Costco is a wholesale retailer where club members pay an annual fee to buy bulk products at discounted prices. However, you can still buy single items at their stores, and wine is one of them.
You may think that because Costco is a discount store, the wine might not be of high quality but you would be wrong. As well as their own excellent range of wines, Costco stocks wine that you can buy at your local supermarket or wine merchant. With these wines, you will find that the prices at Costco are much lower than at other stores.
An Introduction To Costco Wine
Perhaps you are wondering why Costco can sell wines at deeply discounted prices. It sounds too good to be true. However, the reason for this is that shoppers have to pay a membership fee so Costco can afford to sell their products cheaply.
Costco sells both red and white wine and although they don’t have as many choices as you might get in your supermarket or wine merchant, they have a good selection to suit most tastes. They stock wines from all over the world and they are made from a wide range of grape varietals. As well as the better-known wines, you will find some lesser-known brands which are interesting to try. At the price they are, it would be a shame not to experiment with different wines. You will find yourself coming back for more, whether it’s just for yourself or entertaining friends.
Six Recommended Costco Red Wines
1 – Kirkland Signature Brunello Di Montalcino
Kirkland is Costco’s own label brand but don’t let this put you off. Kirkland wines aren’t poor quality and are well worth trying. If you enjoy red wine, this is a good wine to start with.
This red wine is 100% Sangiovese. The Sangiovese grape is thin-skinned and takes its time to ripen and mature on the vine. It is an Italian wine, and this particular Sangiovese comes from Montalcino in Italy.
Brunella Di Montalcino has produced this wine for almost ten years, and it has been made according to stringent rules. It is aged in the barrel for a minimum of four years, giving it time to mature and develop the flavours. Two of these years are in oak barrels. This gives the wine aromas of smoke, vanilla, coconut, and cloves.
The wine is medium garnet in colour. At the first taste, you will enjoy liquorice, spice, black cherry, and a hint of cedar. You will then get notes of redcurrant, tomato, cranberry, and tomato. Once the wine has fully opened, you will have a dry and long finish with hints of tobacco.
The wine has a 14.5% alcohol content and is medium bodied. Expect soft tannins and mouth-watering acidity as well as a clean finish.
This wine pairs well with anything Italian. Try it with pizza and pasta. Tomato-based sauces are perfect. Spaghetti and meatballs are a good choice. Sangiovese also complements mushrooms so pair it with mushroom risotto, stuffed mushrooms, or mushroom pithivier. It also goes well with rich dishes such as veal ragu, braised lamb, cured sausages, and hard cheeses like Parmesan and Cheddar. It is a good wine to serve with a cheese board.
This wine is a little more expensive than some of the Costco own-label wines but it is worth the extra cost. We feel sure that if you try a bottle, you will be back for more.
2 – Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Claret
The Francis Ford Coppola Winery is a Californian wine producer in Sonoma County which was founded by the film director famous for the Godfather Trilogy.
This Claret is a Bordeaux-style blend that is made up of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, 21% Petit Verdot grapes, and 4% Petite Syrah Californian grapes. Claret originates in France but now is produced all over the world, including the US. This style of wine was first produced in Californian vineyards in 1910 by Captain Niebaum.
This particular wine is aged in French oak barrels for 14 months giving hints of vanilla, coconut, toasted oak, and burnt sugar. The oak barrels also give the wine astringency and a slight bitterness.
The colour of the wine is dark red with an undercurrent of purple, giving it surprisingly warm and delicate tones. It has an alcohol content of 13.5% and is full bodied.
It has a delicious aroma that you can almost taste. You will get spice, anise and dark fruits such as blueberry, plum, and blackberry. When you taste the wine, you will get an earthy flavour with a hint of dried herbs, especially thyme. It has a long, dry finish with a fruity and chocolatey tone.
Claret is a versatile and popular wine. You can enjoy it on its own with nibbles but it pairs well with beef, roast chicken, veal, game, and pork. It is also a good match with pasta, fish, seafood, and mushroom dishes. You can even serve claret with a burger.
3 – Kirkland Signature Carneros Pinot Noir
This is another of Costco’s own-label wines and is worthy of being called a Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is originally from Burgundy in France and is a wine highly regarded by wine connoisseurs. This Costco wine is produced in the Carneros region in northern California. The climate here is different to Sonoma Valley. It is cooler and has fogs and cool winds but this makes it the perfect place to produce Pinot Noir. The climate gives the wine a crisp acidity and a tight structure which is what you want from Pinot Noir.
This wine is ruby red in colour. It has been aged in oak barrels so there is a spicy overtone together with vanilla and chocolate hints. It has a medium body with low tannins and good acidity.
It tastes of red and black cherries, red and black plums, raspberries, mulberries, blueberries, and blueberries. There is also a hint of mushrooms, truffles, and autumn leaves. The alcohol content is 14.5%.
The wine is not to be rushed as it gains in complexity the longer it is in the glass. You can enjoy it with red meat but the perfect pairing is with mushrooms. Drink it with stuffed mushrooms, pasta with a mushroom sauce, mushroom risotto, or steak with a mushroom sauce. It also goes well with a charcuterie board, especially smoked ham, salami, and prosciutto. Pair it with stinky cheeses such as Blue Stilton, Gorgonzola, and Camembert.
