Now we need some people for those chairs.

Suite Sixteen Contest: Win the Presidential Suite at Hilton Beijing Food & Wine Experience

Alex Sanchez Kenny Lew Karoline Kan Hilton Beijing Food & Wine Experience 2013 draw
Getting ready to draw the winners.


Update: I enlisted the help of Alex Sanchez of Spanish restaurant Niajo and Kenny Lew and Vina Wei of that’s Beijing magazine, who happened to be present at Kro’s Nest during coffee break and ensured ample witnesses for a fair contest. We held one draw, which included all legitimate entries, for three pairs of tickets, plus lunch or dinner, to the Hilton Beijing Food & Wine Experience. The winners: Johann, Kirby and Andy. The winner of our early bird draw was Andrew P.

We held a second draw for the grand prize of two tickets, with lunch or dinner, plus an overnight stay in the presidential suite and next-day breakfast for two. The nine finalists for the draw: Kirby, Zerlina, OM, Ivan, Johann, Mike, Sarah, Nick and Andrew. I wrote the names on paper slips, Sanchez mixed them and Wei picked the winner. This year’s grand prize winner: Sarah Johnston.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to the participants and to Sanchez, Lew and Wei. Thank you also to Hilton Beijing for providing such excellent prizes. The Food & Wine Experience is this Saturday, from 1 PM to 7 PM. Tickets are rmb190 and get you access to more than 1000 wines plus beers, spirits and snacks. Pay rmb280 and your ticket includes either lunch (until 2 PM) or dinner (5:30 PM to 7 PM) buffet. Hope to see you there!

You can find all the entries to the contest below, covering everyone from Xi Jinping to Winston Churchill to Hassan Rouhani to John F. Kennedy.

Hilton Beijing Food & Wine Experience 2013 draw~

Imperial Suite
Totally suite…


Why stumble home from the Hilton Beijing if you can saunter up to the presidential suite? (Yeah, that’s a rhetorical question.)

I’m teaming with the Hilton on a contest for the sixteenth vintage of its Food & Wine Experience, slated for November 2.

The grand prize: two tickets, including lunch or dinner, to the Food & Wine Experience, an overnight stay in the presidential suite, and next-day breakfast for two. We’ll also give away four pairs of tickets, including lunch or dinner (details below).

The Food & Wine Experience includes over a thousand wines as well as food, beer and spirit vendors and classes. The event is from 1 PM to 7 PM on November 2. Tickets are rmb190, or rmb280 with buffet lunch (until 2 PM) or dinner (5:30-7 PM). For tickets or info, email shirley.shi1 (at)

On to the contest!

In years past, we asked you to pick a “party of five” for the presidential suite (2012), create an event slogan (2011), share a memorable wine experience (2009), tell us your ideal wine-drinking partner (2008), and — my favorite so far — invent a celebrity wine (2010).

This year’s contest: Tell us what president you want to meet, and why, and the wine you would share. (See the comments for examples.)

You can pick the president of a country, a company or a club, of a university, NGO or sports team, of… you get the idea. The president can be living or dead, real or fictional. We’ll also accept prime ministers, CEOs and mayors. But no vice presidents! We’re strict about that.


  • To enter the contest, go to the comments section and tell us your president pick, and why, and the wine you would share.
  • You can enter the contest up to three times. Leave each entry as a separate comment.
  • The entry deadline is 1 PM on October 29.
  • On October 21, all entries to that point will be put into a draw for a pair of tickets, including lunch or dinner, for the Food & Wine Experience.
  • On October 29, we will pick the ten best entries. We will draw one as the grand prize winner of two tickets, plus an overnight stay with a guest in the presidential suite, plus next-day breakfast for two. We will announce the winner’s name that night.
  • We will also put all entries into a draw for three pairs of tickets, including lunch or dinner.
  • Note: If the presidential suite is booked on November 2, the grand prize winner and guest will get an overnight stay in a regular suite and use of the presidential suite on another night. That means two stays in the Hilton Beijing.

If you have any questions, let me know at beijingboyce (at)

Whether you win tickets or not, I recommend checking out the Hilton Beijing Food & Wine Experience. I have been going to this event since 2005 and always have a memorable time.


