Left Bank Bordeaux Cup 2018 kicks off in China

Zhejiang Gongshang University emerged as the winner of the first Asia regional qualification competition of Left Bank Bordeaux Cup (LBBC), after two rounds of tests including a written exam and a blind tasting.

Participants and judges taking a group photo at the Asia regional competition

Held at Park Hyatt Hotel in Shanghai on 25 January, the regional competition attracted 12 teams from mainland China and one from South Korea.  

The regional champion was Zhejiang Gongshang University, surpassing runner-up Nanjing University by only one point. Chongqing University and Suzhou University both came in third.

The competition consisted of 10 theoretical questions on either oenology or the culture of Bordeaux’s Left Bank, as well as a blind tasting of nine wines from grand cru classé chateaux. The latter was considered by many participants as the most challenging part.

“We prepared for about two weeks before the competition,” Li Qi from the winning team Zhejiang Gongshang University told dbHK, “it was very difficult to prepare for the blind tasting because as students we couldn’t really afford to practice with grand cru classé wines every time”.

As the third-time runner-up, Nanjing University came first in the theoretical question round. They also found the blind tasting challenging, “for inexperienced drinkers, it largely depends on luck,” said team member Huo Hui.

It is worth noting that five of the participating wine clubs, including the winner and runner-up teams, all belong to ‘Wine in University’, a nationwide student wine association that regularly organises wine tasting events for its members. It was founded by Ted Zhang, a former LBBC participant from Northwestern Agriculture and Forestry University.  

“We have seen overall progress in our member clubs’ performance this year,” said Ted. “They are getting more familiar with the competition’s style of questions”. 

He also revealed some of the association’s future plans, which include more cooperation with the industry’s bodies, such as Commanderie du Bontemps, the official organiser of LBBC.

Previously known as Vin Sur 20, LBBC first entered China in 2012. It is an annual international student competition for oenological tasting clubs from international universities and schools. Each year, winning teams from four regional qualifications — Asia, Europe, USA and France will be chosen to compete in the grand final held in Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

Another Asia regional qualification followed two days later in Hong Kong, and the winner was Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The grand final will be held on 8 June in Bordeaux.

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