English >> Life & Culture
In Beijingers' daily lives, the ever-increasing international influence in the city is clearly evidenced in the food and beverage industry, where the variety and standards of foods continue to rocket forwards… especially if you know where to look. The Hilton Beijing Food and Wine Experience is one of the events of the year for industry players, wine connoisseurs, and foodies alike.
Now in its fifteenth year, the event drew a large crowd of about 3,000 attendees, all interested in sipping away at a huge variety of high-end international and local wines. Ports, champagnes, beers and more were represented, and even one baijiu (traditional Chinese distilled liquor) had its own booth staked out.
From the start, a steady stream of people flowed over the two floor event. After a few hours of sampling exhibitors' Bordeaux and chardonnays, a rose had crept into a few cheeks, and the general atmosphere slowly slipped over a notch from having serious discussions about grapes to having a soiree. "I'm going to try every wine they have here!" laughed Zachary Fritzhand. "It's a little overwhelming," smiled American Justin, before adding, "but delicious so far."
Andre from the Sheraton attended the show to investigate French wines for his restaurant. "It's amazing, it's huge," he noted. "It's much bigger than I thought it would be and there's a huge selection." But was an event like this work or pleasure for him? "Both," he smirked. "It's always both. It's not very hard to be here."