Suite dreams!
Suite dreams

49 thoughts on “Suite Sixteen Contest: Win the Presidential Suite at Hilton Beijing Food & Wine Experience”

  1. Bernard Farges, president of the Bordeaux wine bureau (CIVB). Because he’s fairly new to the job and I want to hear about his plans for China.

    I’m split between giving him a wine from Le Ponty, which is doing an excellent job on its own in Beijing of promoting Bordeaux. Or giving him a local wine, from Silver Heights in Ningxia or Grace Vineyard in Shanxi, to see what he thinks. I’m probably going to go with the Silver Heights. Then, we’ll go and get really drunk on beer at Heaven Supermarket…

  2. I want to meet The President of the Faye Wong Fan Club because Faye Wong is a legend in the Chinese music scene *and* she was born in Beijing.

    We would drink something local, like a bottle of Huailai Reserve from Dragon Seal, a winery within city limits. And we would probably drink it at a KTV, so I could cover Wong’s cover of Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’…

  3. President Coriolanus Snow from The Hunger Games.

    This guy is a jackass, so I’ll serve him the worst 15-kuai wine I can find. I will leave it in sunlight for a few weeks, bake it in the oven for an hour, and filter it through a well-worn pair of Yao Ming’s gym shorts before serving. Yes, I realize I’m sharing this wine, but this guy is so bad I’m willing to take a hit for the team. That one’s for you, District 12.

  4. Former French President Jacques Chirac.

    Because he’s been so disparaging about the English in the past I would serve him a delicious bottle of English sparkling wine to show him what he has been missing. Maybe Ridgeview Estate from Sussex.

  5. I would share a bottle of Great Wall wine with the president of Mongolia, I was on a van ride to Mongola last month, 7 Mongolians and little old me, they stopped for pictures at the great wall along the way, seemed to be laughing thier asses off at how well that worked out for the people who built it.

  6. I would share a mas la plana with former president of catalunya jordi puyol because he is a real symbol for independism for catalunya and a great honest man.
    I choose mas la plana because its one of the most famous and best wines of catalunya!
    Força Catalunya!!!

  7. I like so much this idea, great!
    I would like to drink a bottle of Martin Codax (Albariño – Spanish white wine) with Amancio Ortega, Inditex CEO.
    He is a admirable business man, but also galician like me, and maybe drinking this fresh wine he would tell me any secret about his success.

  8. What do fine wine and the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team have in common? They spend a lot of time in the cellar.

    I’ve heard that joke a few times over the years. Especially since the Leafs have not won The Stanley Cup since 1967.

    So, I’d like to sit down with Tim Leiweke, the team’s new president, for a talk. We’re going to have it while enjoying a 1967 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime. That’s a Champagne from the last year the Leafs won the cup. Tastes like victory.

    And if they do win the cup, then it’s time to celebrate that sweet victory with a Cabernet Franc Icewine from Wayne Gretzky Estates…

    Cheers, Boyce

  9. I would like to share a bottle of the Mount Destin, Destiny Shiraz 2006 with the President of Botswana – Ian Khama – for successfully negotiating the De Beers Group to leave London and establish its base back in Africa in the capital of Botswana, Gabarone! Ian can even keep the bottle afterwards which is encrusted with a half carat diamond for his stalwart efforts! Viva Africa!

  10. I would love to have a sit down with President Whitmore from the greatest Smith movie : Independence Day (circa 1996) we would dissect the emotional intricacies of his legend…(wait for it) …dary speech and how he would be involved in the sequel. Also ask him if Jeff Goldbloom is as awesome as he seems.

  11. I would share a bottle of De Wall Top of The Hill South African Pinotage with Sir Winston Churchill. I feel he would greatly appreciate this type of wine from the country he had so many adventures. It would also got great with is cigars. Plus I love it too hehe

  12. My vote is for Laura Roslin, President of The Twelve Colonies. In the cold of space far away from our homes, we would settle for anything – even a bottle of Yellow Tail Chardonnay (especially at the outrageous prices they charge at Jenny Lu for this plonk). I will open the bottle after she defeat that slimy Baltar in another triumphant election. Her tired eyes will light up at the bottle as she cancels her date with that Adama guy. We shall relish every
    drop of the last bottle of wine from our lost home worlds. She might even forget that I am a Cylon.

