When selecting a wine you should also take the occasion into account. I’ll never forget a boat ride next to the dolphins at Portinho da Arrábida in the River Sado where the main dish was sardine. As some guests were supposed wine connoisseurs, one of them thought it was a good idea to bring bottles of Barca Velha. At the end of the meal, the poor man was heartbroken because everybody was delighted with the sardines and the beautiful scenery, but no one cared about the selected Barca Velha. Everyone just wanted to drink something fresh due to the heat! A cold dry rosé, a white verde or even a light red wine with good levels of acidity would be better choices. And all of them were way less expensive than Barca Velha. This is a good example of why the wine must reflect the moment. In relaxed and warm outdoor environment with many points of interest, the wine must be relaxed, light, refreshing, easy to drink and not too expensive. If the event is indoors, it might be more formal and the wine selection could be different. But this is not crystal clear. For instance, if it’s a standing informal meal with many guests, the event won’t be that formal and the wines must reflect this ambiance. Some might say that you should only drink white wine in this kind of events so that you don’t ruin the carpets with red wine!
Selecting wines for solemn moments – like a wedding – certainly deserves a more careful analysis, albeit due to the high number of guests, it’s advised to choose wines that are not overly expensive. In fact, as all eyes will be on the newlyweds, the wine will always be secondary. Of course, the only exception would be if one of the parents of the newlyweds is an oenologist. If this is the case, the oenologist should bring his finest work, as every guest will be dying to know what did the “master” chose. And they will also expect to drink the very best.
The moment will arrive when someone will ask: “When will we open the great wines?” Usually, these moments are rare. It only happens in professional events – for oenologist, producers or critics. And that’s the way it should be. If we’d drink great wines every day, it would become commonplace and they would lose their biggest charm: rarity. You should only open a special bottle with few people – no more than three or four – and all of them must be wine connoisseurs and have extreme sensibility and critical sense. Only then you’ll find the right circumstances for the wine to be the centre of attentions (not even food should grab as much attention), providing great moments in great company. And when that magical moment arrives, when a wine exceeds all expectations, it will stay forever in the memory of everyone.