In my opinion, Costco really has come along way in creating a wine-tastic inventory that will have you coming back for more over and over again [less about depth, more about cherry picking]. If you happen to be new to wine shopping or just wine in general, what you can expect to find is that many Costco stores do have some of the best deals around and most likely the Costco near you does as well. I know some of you are saying, "what you're a Costco wine shopper?" Yes, in this economy you need save every dollar you can, Costco has become the intersection of where great wines meets reasonable prices
Example One: Here's the first example of one of my finds. I found this gem at Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 which comes unfiltered! [I would recommend decanting]. On the plate you will find a dusting mocha, red and dark fruits, coiled around vanilla notes that entice you to discover again and again the lingering, seductive silky finish, no doubt honed by the 27 months in the barrel.
I purchased this little number from Costco the other day for
Example Two: If you love a good Malbec you are undoubtedly aware of the huge value coming out Argentina, here is another example of a Malbec brought to via Costco Wine. The ability to offer a wine with so much finesse for so few dollars. The Bodega Norton Malbec Reserve 2007 this wine demonstrates everything that is wonderful about the Argentinian Malbec.
Swirling, Sniffy and Slurp: In the glass a dark, opaque violet color and the old sniffer is hit with a wave of ripe berry fruit and wild flower aromas and a touch of cinnamon spice and odd citrus peel. Slurping down a big gulp, I'm immediately treated to a rich offering of ripe mouth coating sensations, with nice weight and concentration, wrapped around a soft, supple texture. An explosion of flavors dance across my palate throwing cassis and black currant along with hints of chocolate, vanilla and black pepper culminating into a somewhat narrow finish, still full of finely grained tannins, pleasing minerality and lively acidity.
What's the Score: Well it looks like the WS review mirrored my own closely, I guessed they would give it a 91, but no instead 90 points. However, they did place this wine on their Top 100 wines of Year in 2010. A high honor indeed and really confirming my thoughts. The QPR is through the roof! Folks seriously I picked this up at Costco for a mere $12.89 each [the same price as two years ago]. Again huge savings compared to their other competitors selling this wine for $15.99. But you will want to hurry up and grab a few while you still can, as this wine is selling out quickly in many of their locations.
1. The Morena Costco: In my opinion this location has the very best variety of wines to choose from, some of best hot-to-trot labels out there. Rows of wine in the boxes for many of the better labels [the high-end juice] Their lead wine-merchandiser really knows his way around a wine bottle, so don't be afraid to ask questions. Great selections of high-end and high scoring Cabernet Sauvignon and a great list of ever changing imports sure to please even prince and pauper alike.
2. The Carlsbad Costco: This store may not like being snubbed for the number two spot, sorry about that but those "be the facts" in my opinion. That said, this store has a great deal of wine-tastic labels to choose from, the selection is much better than some of other locations. Their lead merchandiser in wine section really knows his stuff and will be a good source of information in helping you to make a purchasing decision.
3. The Carmel Mountain Costco: This store is has been dubbed as New World "Pinot Heaven" my many patrons I've spoken with. So if you are a huge fan of this very popular grape and love its New World style, then this would be your Costco of choice. They also many other great labels, but this store seems to be PN centric.
What they Finally Have: Okay folks, not sure how this became the most asked for wine at Costco and, I'm no fan of something which only poses as real wine. That said, they definitely NOW stock this wine in both the red fizzy and the white fizzy versions. Time to rejoice sweet wines fans, it looks like Costco buyers have finally heard your cries or perhaps they've taken a look at this post and got with the program. Stella Rosa is a fresh, low-alcohol 5.5%, semi sparkling, sweet, red wine best served chilled.
A Piemontese wine made predominantly from partially fermented grape must [Brachetto] in the tiny town of Santo Stefano. If you are looking for something very similar, you could get a Lambrusco from just about any grocery outlet. You could also try this little known beer called a Lambic which is fizzy and has mild fruit flavors and low alcohol, you'll swear it's wine.
Online: Costco use to feature a number of good wine-buying deals online as well but it appears they no longer offer wine online. However, they do have many wine storage systems, which are rarely available in their stores.
Conclusions: Costco has some very good juice at great prices, which often will beat the market price average. Find the Costco that closely mirrors your taste in wine and build a relationship with that stores wine manager. Shop during off peak times and stock up during the cooler months to avoid having your wine spoiled by the high heat. Until next time sip long and prosper, cheers.