The first round of qualifying for this year’s Left Bank Bordeaux Cup has taken place in New York with student teams from UCLA Anderson and MIT Sloan booking their place in the final.
It is the first time UCLA Anderson School of Management has taken part in the competition and it will now go on to compete for the title with teams from around the world in the cellars of Chateau Lafite in Bordeaux in June.
The competition, organised by the Commanderie du Bontemps for Médoc, Graves, Sauternes and Barsac and sponsored by Decanter, saw teams first take a theory test, before three sets of blind tastings to correctly identify the appellation and vintage of each wine.
Students were also quizzed on their Bordeaux knowledge with questions ranging in difficulty from ‘What was Baroness Philippine de Rothschild’s occupation in her early life?’ to being shown a Chateau Mouton Rothschild label and asked to identify the vintage.
In announcing the winners, the Commanderie’s Grand Maître Emmanuel Cruse highlighted the quality of participants; ‘We were very impressed with the level of the answers. This is the first year ever we have seen such a high level for the two winners’.
The three-person team from UCLA Anderson was represented by Brooke Matthias, Margot Bloch and Michael Peck and MIT Sloan’s by Brittany Greenfield, Jason Snyder and Carlos Solares (both pictured).
Both teams fought off strong competition from nine other elite American institutions, among them last year’s qualifiers NYU Stern and Yale Law, as well as Wharton, Columbia Business and Columbia Law, NYU Law and Stanford.
Four teams, however, were unable to attend due to the snow storm that hit New York last week, which included Cornell, Harvard Law and Harvard Business School and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Following the competition, which took place at the Consulate General of France on January 27, students dined on Cos d’Estournel 2003, Giscours 2000 andLafuarie-Peyraguey 2005.
Four more qualifying rounds are set to take place over the coming months with Hong Kong next, on February 28, Shanghai on March 2, London on March 28 and finally Paris on April 16, where current reigning champions French Business School EDHEC Lille will be vying to retain their title.
The final of the 14th Left Bank Bordeaux Cup will take place at Chateau Lafite Rothschild on Friday June 12.