Wine Under $20

Seeking the best value for the buck.

Yellow Tail Bubbles Sparkling Wines

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Continuing on with our journey though all that is Yellow Tail, we've moved into the land of bubbles. While last week we tried several different Yellow Tail whites, this week we're tasting their two sparking wines—one white and one rosé.

While I would love to tell you which grapes go into the juice, neither the label nor the website discloses such details, simply calling it "Sparkling White [or Rosé] Wine". Rumor has it that the white sparkler is predominantly Chardonnay, which would make sense given the flavor profile of the wine.

Mystery grapes aside, the bubblies are roughly aligned with the prices of the Yellow Tail varietal bottles, coming in at around $8 to 10, depending on where you buy. And each comes with a novel, resealable closure called a "Zork". I suppose this is an appropriate name for it because it does look a little space-agey. Basically, you peel off a spiral of plastic (like some milk gallons have) and shimmy off the remaining closure. Less exciting without the pop one normally looks for in a sparkler, but it should keep the bubbles in the bottle for longer.

But is the stuff beyond the Zork any good? We won't keep you waiting any longer to find out.

The Winner: Sparkling White Wine

The white sparkler poured out with a large bubble that fizzled out pretty quickly, and the aroma reminded us a bit of stone fruit. This stuff is a bit sweeter than we expected—much sweeter than standard brut Prosecco or Cava. Apple notes were supplemented with a few bready, biscuity flavors. And the creamy mouthfeel gave way to candied grapefruit on this finish. Overall, this sparkler was pretty easy drinking—it could be a potential crowd pleaser.

But what about the other bottle?

Sparkling Rosé Wine

The rosé had a pale pink color color in the glass with bubbles that were a little finer than the white version. It smelled a bit like strawberries, and had more fruity, berry flavors than the other bottle. It's still sweet, though. This wine was neither particularly offensive nor particularly interesting, so we'd likely try something else next time we're looking for wine in the supermarket aisle.

Have you ever tried the bubbly from Yellow Tail? Did it strike your fancy? Let us know in the comments section!

About the author: Seema Gunda is an avid wine traveler, collector, and student with a background in chemistry and a day job in consulting.

Disclosure: All wines were provided as press samples for review consideration.

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