Wine Club Circunstância (in english: "Circumstance") opened in September 2006. This is a extremely fine place for the delight of any wine lover !!
Personally, I do believe there's nothing close to this concept in any part of the world !!! - Every single detail has been thought of.
Being a wine club, members are invited to keep their bottles inside their assign cube. Each cube holds up to 24 bottles of red wine only.
Since the room temperature is controlled to keep a steady 18 degrees Celsius (approx. 64 Fahrenheit), white wines are being kept in one other section, a cooler, to be served by the glass by order.
Members can either buy their own bottles from Circunstância's extensive list of +500 wines or bring their own bottles originally bought outside the club.
Member's assigned cubes will keep member's bottles at 18 degrees Celsius all year round. Which is just GREAT. :)
By the way, there's No Member's Fee to keep wines inside the cubes !! Members just need to pay a service fee every time they decided to be served their own wine.
The area upstairs where the cubes are is accessibly to members only. Access to this area is done by opening a door using a member's card but moving bottles off the cubes is only possible to be done from the Circunstância's staff area on the back.
On the second floor there's also a smaller multimedia room available for presentations and private parties.
Several months before Circunstância's inauguration, when I was first introduced with a multimedia presentation to the concept of this Club, I said to myself that this wine-club would fit lovely in any capital city such as New York or London. Luckely I have it here: in Batalha - a mere 25km (15 miles) from the village I live in.
The Circunstância wine list of +500 wines are of 90% portuguese. The most represented wine-regions are Douro, located in northern Portugal, and Alentejo, in the south of Portugal.
Circunstância is open everyday from 5pm until 2am.
What to buy: Wine by the Glass. Traditional Portuguese food (hors d'oeuvres & appetizers only) is also being served but please note Circunstância is not to be considered a restaurant.
If you walk to the rear of the abbey, you'll see the tourismo (tourist information office) and a number of small shops and cafes. You can pick up some azulejos tiles and other touristy items in the shops to commemorate your visit.