Left Bank Bordeaux Cup: Hong Kong and Sichuan student teams qualify for final


Teams from Sichuan International Studies University (SISU) and Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) have secured the two places for Asian teams in the 2015 Left Bank Bordeaux Cup final, which will take part in the cellars of Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

Image: winning team from HKBU (left) and SISU (right) © Commanderie du Bontemps

The team from HKBU - King Yi Kelcy LI, Leaf Wang and Chun Kit Lee, coached by Fourson Kwok - won a tight match against seven other university teams in the Hong Kong preliminary match, which took place on 28 February in the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. The margin of victory was just one point.

A few days later, on 3 March, the SISU Wine Society won a second qualifying round held at the Park Hyatt hotel in Shanghai. The winning team was Jiale Wang, Fan Zhang and Qicong Ma, coached by Ying Sun.

They beat seven(*see appendix) other teams from Mainland China and one team from Singapore, according to Commanderie du Bontemps for Medoc, Graves, Sauternes and Barsac, the competition organiser. It is the first time either team has qualified for the final, to be held in June. They will compete against teams from the US and Europe.

During qualifying, teams must answer a series of questions on the Bordeaux region before completing three sets of blind tastings to identify the vintage and appellation of each wine.

‘The Asian qualifications are of a very high level,’ Marie Mezy-Saubot, directrice of the Commanderie du Bontemps, told DecanterChina.com.

‘They know a lot of things about Bordeaux Left Bank wines and they tasted very well,’ Mezy-Saubot told DecanterChina.com.

Image © Commanderie du Bontemps

The rising knowledge levels of Chinese teams coincide the booming interest in wine among Chinese university students.

‘I do think there's a growing interest in wine, especially Bordeaux classics among young people in Hong Kong.’ King Yi Kelcy LI, of HKBU, told Decanterchina.com.

University students in Sichuan Province may not have the same opportunities to try wines as their counterparts in Hong Kong. But, ‘most of them know about Bordeaux, and have some understandings about the 5 first growths,’ said Wenjia Wang of SISU.

‘Many universities [in China] have launched wine courses, or established their own wine clubs, and students are very much interested,’ Wang told DecanterChina.com.

‘Some knowledge of wine culture and etiquettes are helpful for university students in job seeking and their social lives,’ said Ying Sun, coach of the SISU team.

US teams UCLA Anderson and MIT Sloan have already qualified for the LBBC final. The Europe and France qualifying rounds are set for 28 March and 16 April respectively.

Click here to view more information about the participants and winners in the Asian preliminaries, and important dates for the 2015 LBBC.

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