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Costco Wine Talk

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    Costco Wine Talk

    Costco is one of the largest wine retailers in the world. Whether it be their own Kirkland-branded wines or any of the deals they've made with various wineries or distributors -- you're bound to find a reasonable bottle at a reasonable price.

    What wines have you found at Costco that have made you happy? What tips or tricks do you have for making sure you're getting a desired bottle out of their bins?

    Let's start: we have yet to pick up a disappointing Kirkland-branded bottle.

    The Kirkland Signature Series has had some really good, limited edition stuff (if you can pick some up while it's available)

    Maybe it's just us, but sometimes we feel weird bringing a Kirkland-branded bottle to a party/host gift vs serving it at home. It's perfectly fine wine, but some may sneer at the label before tasting (if they taste at all)


      I couldn’t agree more. Bought their Champaign for new year, it was excellent
      A few years back, Wine Spectator Mag had a section of economy wines. They listed a Sonoma County Reserve Zin, as a great buy. We get cases of it whenever we see it, under $10.
      we routinely buy their French Vodka as well.


      • WillTravelForFood
        WillTravelForFood commented
        Editing a comment
        For whatever reason, we keep missing the Sonoma Reserve Zin releases. Booo.

      Every year the food critic for The Seattle Times does a survey of his fave wines at Costco. This is well worth a read:



      • DrJimmy2112
        DrJimmy2112 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for sharing. I got burned by their Kirkland Signature California Cabernet Sauvignon that he pans as well. I have usually just taken the 6 pack of menage a troise red blend or however you spell it.

      • rickgregory
        rickgregory commented
        Editing a comment
        You're welcome. Tastes vary etc but I think their annual reviews are pretty close assuming you like a style of wine to begin with (i.e. if you don't like bubbly their admiration of the sparkling wines are going to... (I can't help it...) fall flat.
        Last edited by rickgregory; January 12, 2022, 11:22 AM.

      I check the one by us and have found that their prices aren't that good. But this is brand name stuff though


        Starsky : That's odd. We regularly find their prices on brand-name items are typically better than Total Wine and/or local grocery stores.

        Although we did hit a jackpot at the grocery store on a 2019 Wash State Zin that we enjoy that ended up being $11/bottle (after sale price + 10% off when buying 6) vs the normal $18-$20+ we see elsewhere. Bought them out, we did.

        We've found that Total Wine tends to get super-close price-wise for same-label wines to the local Costco, depending on bottle. They'd rather keep the foot traffic and make a tiny amount of money on a few bottles vs not sell any at all.


          Here in Alabama the cost of ALL alcohol is much higher than in neighboring states, due to the 3-tiered state controlled distribution system. Even Costco would have to purchase their beer/wine/liquor through the state store system, and resale at a markup. I can drive across the state line to any neighboring state and pickup alcohol for significantly less in just about any store.


            To be honest their 3 liter boxes of Cabernet Sauvignon are pretty good for the occasional glass and they are around $13


            • Santamarina
              Santamarina commented
              Editing a comment
              My father-in-law is a sommelier, so our wine tastes have grown considerably over the years.

              But I still always keep a box of that Cab Sauv in our pantry. I use it for cooking and drinking while I cook. I have even been known to take a glass to the table for dinner…until my wife opens a bottle of good wine…and I can smell the difference standing next to her!

            • SierraBBQGuy
              SierraBBQGuy commented
              Editing a comment
              Every Chef on TV. Facebook, YouTube etc says never use a wine for cooking that you wouldn’t drink. I just don’t subscribe to that, we routinely drink a bottle that cost $15 or more. No way I pouring 1/2 a bottle (or more) over short ribs or shanks. The $6 stuff is fine, honestly I doubt anyone could tell the difference after simmering fir 3 hrs.