  13. Hmm…it’s a tough one and there are already some pretty good ideas here. I like the Leiweke/ice wine idea, though would probably prefer to share it with Geoff Molson =)

    Sticking on a sporting theme, I think I’d have to go with Lionel Messi (future President of Argentina), and have a Felipe Rutini Malbec, though it would have to be in Argentina where the prices are far more reasonable and we could share it over an authentic parillada. My Spanish is about as good as my Chinese, so a bottle or two would certainly help the conversation.

  14. I would choose to have a bottle of wine with the President of the US Senate……Joe Biden.

    He is more popularly known as the Vice President of the US, which I know the rules clearly state that makes him ineligible for this contest, however, since Joe Biden also Constitutionally mandated to be the President of the US Senate…..and the sole person with the power to break a tie in Senate voting….I believe that he is exempted from this no vice presidents rule.

    Why would I select Joe Biden…..have you seen this guy? He is just like that uncle that tells all of the dirty jokes at Christmas, and gave you your first beer when you were 16…..I truly owe this man a glass of wine he helped me become the Presidential Suite wine bottle dropper I am today.

    However, down to business, what wine would we drink? I believe that the President of the Senate and I would enjoy a nice box of Black Box Cab-Sauv. I know that the wine snobs out there might turn their noses up at the thought of drinking wine from a box, but at $22 for the equivalent of 4 bottles, it’s reasonably priced and the sealed bag that the wine is stored is truly just a poor man’s enomatic machine. However, let’s be honest… and Joe….we are mowing that entire box down ourselves.

  15. I would choose to have a bottle of wine with the President of the sorority Delta Gamma at the University of Maryland.

    I know the immediate reaction is oh that is so creepy….another dirty old man trying to get a college girl drunk…..but wait….you all forget who this girl is…..she is the girl that sent the deranged email to her sisters informing them that if they were special needs that they should let her know because she wants to ensure that they did not attend the Greek week event with the Sigma Nu’s because they would make the sorority look bad. Moreover, she made the term “c*nt punt” famous. This girl rocks….and is a little crazy….so she would be awesome to get a glass of wine with.

    For your reference at how awesome this girl is, and why she deserves a drink please refer to this article that includes the entire text of home girl’s email:

    In addition, from some true hilarity please enjoy Michael Shannon (also known as the new General Zod) reading the email:

    What wine would be drink…….she is a college girl…..we have to drink something sweet, so White Zin it is.

  16. I’d love to pick President Xi’s thoughts on Edward Snowden & his cyber spying revelations with a bottle of Grace Vineyard’s Chairmans Reserve (quite appropriate for the occasion).

  17. I can think of Fifa’s President Joseph Blatter to try to score a pair of VIP tickets to the next cup’s final in Brazil with a bottle of Casillero del Diablo Reserva Privada Sauvignon Blanc. Who doesn’t love Futbol!

  18. Another one of my choices would be the President of Televisa Emilio Azcárraga Jean for unlimited access to Mexican Telenovelas with a bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild 2005.

  19. I would like to share a bottle of 1969 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs with President Richard Nixon and have my very own “Toast to Peace”

  20. I am going to go with the first President of the US George Washington.

    History tells us that he had a distillery on site at his estate Mount Vernon, but history also tells us that he drink of choice was maderia fortified wine… I know that he would be down for wine over whiskey.

    The wine we would drink would fit both of this preferences….I would choose Smoking Loon, Cab Sauv. Smoking Loon is aged in used whiskey barrels to give it a nice smokey taste….a true whiskey drinker’s wine.

  21. I would share a bottle of wine with El Presidente Fidel Castro. The wine would come from Orestes Estevez’s rooftop vineyard in Havana, where a bottle sells for about 50 cents.
    Why would I want to meet Fidel Castro other than the fact that he is Fidel Castro?? Because he would have some awesome cigars to smoke while we were drinking wine.

  22. I’d love to share a bottle of Pol Roger, Winston Churchill with Winston Churchill.

    We shall go on to the end. We shall drink at the Hilton, we shall drink on the stairs and lifts, we shall drink with growing confidence and growing strength in our opinions, we shall defend our lack of sobriety , whatever the cost may be. We shall drink in the lobby, we shall drink on the landing, we shall drink in the ballroom and on the balcony, we shall drink in the restaurants; we shall never be sober.

  23. @ Andrew White,

    If you need a backup bottle from China, Bodega Langes in Hebei province has a bottle encrusted with Swarowski crystals. Very shiny.

