Are you experienced? Hilton’s massive annual wine event

By Jim Boyce

Two years ago, I lost my mobile phone. Last year, I accidentally broke a bottle of Shiraz on a marble staircase. This year, who knows?

The eleventh annual Beijing Food & Wine Experience is slated for Saturday, November 29 in Beijing. While the 2007 event covered two days, this year the trade tasting, public tasting and other activities will be squeezed into one day and utilize the Hilton’s new nine-floor “executive tower.”

Given that a fee of RMB230 provided patrons access to hundreds of wines (more than a thousand?) and a buffet, I found the turnout at the public tasting disappointing last year. So did several distributors with whom I talked: they not only paid for display space, but also had the costs of providing staff, wine, and literature. (Note: This year’s display packages range from RMB3500 to RMB22000).

If my in-box ahead of last year’s event is an indication, better marketing – by the hotel and distributors – is needed for what, at least for many consumers, should be one of the wine events of the year in Beijing. This seems especially important for the Hilton given that some distributors have been “going it alone” and holding partial portfolio tastings for as low as RMB100, including Torres, Palette, GELIPU-Winelink, and ASC.

Last year saw eight distributors hold the vast majority of the nearly 200 tablesASC, Aussino, Jointek, Summergate, Jebsen, H&L, Palette and Torres. Other distributors included DT Asia, Metro, Bacchus Pernod Ricard, Ao Hua, Beijing GLP, East Meets West, Longfellows, Moet Hennessey Diageo and TBC (The Beverage Company). Some food, glassware, wine accessory, bottled water and publishing companies also participated.

For more details, see my write-ups about the the 2007 event and the 2006 event. I’ll have more on this year’s event soon.

Sign up for the Grape Wall newsletter here. Follow Grape Wall on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And see my sibling sites World Marselan DayWorld Baijiu Day and Beijing Boyce. Grape Wall has no advertisers, so if you find the content useful, please help cover the costs via PayPal, WeChat or Alipay. Contact Grape Wall via grapewallofchina (at)


  1. Wow a major event in Beijing while I am heading to Singapore’s Wine For Asia this Thursday.

    Cheers and great to read up your postings.


  2. Sounds nice. I saw something similar here in Shenzhen, but I’ll probably skip it. Last year Carrefour had a free wine tasting with plenty of wine left over at the end of the night for taking…I probably shouldn’t do that again.

Leave a Reply