            • WillTravelForFood
              WillTravelForFood commented
              Editing a comment
              SierraBBQGuy - agreed we don't use a $20+ bottle for our daily cooking.... but we do keep inexpensive 200ml bottles (sold four to a pack) of pinot grigio in the pantry specifically for cooking purposes. It'd still be drinkable wine if we were forced to guzzle it, thus meeting the "only cook with wine you'd drink" mantra. We like the smaller bottles specifically because they're almost recipe-sized. If we need a red, we'll get a $10 bottle and cook with half while drinking the rest

            Unfortunately, Oregon does not allow Costco to sell alcohol.


            • JJD
              JJD commented
              Editing a comment
              That's the case for hard liquor. Costco sells wine/beer etc in Oregon.

            • Attjack
              Attjack commented
              Editing a comment
              You're right and I knew that. Odd that I momentarily forgot.

            DrJimmy2112 We've found their Signature Series to be pretty, pretty good. There's always going to be a bad vintage or something not to one's personal taste profile - but we've been pretty happy at the Kirkland 750ml bottles at the $20+ price point.

            We haven't spent a lot of time with the wines in the cardboard box display (rather than in the wooden bins) that aren't in the Signature Series. We pick up their old vine zin once in a while when we see it, but haven't tried their red blend or cab that's stocked in that part of the display yet. We have heard good things about one of their $7 cab, but are unsure if that's the same one you are referring to as not being to your liking.

            We did not care for the "K" brand rose, but that's probably a personal opinion rather than a knock against that particular bottle - there are other roses we've liked better and K didn't hold up to the comparison.


            To narrow down what I like about Costco's wine (and spirits) program is hard to do, but there are a few stand outs. First, as others have already noted, the Costco/Kirkland Brut Champagne is really hard to beat for the $20 price point. To get an actual Champagne for $20 is unheard of, and I would say it easily holds up to $50 plus bottles. Similarly, the Kirkland Prosecco is an absolute steal for $7ish a bottle. Beyond those two, my other favorites for the house brand are the Kirkland Cotes du Rhone villages at $7, of which I I keep at least a case on hand at any given time, and the Barolo which runs around $20. Occasionally they will also have some excellent Napa cabs in the Kirkland program, but I don't see those as often.

            As for non-Kirkland branded wine - that's a bit tougher because I find the stock to vary by season, location and year. But, a few stand outs from the past 6 months are so have been the Borghi ad Est, Pinot Grigio from the Friuli region - I don't typically like Pinot Grigio because I find it too light, but this particular bottle is the exception.

            While I love Costco, where I think their wine program has some challenges relates to volume. In order to be eligible to be in a Costco store or distribution, obviously you have to be able to make and sell a lot of wine (and that is an understatement). Most of my favorite producers are small, allocated wines where they could never make enough to get into a Costco store. To be fair, Costco isn't trying to get into that market so it isn't really a fair comparison. I only bring it up because my Costco wine purchases tend to be more value wines and Kirkland branded wines versus what I would consider Mid-tier bottles ($30-$60). Occasionally though, you can find some rare gems on their end caps. I've even seen a bottle or two of Penfolds Grange and Vega Sicilia Unico from time to time - which are always stellar.


            • WillTravelForFood
              WillTravelForFood commented
              Editing a comment
              Have also heard good things about the Barolo, the Prosecco, and the Cotes du Rhone.

            • WillTravelForFood
              WillTravelForFood commented
              Editing a comment
              A year ago, we found the #2 rated Wine Enthusiast wine on the Costco endcap for a ridiculously low price compared to what online price lists were showing it for. Sadly, only picked up one bottle and haven't seen it stocked since -- but it was REALLY good.

              (*low price for this bottle was probably in the $50-60 range, which is not our normal wine shopping price point)

            I've yet to have a disappointing foreign wine from Costco (French, Italian, those dirt-cheap NZ whites). Their Premier Cru Chablis and the Kirkland Gigondas in particular have been outstanding. Domestic wines are more hit/miss for me.


              You might consider signing up for the Costco Wine Blog. It is not affiliated with Costco, just a guy who tries wines he finds at Costco. He has been at it for several years, so he will compare the Kirkland wines to past vintages. https://costcowineblog.com


                We do not have a Costco near us. The closest is in Rochester, which is about 45 miles away.



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