Yellow Tail Cabernet

I used the phrase “Haters Gonna Hate” in my last wine post and I have to say in regards to this week’s wine, I’m a full blown hater and not a fan.

I’ve always wondered about the placebo effect of wine tasting. People have done many blind tests and have been unable to distinguish the $5 wine from the $35 wine. People think that knowing the price of the wine makes people falsely believe it’s better than it actually is. An argument is made, therefore, that cheaper wines like Yellow Tail are actually better than you’d think and are proverbial “diamonds in the rough”. The argument is also made that unless you are a sommelier, you’d never tell the differences between cheaper wines.

I’m here to say that Yellow Tail Cabernet indeed tastes like $5 wine and it is definitely not a diamond, but is in fact very rough. 

Yellow Tail is a MASSIVE Australian wine brand. It’s the US’s best selling imported wine. It represents about 15% of Australia’s total wine export. According to the Wine Economist, Yellow Tail sells more wine in the U.S. than all French producers combined. THIS IS A LOT OF WINE.

Yellow Tail’s makers want to craft their wine to be approachable and drinkable for the masses. They capitalized on a short-lived Australian wine craze in America and now you can spot Yellow Tail in every wine retailer across the US. I’ve seen it in drug stores, gas stations in the middle of nowhere and literally every supermarket that sells wine. It’s everywhere. And if you like wine for its effects and not its more nuanced elements, it’s probably fine for you. If you’re newly 21 years old with not much money to spend, a bottle of Yellow Tail would suit you well and would impress your fellow 21 year olds whose palates prefer hard soda or Miller Lite. But if you’re a 31 year old mother of 2 who only has an hour to enjoy a glass of wine while your kids nap on a Saturday afternoon, you should probably leave the Yellow Tail on the shelf for the newbies and opt for something else a bit more tasty.


Here’s where my little graphic fails… You can’t tell by my taste ratings that this wine just simply tastes bad. I tried to be as fair as possible with regard to where each tasting element scored, but my sliding scale doesn’t quite capture it. You may think that if I rated it high on the sweet scale, a sweet wine drinker may go for it.. but it’s not a good sweet or an expected sweet taste. It’s an overripe, fake, syruppy sweet that you’d never expect from a Cabernet grape. Cabernets tend to have a bit more body and tannin. Yellow Tail had neither to profound effect. So for this one, please note that the rating on my “Overall” scale is very, very close to “Scrape off the label so the garbage man doesn’t judge you” end.

For Yellow Tail Cabernet, I’d rate this wine: “Tell people you’ve tried it for ‘research’ and that you’d never try it again”… cause that’s what I’m doing.


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