Perhaps we shouldn't make fun of moscato. The moscato grape is now the fastest growing varietal in the United States. AC Nielsen reports that the moscato category has jumped an astounding 96.2% in sales volume from last year's. Whole vineyards are being ripped up all throughout California's bulk-wine producing Central Valley, and guess what they're being replanted with? Sure the logic might be a bit faulty, since those moscato vines won't produce viable fruit for 4-6 years and by then tastes may change, but the point is clear.
Enter Yellowtail, or [yellow tail]. The original "critter wine", a $5 shiraz that almost single handedly redefined both a varietal and a wine market. A wine that introduced millions of new wine drinkers to red wine. This is their Moscato. Similar in style, eerily similar to low-priced moscato from Asti, Italy. Those are known as Moscato d'Asti or Asti Spumante. A wine like this [yellow tail] appeals to a giant swath of the population looking for a fun, easy to drink beverage that still carries the "wine" designation yet isn't expensive, complex, pretentious, or hard to drink.
|(img src http://www.prweb.com/releases/yellow_tail)|
Yellowtail advertises their moscato as: "Lil' Sweet. Lil' Fizzy" and that is certainly the case here. Ripe peaches and fizz define the smell and the taste. I picked up a hint of something tropical, like mango juice, as well, further sweetening up the [yellow tail] moscato to the point where it was a bit overwhelming. As someone who enjoys dry sparkling wine, I couldn't drink a full glass of this on it's own. This isn't a dessert wine though, so it doesn't reek of residual sugar the way a late harvest riesling might.
What did happen was inspiration, because I think the Yellow Tail moscato is perfect for cocktails. Mix it with a citrus based soda and some vodka, add two drops of bitters, and enjoy. Another recipe is to use just the moscato, some frozen, blended peach, and a couple of ounces of light rum. Still one more is to just do the moscato and vodka, with a lemon twist. That's called a "Moscatini"The point is to experiment and find recipes that work.
I'm not trying to sound like this [yellow tail] moscato is undrinkable! Just for my palate, it's something I'd avoid, along with 99% of all moscato. Add to that my hesitation at even considering the [yellow tail] brand, and it's hard to recommend this as a summer sipper. Why then did I accept this sample? Professional curiosity, the chance to taste something new, and the desire to experiment with wine cocktails.
Sure, the price is good, $6.99 for a 750ml bottle, and throughout it's existence, Yellowtail has always been very affordable. What it's lacked is identity, uniqueness, a sense of place. Admittedly those are hard when your wines cost $5.49 at Trader Joe's, and I am taking the low price into account.
With that in mind, if you are looking to drink (or serve) a light, airy, slightly sweet wine, this might be a wise choice. You get name recognition from your guests (or yourself), solid quality, and an easily quaffable wine. All for a real-world price of around $5. Hard to ask for more at that price point. As they say in the land of Oz, good on ya', [yellow tail].
This wine was a media sample for review purposes.