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“Little Black Dress” Wines

Every woman has in her closet a little black dress that is elegant, reassuring and suitable for most social occasions. When it comes to wine it is also good to have a selection of wine equivalents of the Little Black Dress. Wines that are elegant and with an easy drinking style. Here are some suggestion to bear in mind when choosing a selection of wines suitable for particular occasions.

A night out with friends requires a wine that is fun with an easy drinking style. The LBD wine for these occasions is ‘bubbles’. You don’t have to spend a fortune to find really nice sparkling wines. Try a Prosecco from Italy, a wine that is phenomenally popular all over the world and growing in popularity in Spain following the launch of Frexinet Prosecco. Alternatively a Moscato based sparkling wine, either from Valencia or an Asti Spumante from the Piedmont in Italy. These are wines that are fun to drink.

From New York to Paris and London, Rosé wines are very much in fashion. A Rosé is essential for you LBD wines. A well made Rosé looks elegant and can be the perfect wine for sharing with friends because the summer berry fruit flavours, light tannins and crisp freshness make it ideal to serve by the glass or to accompany a wide selection of dishes. The most famous Rosé owned by celebrities is Brad Pitt’s and Angeline Jolie’s Miraval Provencal Rosé.

There are a wide range of Rosé colours, from very pale salmon pink to pale golden onion skin colour (this colour is particularly popular with the Rosés from Provence in France) as well as deeper coloured reddish pinks. Do not judge the wine’s quality by the colour. The colour in wine comes from the skin of the grapes. A very light coloured Rosé is an indication that the juice has been very gently squeezed from the grapes ensuring that there is very little contact with the skins.

As an aperitif a glass of Fino Sherry adds a touch of sophistication at the start of a lunch or dinner. If you are not familiar with the taste of Fino buy a bottle of Tio Pepe at your local wine shop. Fino and Amontillado Sherries make wonderful food wines so if you are preparing a lunch or dinner with shellfish or vegetables such as asparagus or artichokes, make sure you have these fortified wines available. Also once opened you can keep them for several weeks in the fridge and they won’t go off.

Sparkling wines, Rosés and Sherry are not seasonal and can be enjoyed all year round, which makes them ideal for all occasions from a picnic on the beach, a paella with the family or a business setting.

Finding the wine that suits you best is like try on clothes. Through trial and error you will find the styles that you like best. Keep it simple, have a budget in mind and make nights out with friends a fun way to try different wines. You don’t have to be an expert to know what is right for you.

Written by

I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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