Kirkland Signature Sonoma County Chardonnay
13.5% alcohol $7.99
Owen: It is impossible to ascertain where this wine is made, only a small mention of Geyserville, California, on the label. Vanilla bean with ripe pear and baked apple tones fill the nose. The palate is fresh with good balance and a soft mouthfeel. Layers of banana and vanilla cream are woven together with minerals and ripe peach on the palate. Drink 2020-2025. Verdict:Highly recommended.
Tan: I didnt like this as much as you did some apples and pears on the palate, and some vanilla from the oak aging. But it didnt blow me away. A passable table wine. Verdict: Recommended.
Costco Is Bringing Back Free Samples
- May 28, 2021
Costco is bringing back a pre-pandemic staple: Food samples.
The warehouse chain announced that it’s “beginning a phased return to full sampling” early next month after a 14-month hiatus. Roughly 170 US locations will bring back food samples in the first week of June with “most of the remaining locations” returning toward the end of June, said Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti on Thursday’s earning call.
There will be some changes to how food is given out because of COVID-19. Galanti said they’ve implemented “increased safety protocols” including the samples being prepared behind plexiglass, made in smaller batches and distributed to customers one at a time. Costco eliminated food sampling in March 2020 during the onset of the pandemic.
Kirkland Signature Grave Pinot Grigio
11.5% alcohol $5.99
Owen: The nose is faint with gooseberry tones, with lighter pear and lemon zest. The palate is fresh and vibrant, but a touch of sweetness makes this lose balance, as sweetened pear, apple and minerals all mingle together. Despite its shortcomings, its a good value. Drink 2020-2024. Verdict: Recommended.
Tan: Its a bit syrupy on the midpalate and theres not enough grapefruit bitters to balance that sweetness. Meh. You can do better at Costco. Much, much better. See below. Verdict: Not recommended.
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Bodega Garzon Tannat Reserve 2018
Tasters admired this 100 percent Tannats beautiful color, as well as its funky and complex nose. Mushroom, raw meat, and stinky cheese aromas are followed by soft, fruity flavors. It tastes much fruiter than it smells, tasters agreed, and would pair well with a protein-rich snack. Meat and cheese will bring out the fruit flavors even more, one panelist said. Average U.S. retail price: $15.
Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay 2017
This Chardonnay looks and smells like movie theater popcorn butter, but eventually opens up to offer bruised apple and pear aromas. The finish was weighty for some tasters, but a majority of our panelists enjoyed this Chardonnays unabashed oaky flavor. This is a party wine, one panelist said. Not a dinner party, a party party. Average U.S. retail price: $9.
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Pendulum Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
We picked up this bottle for a couple different reasons.
First, we love Columbia Valley wines, and Washington State wines overall. A while back we wrote a brief feature story about this, Reflections on Washington State Wines and Why Everyone Should Be Buying Them.
So we wanted to know if this is one of those bottles, that everyone should buy. Spoiler: it is.
Next, we have found the Red Blend from Pendulum before at Costco. Its been a little while, but it was fun to read the review again. We enjoyed the wine a lot, scoring it a solid 89 points and the blend was 62% Merlot, 26% Syrah and 12% Malbec.
Leading into this straight Cabernet that just arrived in stores. At $11.99 this bottle is actually $1 less expensive than the blend, which is nice.
The wine is a deep dark ruby on the pour with a juicy nose of earth, baking spice and dark berry fruit more dark fruit flavor on the palate blackberry, black cherry and plum it is full bodied with a touch of vanilla, and white chocolate into dry finish.
Really a nice wine and superb for the price. Historically, this wine has pulled down some low 90s ratings which is impressive. I didnt find much on this 2020 vintage.
Were going to rate it right there at 90 points, one point up from the blend. This is a delicious WA State find and an excellent red wine buy under $15.
CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 90 points
Costco item number: 1148292
Purchased at Costco in Atlanta, GA
These Are The Best Bargain Wines From Costco
If youre a wine fanatic, you already know Costcos Kirkland brand wines are a great value. Some shell out $60 for the annual Costco membership just for the wine.
So for the third year in a row, we roped in wine critic Owen Bargreen to review some of Costcos best bargain vinos. While the herd stampedes for the toilet paper and bottled water, we would rather roll our cart down the wine aisle. We were impressed by the quality of Costcos private-label wine, and that was before we took into consideration that most bottles are cheaper than a six-pack of Rainier. Of the 14 bottles we judged, half got a highly recommended grade.
But first, some housekeeping.
- I bought the wines from Costcos Issaquah branch, which carries the largest selection of Kirkland wine in the area. At least thats my experience from shopping at five Costco branches around the Puget Sound. The Sodo branch comes in second.
- Many readers were furious last year that we would review wines from a big-box chain when Washington state boasts more than 1,000 wineries. If I may retort before I get proverbially stoned again by the mob: The majority of our wine stories and reviews are focused on Washington and Northwest wines.
- Instead of a 100-point scale, we made the ranking more reader-friendly, grading each bottle highly recommended, recommended or not recommended.
