India has a ‘wine country’? Yes, it does!

Besides all of the excitement from the guest speakers on day 6, how could I resist an invitation like this in my Inbox?

Blue Devils:

A case of ‘New World’ Waterfall red wine, made of the exotic Rhododendron flower, found in the Himalayas, is waiting for you.

Please make yourself available tomorrow evening for some wine tasting.



Bottle of Waterfall Rhododendron Wine

Waterfall Rhododendron to "not-a-rhodendron" flower!

Jackpot!  Rhododendron wine, from the Himalayas? Having been cooped up in my hotel room for most of the Delhi residency, this event was the perfect opportunity to get out (of my hotel room, still in the hotel) and try to enjoy myself.  I was still a bit queasy from all of my bouts of ‘Delhi Belly’, but what the heck…when was I going to have this chance again?

After giving my team the wrong answer on the statistical modeling case study (I STILL disagree with Luca), I decided to join my classmates for the opportunity for some free wine.  Arriving about an hour after the scheduled start time wasn’t the best idea; all of my classmates got started early!  By the time I arrived, half of the case was gone, but “half” isn’t “all” and Shashank poured me a glass.

So what, exactly, is ‘rhododendron wine’?  Ummm….I don’t know?  It’s hard to imagine that only rhododendron’s are used in the wine-making process.  The color is somewhat red, pink, brown; the wine is very “Mai Tai” looking in the coloration.  And like the tropical Mai Tai, the taste of rhododendron is very sweet, almost fruit juice like.  For being so widely referenced on the Internet as an Indian traditional drink, it’s actually quite hard to find out the actual process behind making this libation.

Duke Fuqua Wine Party

Fuquan's enjoy a good glass of wine!

After three (small) glasses of rhododendron wine, it was time to call it an evening.  I was feeling better, but I wouldn’t say I was feeling ‘good’.  Ever the gracious host, Shashank sent me on my way with a bottle of wine to take with me back to the States to share with my wife; of all of the pat-downs and brow-beating by the Indian authorities, I’m proud to say that I made it home safely with said bottle of wine.

All in all, another fantastic event hosted by an Indian classmate.  I will forever remember the Indian residency as the time where the CCMBA class stepped up and showed off the best (as well as the up-and-coming) parts of their home country.  It’s a funny thing; the Indian classmates represented India so well, I feel like there’s an unspoken challenge to our Chinese brethren to TOP the experience when we’re in Shanghai.  From what I’ve heard, Ian’s already on the case…

Delhi, Day 5-6: Speakers galore

I’m always humbled by the quality of guest speakers we are treated to as part of the CCMBA program.  It’s clear that the program staff and administrators really take their time in courting truly significant leaders in global business, rather than just chasing current “big names” in business/management.  While there’s nothing wrong with “big name” speakers per se (hearing Paul Volcker speak was probably the highlight of my time at the University of Delaware), I love the fact that the guest speakers chosen for our program are as approachable as they are impressive.

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