The name Little Black Dress comes from the iconic little black dress that just about every woman has in her closet. It’s classy, timeless, playfully elegant, and ready for anything at a moment’s notice. A woman in a little black dress tends to make friends easily and manages to turn a few heads along the way. Little Black Dress wines do that and more… all in an affordable wine category.
My wine tastings almost always include food, friends and writers. I think that’s the best way to find out how a wine is going to work out in real life. Over the years I’ve found that any wine can taste “good” or taste “bad” depending on who is doing the tasting. In the end, if you like a wine, it’s “good.”
Writers tend to look at the “parts” of the wine. Is it typical of the varietal, does it have layers of flavor, is the nose attractive and deliver on the palate? Is it ready to drink or needs some cellaring, what food does it or will it pair with and so forth. Friends tend to consider the first sip or three and decide immediately if they like how it tastes and smells. They think about how, where and to whom the wine can be served in their lifestyle circle. They put a big emphasis on how the wines taste with the food and the price point (bang for the buck).
With that in mind, this tasting was conducted with two writers and two consumer friends aboard a 42’ foot boat in Seattle, WA. The seas were calm and the skies were fair. Wines were paired with food and smooth jazz played in the background. Overall, the wines were given high marks for taste and price point. Here are the full results.
P.S. Don’t miss the guilty pleasure chocolate and cheese pairing guide at the very end.
1. Divalicious Pink 2012 $11: This pink Pinot has an effervescent Pinot Grigio base presenting with bright aromas of strawberry, kiwi and citrus. Residual Sugar: 1.8 g/mL / Alcohol:12.0% A.B.V/ Varietal Breakdown: 75% Pinot Grigio, 13% Muscat, 10% Chardonnay, 2% Viognier. Numerous prizes have been won by this wine: the International Women’s Wine Competition awarded the 2012 vintage Silver and the California State Fair awarded Bronze. Pairing: Délice de Bourgogne (Trader Joe’s version of a triple cream cheese) , Strawberries, Ham. This turned out to be the winner of the evening. Expect a smooth refined taste and character, perfect for summertime and winter holiday foods such as turkey and ham. Not a dry French rosé. This has some fruit and slight sweetness on the tongue and nose. A very diverse wine at a great price point.
2. Merlot 2011 $9: Aromas of ripe black cherry, notes of cranberry, red licorice, plum, and herbs, and a hint of vanilla oak on the finish. Residual Sugar:1.2 g/mL / Alcohol:13.5% A.B.V / Varietal Breakdown 78% Merlot, 4% Petite Sirah, 18% other complimentary red. Numerous prizes have been won by this wine: the San Francisco International Wine Competition awarded the 2012 vintage Gold Medal and the California State Fair awarded Gold. Pair with: cherries, Délice de Bourgogne, ham, chocolate, roast beef. Not a typical Merlot taste, so our Merlot fans were a bit disappointed with it. Still, it drinks well and should be considered for those looking for a Merlot that presents a different set of sips.
3. Cabernet Sauvignon 2011- $10: Aromas of cherries & blackberry and lightly toasted oak, a hint of vanilla spice and a fruity lasting finish. Residual Sugar:.9 g/mL / Alcohol:13.5% A.B.V / Varietal Breakdown: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah, 3% Syrah, 7% Other Complimentary Red Varietals. San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2014 Bronze, The Dallas Wine Competition 2014 Bronze. This is a Cab for Merlot drinkers. It’s done in a lighter smooth and cherry/berry focused style. Excellent to serve to people who say Cabs are too big for them. Food friendly with chocolate, beef, Délice de Bourgogne.
I give this trio of wines a big thumbs up for both taste and affordability and recommend you try them. They are your go-to wine for any occasion that calls for good taste.
Find out more about the wines and where you can find them near you
Wondering what YOU should serve with Little Black Dress wines? Be SURE to check out this Cheese and Chocolate Pairing Guide.