One of the things they teach well at Harvard Business School is sourcing.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the HBS’s three-person wine team was judged best in the world on its knowledge of the provenance and composition of Left Bank Bordeaux wines at an annual international student competition held recently at Château Lafite Rothschild.
The Harvard team of two women and one man beat out the other seven finalists representing business schools in France, England, Belgium, Asia, and the U.S. The event, called “20 sur Vin,” is now in its 10th year and is sponsored by the Commanderie du Bontemps which represents the classified wines from the Medoc, Graves, Sauternes and Barsac regions of Bordeaux. This is the first year that American and Asian teams were represented.
The victorious Harvard team members were Katy Andersen, Christian Huot, and Nicole Pereira. A team from the Chinese University in Hong Kong came in second. The other American finalist team, Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, tied for third in the competition.
It was a difficult examination, but a tasty one, consisting of team knowledge of the châteaux, their wines and the regions, followed by blind tastings requiring identification of grapes used, vintages, and producers.
The English team from Cambridge was expected to fare better. England once owned Bordeaux, and many British still consider it to be the country’s private drinking preserve. Cambridge tied for fourth. The French schools finished last.
To the victors came the spoils — a double magnum of 1999 Château Lafite, return round-trip tickets to Bordeaux, and several days of special visits to the host estate.