    Cheers, Boyce

  24. I’d drink the bottle of 1974 Grange Hermitage I found in my father’s cellar with Australian ex-PM Kevin Rudd. Not only was the ’74 produced under difficult circumstances (excess rain & outbreak of downy mildew), it was totally off when I opened & tried it. But as Kevin must be used to tasting bitterness, I’m sure he’d be a fine drinking partner.

  25. I want to meet Jean Valjean, the main character from ‘Les Miserables’, who was a mayor for a time while he was on the run. Not the Hugh Jackman Jean Valjean from the movie but the Colm Wilkinson Jean Valjean from the original London cast. This man changed my life when I saw him in another production in Toronto in the early 90s. He lives in Toronto now so I think we would go on a Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries tour and share a pinot noir from the Lailey Vineyard Winery, among others. I would insist that he sing everything to me the whole day. No talking, just singing.

  26. I know it’s a rather typical or even a pedestrian answer, but I have to go with JFK. Kennedy would certainly have some stories to tell (Marilyn) plus let’s remember that he (and Jackie O) revolutionized White House dining. In fact, Kennedy had the following dinner on October 22 after his public announcement of the US position concerning the Cuban Missile Crisis: orange-glazed duck, wild rice, spinach in a cream sauce, and chocolate soufflé. Wines included Pouilly-Fume 1959, Chateau Haut-Brion 1955, and Piper Heidsieck 1955. Now I call that Presidential!

  27. Sorry forgot to mention the wine: I would share a bottle (or two or three) of Cupcake Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc! JFK was a white wine drinker and this would be a perfect birthday celebratory wine as long as Marilyn made an entry by popping out of the cake……”Happy Birthday Mr. President!”

  28. For my second choice, I would go with another political figure of the past: Deng Xiaoping. President Deng and I would talk about everything from the opening up of China to that thing that happened near that place called the Forbidden City in that year which is immediately after 1988. We would enjoy a bottle from my favorite Chinese winery: Grace Vineyard likely the most recent Sonata series. It would be interesting to see his opinion of how China has developed (viticulturally, of course).

  29. Okay last option and I gotta go with a less political, more imbibed choice (and I’ll keep it amongst the living): the President/Founder of the Argentine winery Bodega Atamisque, Frenchman John Du Monceau. We would definitely be drinking their 2008 Atamisque Assemblage (super blend). Amazing wines plus we would enjoy them in a perfect setting by the Andes. Check out the photos:

  30. Yeah Jim, i think i would drink with the president of Switzerland Ueli Maurer, (yes switzerland have a president) he change every year :-).
    i would choose a bottle of Humagne rouge from la cave des chevaliers a saltegenech valais.
    We would discuss, about the on going free trade agrement and see if this could help to bring more delicious swiss wines to china.
    we would prepare an email together for Jim to told him to talk about unknown delicious wines product from this well know country

  31. I would choose the NEXT President of the USA (currently nameless) so I could tell him/her how to save the US economy and restore dignity to the office of the President. To relax him/her I’d offer one of my all time favorites : 1990 Tignanello.

  32. I would host and toast Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani, just for the opportunity to ask: Why can I get a great glass of shiraz anywhere in the world except: Shiraz, Iran? I know the answer, of course, but since he is the new voice of moderation in Iran, maybe there is hope for a cultural breakthrough here? I would tempt him with the best Chinese shiraz blend I can find, or the superb Greek Porto Carras Syrah 2006.

  33. Jim,

    I am hoping that the captain of a sporting team will be accepted, since you mention sports teams but I don’t know of any sporting team presidents.

    I would pick Greg Norman, the much maligned ‘tall poppy’ of Australian golf and Captain of the ‘President’s Cup’ golf team – an honour afforded to very few golfing greats.

    A man who is the greatest Ambassador for golf in Australia, is primarily and solely responsible for the resurgence of golf in Australia, mentor of the latest masters champion, Adam Scott, a brilliant entrepreneur and businessman and a great bloke!

    I would choose 2008 Penfold’s Grange – arguably their best vintage to date. Having entered into the wine business himself, it would be an interesting conversation over what is being considered the best Grange vintage to date.

    Not to mention the tips I would get to reduce my handicap, as long as the tip isn’t “Ray – pick another sport!”

