chutney, Berries, Honey, Bread Alone French Baguette:


Grand Sénéchal Larry Teal announced that this dinner is the Joel Spiro Memorial Induction Dinner.
He then asked Joel's son Scott to say a few words, which he did quite eloquently:

Photos of the Tables

Rob Brass went around the room and took photos of the people at each of the tables.

Closing Ceremony

Executive Chef Lou Agostinello and Beverage manager Zachary Valentina introduce their team.

Grand Sénéchal Larry presents Chef Lou with a memento of our visit which includes the menu for the evening:

And now we do the La La song:


Another terrific evening of wine, food, and friends.

Notes posted from CellarTracker.

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All original content © Ken Vastola