4 – Benziger Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine comes from an impressive winery run by the Benziger family. For over thirty years they have farmed their ranch in Sonoma Mountain where they have set up vineyards for producing their excellent wines. They tend their vines using organic and sustainable farming methods. The cows, sheep, birds, and butterflies that live there have allowed a vibrant ecosystem to develop. This has resulted in juicy and flavoursome grapes, resulting in delectable wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most recognised red wines and the grapes are grown in almost every wine-producing country.
The Benziger Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon is aged in oak casks for 16 months so you will notice an aroma of oak, spice, and vanilla. It is also fruity with notes of blackcurrant and blackberry. It is a bold and full-bodied deep red wine with moderate acidity and high tannins. There is a touch of sweetness with a dry long finish. The alcohol content is 14.5%.
Being a full bodied red wine, it goes well with any roasted, braised, or grilled beef dish, steak, burgers, game, venison, and lamb. It pairs with cheeses, especially aged cheddar, gouda, stinky blue cheeses, and gruyere. It even goes with dark, not-too-sweet chocolate and chocolate desserts. Serve it instead of a dessert wine.
5 – Kirkland Signature Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel
Here we have another own-label wine from Costco which is well worth trying. You will probably be back for more bottles to enjoy with your friends or even for a quiet night in. It is value for money and has a rich flavour.
It comes from Sonoma County in California from an estate of vineyards that have produced Zinfandel for a century and a half. The average age of the vines used to produce this wine is 45 years. As the vines age, they produce less fruit, but the fruit is richer and more flavourful. They have deep roots, so they are able to pull water and nutrients from deeper into the ground. This is why this Zinfandel has such a delightful aroma and mouth-watering flavour.
The wine is one of the strongest red wines sold in Costco and has an alcohol content of 15.5%. It is a deep red-purple colour and is full-bodied. It is aged in oak barrels so there are aromas of spice, vanilla, and coffee. On the palate, you get brambly flavours of cranberry, blueberry, blackberry, and black cherry. It has medium high tannins so there is structure to the wine, and it has good acidity giving the wine a certain freshness.
This Zinfandel pairs well with rich and robust foods. Barbecued food is a good match. The sweetness and spice of the wine goes well with the caramelised and smoky notes of the meat. Try it with mildly spiced dishes such as chilli con carne, katsu curry, or barbecued ribs. It also goes well with liver and onions, pulled pork, and roast lamb. When it comes to cheese, try aged cheddar or provolone.
6 – Bodega Garcon Tannat Reserve
This is one of the best wines that Costco sells and is well worth trying. It comes from Garcon in Uruguay. Perhaps you wouldn’t normally associate Uruguay with wine production but it does produce premium wines. The highlights are the red Tannat and the white Alberino. Tannat has become the national wine of Uruguay.
The grapes for this Tannat have been grown on the winery’s own estate and the grapes are hand-picked. This makes a lot of difference to the quality of the wine. Only healthy grapes are picked and they are handled gently. This method increases tannin extraction and improves the complexity of the wine. The problem with machine-picking is that the fruit can be damaged leading to oxidation, browning of aromatics, and bacterial growth.
This wine is high in alcohol at 14.5%. It is a deep purple colour and is full bodied. The wine is aged for between six and twelve months in French oak barrels, giving an aroma of liquorice, oak, chocolate, and spices. Expect the prominent flavour of black plums, cherries, raspberries, and blackberries. The flavour is deep, with a touch of sweetness. It is high in tannins but still smooth. It is a wine that should be sipped slowly and savoured as it gets better the longer it is in the glass.
This wine pairs well with robust and hearty foods that have a lot of flavours. Steak and game are excellent choices. Try this wine with food high in fat such as lamb and dark chicken. The fat helps to soften the tannins in the wine, making for an enjoyable experience. Tannat also goes well with aged cheeses, Roquefort, and Chaumes, and with dishes that contain black pepper. It can even be paired with dessert if the dessert is dark and chocolatey. Try dark chocolate mousse cake or fudgy dark chocolate brownies.
Costco Wine – Value For Money and High Quality
Perhaps you have never thought of going to Costco to purchase your wine, thinking of it as just a wholesale shop. However, we hope that we have changed your mind and that you will go to Costco and try one or two of our choices.
Don’t be put off by the prices at Costco. Just because the wines are reasonably priced doesn’t mean that the wines are low quality. They are far from this. You will find branded wines that you can buy in your supermarket or wine merchant, at a much lower price which can’t be bad. Don’t dismiss Costco’s own label wine either. Once you have tried one, you will realise that they are of good quality and will want to go back for more.
The wines that you can find in Costco are from all over the world. They don’t just stick to one region, so you get a chance to try very different wines. Costco also picks wines from some of the best wineries in the world, so you can be assured of a drink fit for connoisseurs.
You won’t get as extensive a selection of wines at Costco as you get at a large supermarket or wine merchant so if you are looking for a specific wine, you might not find it there. However, if you want to try something new, Costco is the place for you. They do choose wines from a good selection of grapes so you are bound to find a wine that you will like.