  34. A red with the redhead – I’d like to share a Shiraz with former Aussie Prime Minister Julia Gillard, to hear her side of things and her predictions for the new government.

  35. What a great list of people! I would be remiss if I didn’t include the first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. Macdonald. As a proud Canadian I am certain our country would look a lot different today had he not put forth such great effort and time into building our national railway, the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway). And yes, he did loose his position in Parliament for some time due to some financing scandal in relation to the railway…which makes him the perfect man to talk to about life in Canada in the 1800s! We may not have long or as rich of a history as China but surely we’d not run out of things to talk about.

    Furthering the patriotic conversation would be made easier with a bottle *or two* of Cedar Creek Estates’ 2010 Platinum ‘Home Block’ Pinot Noir. One of my favourite Okanogan vineyards producing excellent full bodied reds. What I would do to have a bottle in Beijing…

  36. My second choice would be former Cheif Innovation Officer and founder of Lululemon, Chip Wilson. Starting a small yogawear company in Kitsilano and managing to transform it into a multi billion dollar ‘Luon’ empire is no easy task. Women (and men) across the globe can thank Chip for the ultra comfort and of those tight black yoga pants! He created the company’s manifesto, and perhaps sparked an interest in more than just wearing Lulu- the company focuses on goal setting and leading a better life. It would be inspiring to sit down and drink a bottle of wine with him and see if truly there is some ‘koolaid effect’ to be had.

    For the vino, I’d have to go with another BC option which is Blasted Church’s Hatfield Fuse 2012. A zany blend of 9 different grape varieties is sure to keep us zen and satisfied.

  37. Does an Empress count as a ‘President’? If so, my third choice would go to Empress Dowager Cixi aka the Dragon Lady. So many questions to ask, life of a former concubine turned Empress: to be known as the least favoured ruler of all….what would that have been like? We’d drink a bottle of Opus One in a lavishly decorated room full of red and gold.

  38. Well…my selection will tie in nicely with the Suite Sixteen theme here. I’d shoot a box of Franzia Granache with Joe Francis, President & Founder of Girls Gone Wild Enterprises. We’d try not to get arrested while…OK it’s GGW and Joe Francis – you figure out the link to sixteen.

  39. I’d like to share a glass of with Conrad Hilton, founder and now-deceased president of Hilton Hotels. I am sure that he would appreciate the world-class grandeur of Hilton Beijing’s Presidential Suite. We’d lament the demise of the Hilton family’s social status owing to his grand daughters’ antics and toast the glory years of his marriage to Zsa Zsa Gabor over a glass of 1943 Bordeaux – the finest vintage of his years spent married to her. Then we’d mix up some Old Fashions, Mad Man style.

  40. I’d party it up with Kim Jong Un. According to his buddy Dennis Rodman, he always has the best of everything and we’d enjoy it on his “one part Disneyland one part Ferry” yacht. We could toast his recent honorary doctorate from Malaysia and debate about which North Korean beauty he should have ultimately settled with. Two Balthazars of 2009 Chateaux Margaux should work at a Dubai Airport price of $195,000 a piece.

  41. My date for Saturday night is with Mr Ted Cruz – the president of the Crazy Nuts Republican caucus who will destroy the GOP to bring (his version of) the United States with the righteous fire and brimstone of his rhetoric. My choice of wine – a bottle of People’s Cabernet by Grace Vineyard

    It will be my pleasure to whine and dine with the freshman senator from Texas, listen to him rant about how Obamacare will destroy the economy and capitalism. The wine will be served incognito – I will sneak it into dinner in a used bottle of Opus One and invite him to savour in the epitome of Napa wine making. After the chocolate souffle at One East, I will drop the bombshell on him. That he has been drinking Chinese all night long – and he liked it. He will question the very foundation of his existence and repent his wicked ways.

  42. Oh damn! Missed this!! If I won a pair of tickets this year this would have been my third year to join Hilton food and wine courtesy of Beijing Boyce. Aghhh.. gutted I missed this. :(

  43. Hi Geraldine,

    Sorry you didn’t see the contest! But it’s still worth going to the event. I’m looking forward to chilling out with some good wines on Saturday!

    Cheers, Jim

  44. after thinking about this overnight, i’d like to have a wine with the president of the philippines (ninoy aquino jr.) get him tipsy and talk about guns. he loves guns. and hopefully talk about his bachelorhood. #lols

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