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“20 sur Vin” tasting competition: Universities go head to head

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France’s university wine tasting competition, hosted by “La Commanderie de Bontemps” will bring together for the first time in its ten years of operation, competitors from the four corners of the globe.

No doubt this year’s contest will present new challenges for oenology clubs from universities and colleges throughout France.  The final will be held in June.

Chaired by Baron Eric de Rothschild, proprietor of Chateau Lafite, the “20 sur Vin” competition was born in 2002 under the administration of “Commanderie de Bontemps”. In a bid to promote the great wines of the left bank (Medoc, Graves, Sauternes and Barsac), Commanderie’s annual competition succeeds in bringing together Bordeaux’s finest Grand Crus with today’s newest and youngest wine enthusiasts.

Mines, Polytechnique, Centrale Paris… are among many of the French university wine societies who contend each year to affirm their wine tasting ability. In 2004, “20 sur Vin” opened its competition to the UK with the inclusion of two English candidates, namely Oxford and Cambridge Universities. This year will see the participation for the first time of new challengers from other continents.

Two respective teams from the United States and Asia have already been selected: Wharton School and Harvard School of Business from the States, The Business and Finance University from Hong Kong and NTU Wine Society from Singapore. Two additional teams from Europe will be announced on 9th April 2011, and the two French finalists will be selected on Thursday 5th May from among 12 participating colleges: Université Paris Dauphine, ENS Lyon, ESSEC, ESC Lille, Polytechnique, Mines, Centrale, EDHEC Lille, ENS Paris, ESCP Europe, HEC, Sciences Po.

France’s two chosen finalists will be contending against the six foreign teams in the final which will take place on Friday 17th June 2011 at Chateau Lafite-Rothschild itself, and in conjunction with Vinexpo Bordeaux.

The final test will take on the form of a multiple-choice written paper as well as a gruelling tasting exam.

Last year, Dauphine and Polytechnique came away victorious ahead of Oxford and Cambridge. This year the French will need to maintain the strength of their oenological talent if they are to compete with new foreign palates!

Source: Audrey Dubourdieu
La revue du vin de France
24th Feb 2011

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