On to those reviews.
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Kirkland Cote Du Rhone De Villages
Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 120 calories, 14% ABV
Cote du Rhone Villages wines are a blend of at least three grape varieties that create a beautifully balanced flavor profile and provide something for everyone to love. If there was ever a wine to win over your picky friends, this medium-bodied red is it.
Kirkland Signature Premier Cru Chablis
13.5% alcohol $19.99
Owen: Sourced from two different vineyards in Van Ligneau and Vaugiraut, France, this outstanding 2018 Chablis is crafted by Odile Van Der Moere. Light, flinty tones mingle with ripe pear and lemon zest on the nose. The palate is plush and soft with a wonderful, long, crescendo finish. This has good cellaring potential. Drink 2020-2028. Verdict: Highly recommended.
Tan: The Chablis was the best Costco wine I had last year. This year, its neck and neck with another red for best in class. Last December, this Chablis and the Champagne were the only Costco-label wines we both gave a highly recommended grade that were still available after the holidays. I surmise its because of the $19.99 price, which is on the high end for Costco wine. Bargain hunters seek Kirkland wines under $7. But even at 20 bucks, this is a better value than those wines under 10 bucks. Like last year, I blind-tasted this bottle with other Chablis in the $50 range again, and this was just as good as the bottles in the higher price range. Like Owen said, that lingering finish is just outstanding. Verdict: Highly recommended.
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Terra Doro Zinfandel 2017
A cornucopia of aromas includes brown mustard, canned peach, and yogurt, according to our panelists. Although not a traditional Zinfandel, panelists agreed its an interesting take on the style. This does not taste like a Zinfandel, one taster said, noting its not-too-oaky, not-too-smoky flavors and tannins. Another taster said it would pair great with a big, bloody burger, with a hunk of cheddar. Average U.S. retail price: $17.
Chteau De Beaucastel Chteauneuf
Pouring deep garnet, almost brown, this southern Rhône red blend begins with black pepper on the nose and has a gentle acidity on the palate. This is interesting and different, one panelist said, admiring its lightly savory flavor. Its a great introduction to the Rhône region, but is notably pricier than other Costco selections. If youre balling out for Thanksgiving and you can find this for $65, it is worth it, one panelist said. Average U.S. retail price: $77.
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Kirkland Signature Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alcohol $12.89
Owen: The palate is quite sweet and overripe, with red fruits and cola tones. This does not deliver much for the price compared to the other wines. Drink 2020-2023. Verdict: Not recommended.
Tan: Its not as bad as last years, but it doesnt move the needle enough for a recommended buy. It tastes like a flat cherry cola. Man, I love Russian River pinots as much as I love those from Ribbon Ridge. I encouraged first-timers to seek out Russian River wines, just not this one. Verdict: Not recommended.
Kirkland Signature Brunello Di Montalcino
This 100% Sangiovese wine hails from Montalcino in Italy.
Having been aged in traditional oak barrels for three years, this Signature wine is from Costcos home brand range, but it certainly doesnt compromise on quality.
This is one of the more expensive wines on this list, coming in at almost $27 a bottle. However, its well worth the money.
This is an outstanding tipple, with a fresh and balanced taste that boasts soft tannins together with just a hint of candied fruit.
With its 14% alcohol content, this wine has been produced for almost a decade, and by its Brunello designation, its clear that it has been made to some of the most stringent requirements, requiring it to have been aged for at least 4 years with two of these years at a minimum being in oak. As a result, you wont be disappointed by this impressive bottle.
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Kirkland Signature Ti Point Sauvignon Blanc
12.5% alcohol $6.99
Owen: The Kirkland Signature Ti Point Sauvignon Blanc is made by Tracy Haslam of Ti Point Wines in Marlborough, New Zealand. This shows gooseberry and kiwi tones that mingle with shades of green bell pepper on the nose. The flavors almost exactly mimic the aromas on the nose with some Gravenstein apple, stony accents and minerals. Drink 2020-2023. Verdict: Highly recommended.
Tan: We both agreed this was the second-best white wine of the Costco lot. Aromatic with tropical notes on the nose. It tastes like a crisp, spiked Sprite, softened with pineapple and limestone. A nice patio wine on a warm day. Verdict: Highly recommended.
***food And Beverage Items May Be A Regional Sale***
Here are some Costco unadvertised sales for the Pacific Northwest Region. These are possibly on sale at Costco stores in states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, and Washington state. YMMV in other states. And of course, all items are while supplies last. When in doubt, call your local Costco before you go.
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Kirkland Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel
Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 129 calories, 15.3% ABV
If you’re into big, bold, full-bodied, and fruity reds, this Zinfandel is for you. When you realize that similar wines usually start selling for more than twice the price as this Costco exclusive, you might just fall even more in love with it.
Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 125 calories, 13.5% ABV
Bright, easy-drinking red wines like this blend made with Sangiovese aren’t just great for warmer weather: Try popping this in the fridge for 10 minutes and you’ll pick up a whole other level of fruity flavors that are perfect for pairing with a feast.
Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 115 calories, 13% ABV
Soft, velvety, fruit-forward wines like this Pinot Noir are what makes Burgundy as famous as it is. Try this with light apps or salads for dinner, or simply sip it while bingeing The Bachelor.
Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 122 calories, 12% ABV
Easy-drinking Pinot Noirs like these are often the best type of bottle to open while making dinneror the perfect type when you just want to unwind with a glass on the patio at the end of a long day.
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Tan: The best red in this sampling dulcet plum with crème de cassis on the palate. I would have never guessed the alcohol was 14.5%-high. I cant taste the heat, the wine is so beautifully crafted. I agree, Owen, that this is the best bang for your buck, the best red Ive had this year for under $10. I would buy every bottle I see. I would even snatch a bottle out of grannys hand at the store. I have no shame. Verdict: Highly recommended.
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Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Panelists were impressed by this wines garnet hue and indulgent fruity flavors. One taster found it ideal for a late-night home stash. Buy a case of this so when you get home, you dont open your , they said. Lush fruit flavors are balanced by a slightly astringent finish. Average U.S. retail price: $9.
Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon
Im not usually a fan of Cabernet Sauvignon from Californias central valley , but this one is a stand out. The mission at Noble Vines is to use exceptional vine stocks originating at the old chateaux of Bordeaux, France. . In France, these grapes grow beautifully in rocky clay soil, so they were planted in the same type of soil in the Clay Station vineyard in Lodi and have done very well there.
This is a complex, full-bodied wine with balanced flavors of blackberry, cranberry, baking spices, and a hint of herbs. It finishes with plenty of tannins and a lush mouthfeel that make it a wine to chew on. A winner for true Cab lovers like my dad! And by the way, it got 90 points from Wine Enthusiast. Approx. $12.
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Kirkland Signature Cotes Du Rhone Villages
14.5% alcohol $6.99
Owen: Crafted by Patrick Lesec, this wine is a proprietary blend of Mourvedre, syrah and Grenache. This Cotes du Rhone Villages shows plenty of freshness and textural elements with ripe red and dark currants, red florals, cigar ash and garrigue tones alongside firm tannins and bright acidity. This is a pretty complex wine. Drink 2020-2025. Verdict:Highly recommended.
Pendulum Red Blend Columbia Valley
Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 115 calories, 13.9% ABV
Sometimes, the best test of a wine is how it can stand on its own. This red is so well-rounded that it does just as well as a pre-dinner glass as it does a meal pairing.
Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 120 calories, 13.9% ABV
Malbec has solidly become one of the wines Americans feel comfortable ordering by name. The rich-but-balanced flavors of this Argentinian red are a perfect example of why.
Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 115 calories, 14% ABV
Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 110 calories, 13.5% ABV
Looking to change up your red routine? This wine is made from a popular Italian grape known as Montepulciano, which can be a great swap-out for your typical Malbec or Syrah.
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Precision Acclaimed Cabernet 2020
A classic Napa valley Cab for $15?! I had to try this. Precision Winery has 15 brands under their umbrella all hailing from various California appellations.
The pour showed deep, dark plum and cherry hues with an earthy nose. This young wine will only get better over time but is definitely drinkable now. It is a bold, full-bodied
wine that you would expect from this region with balanced tannins that was not overpowering at all. This would pair great with any red meat entree or any robust flavored dishes.
At this price point I would get a few bottles to save for winter and to impress my snobby wine friends who drink only $60+ bottles of wine.
Costco Unadvertised Sales October 2021
Check out the new NOVEMBER 2021 Costco Coupon Book:here.
*UPDATE* 10/29/21. Its time for another edition of Costco unadvertised sales! Here are some of the unadvertised deals for the month of OCTOBER 2021 being offered at select Costco locations, while supplies last. Some deals may be regional.Ill update this post periodically with new sales.
I spotted these products at the Covington, Washington Costco. Some items may not be available or may not be on sale at all Costco locations. I wish Costco would just make all the sales national but sometimes they dont. Prices may vary by location. Limited to stock on hand. When in doubt, call your local Costco before you go.
Products that are italicized are new on this list since the latest update.
Looking for the coupon book? Check out my post:
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Costco Wine The 2022 Guide To The Best Wines At Costco
Reverse Wine Snob reveals all the best wines below! Read on for our Complete Guide to Costco Wine.
Costco® is the number one wine retailer in the U.S. and just one look at their low wine prices should tell you why!
One of the main reasons is simply the tremendously slim margin Costco takes thanks to their membership model. Basically they make their money on membership fees allowing them to keep product prices, including those on wine , very low. Their selection isn’t the broadest but they do tend to bring in some very nice wines from all over the world , especially in the under $20 price point.
While most of the Costco wines are available elsewhere keep your eyes out for deals on lesser-known labels as well. Inventory of wines will vary by market and even by store within a market so at times you can find some low production wines available in an individual store. Also in some states you don’t even need a membership to shop the store!
Want our FREE special report “The Five Wines to Buy At Costco RIGHT NOW” plus a printable shopping list of all our recommended Costco wines?