Cheers: Hilton’s Food & Wine Experience celebrates 10 years

Hilton Beijing will mark a decade of decanted debauchery with its tenth annual Food and Wine Experience on November 9 (trade only) and 10 (open to public).

Besides a wide range of wines to taste, the event covers coffee, chocolate, cooking classes, wine seminars with Jeremy Oliver, and more. The public session are from 1-5 PM: it’s 230 kuai, including a brunch buffet, or 1010 kuai for those who also want to attend a gala dinner at 7 PM.

I’ll have more details soon. For now, here’s a snippet - incidentally from my very first e-newsletter – about the first Hilton Food and Wine Experience I attended:

I also looked like a total poseur by writing tasting notes on my little black pad – unfortunately I forgot my turtleneck sweater and Robert Parker book or I could have really stood out. But when you’re going through enough labels to make a deck of cards, you need a way to remember what was good, bad and ugly. It’s funny how my early notes use descriptions like “fruity,” “fresh,” “acidic” and “earthy,” while later ones are more, uh, creative: “hints of Sprite,” “honestly mundane,” “this grape’s got [sic] identity crisis” and “tastes like birch bark” (which I’m pretty sure I’ve never tasted). It’s also funny how you think a wine tastes like, say, birch bark, but then the distributor approaches and says it has “a delicate nose, a full body and a passionate finish” – and you suddenly realize it’s true! (And, in the case of this description, get turned on.) When the same expert points out the “notes of Saskatoon berries,” you swear you can taste them even if you’re never eaten, seen or heard of this fruit, or know where Saskatoon is (it’s in Canada, which at least in this inaugural newsletter, ranks first in wine. Go Grape White North!).

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