Whether you’re a casual imbiber or an expert with the nose to prove it, having access to a lot of wine options in one place is a lot of fun, which is why so many people enjoy shopping Costco’s wine section.
However, before you go shopping, check out these 15 things to know before buying Costco wine. There are so many options, both store brand, and name brand, that you never really know what you’ll find!
15 Things To Know Before Buying Costco Wine In 2023
1. The Costco Wine Selection is Surprisingly Broad
For a warehouse store that doesn’t really specialize in any specific product or niche, Costco has an impressive wine selection.
The Costco wine selection includes red wine, white wine, rosé, Prosecco, and champagne, and carries multiple varieties of each wine variation.
You’ll even find Costco’s store brand, Kirkland Signature, well represented, as well as many recognizable name brands among the liquor selection.
2. Kirkland Signature Costco Wine is Well Regarded
Buying generic brand wine doesn’t sound particularly exciting, but Costco’s Kirkland Signature vinos have received generous praise over the years.
In fact, the retailer’s own wine tops many of the “Best Wines From Costco” lists. On the Eat This, Not That list of 30 best wines from Costco, Kirkland Signature occupies six spots.
Additionally, numerous articles praise Kirkland Signature bottles specifically, singling out the Brut Champagne, the 2019 Cotes Du Rhone Villages, and the Malbec.
3. There are Some Costco Wines You Can Reliably Skip
While many wines from Costco are popular, not all the wines are hits, and there are definitely some misses.
At Business Insider, the tasters stated that you’re well ahead to pass on the Kirkland Signature 2017 Pinot Grigio.
As well, the Seattle Times recommends passing by the 2019 Kirkland Signature Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
These same reviewers also recommended skipping the 2019 Kirkland Signature California Cabernet Sauvignon, as it left much to be desired.
4. You’re Buying Costco Wine From the Number 1 Vino Seller in the U.S.
Beating out even Walmart and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (the second-largest seller of alcohol in general in the U.S.), Costco sells more wine than any other entity in America.
When you consider that wine is just a part of the alcohol department, which is in turn just one of many departments in entire stores, this is quite an impressive feat.
However, when you sell wine for as cheap as Costco does, it stands to reason that customers are going to end up buying more.
5. Costco Wine is an Amazing Deal
So how cheap is cheap?
Many of Costco’s Kirkland Signature wines sell for no more than $7 or $8 per bottle (and if that doesn’t sound super cheap, consider that they compare well to $15-20 bottles).
You can even get a box of Costco wine – that’s four bottles-worth – for just $13 (more on the boxed wine further down).
One thing you can count on for sure is that Costco wine is being marked up no more than 14 percent than the price the company pays to obtain it.
So if you’re looking for a specific bottle of wine and Costco has it, chances are good this is going to be the cheapest place to find it.
6. Be Vigilant For Extra Good Costco Wine Deals
Delish has stated that if you’re shopping at Costco, look for an asterisk in the “upper right-hand corner” of the shelf tag.
The asterisk means that the price has been marked down to its lowest, and is very likely the last batch of stock for that product for a long time (or even forever).
If you see the asterisk in the wine section, chances are those bottles are going to be priced in such a way that they’re a super-great value.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Splurge a Little On Costco Wine, Too
At the same time, even the more expensive bottles you can find at Costco are still priced well, especially compared to other stores.
For example, it could be worth splurging on a $159.99 bottle of Dom Perignon, considering it can retail outside of Costco for $300-400.
Apparently, many others consider this price to be a good deal (Costco is also the number one seller of Dom P in the country).
8. You Might Find an Outrageous Costco Wine Splurge While You’re There
Some wine splurges found in Costco might be too rich for most anyone’s blood. For example, a bottle of 2007 Screaming Eagle goes for $1,180.
While it’s surely a deal (as these bottles are typically sold for $1,500 per bottle) you’re not alone if you’d push your cart right past the crate and look elsewhere.
9. You Don’t Necessarily Have to be a Member to Purchase Costco Wine
Costco wine can be purchased by non-members in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Vermont.
Some stores even put the alcohol section in its own wing, with a special entrance where it can be accessed by members and non-members alike.
10. You Don’t Always Have to be In-Store to Buy Costco Wine, Either
Other states allow you to receive Costco alcohol through grocery delivery, using the app Instacart.
If your Costco is in the following areas your wine is eligible for delivery:
- North Carolina
11. Costco Wine Selections Rotate Throughout the Year
The Costco wine you enjoyed in one month might not always be there year-round, as the company regularly rotates its stock and on a store-by-store basis, so what you find in Ohio might be very different from what’s in California, for example.
You can even see on this comprehensive list of Kirkland Signature wines that the author has marked about the time when certain wines were released.
12. Some of the Costco Winemakers Have Been Outed
People love to guess the maker of all of Costco’s alcohol offerings, and the wine is no different.
In some cases, the actual maker/manufacturer behind the Kirkland Signature label is even printed on the label, removing all the guesswork, while others have simply stated their involvement in the process voluntarily.
For instance, it’s common knowledge that the highly-rated Brut Champagne is actually made by Manuel Janisson, the Ti Point Sauvignon Blanc is the product of Tracy Haslam of Ti Point Vineyard, and the Premier Cru Chablis comes from the maker Odil Van Der More.
13. Other Times, the Costco Winemaker is More Obscure
In some instances, Costco’s secrets regarding its wine and winemakers remain unknown to the public.
For example, while we know that the Kirkland Signature prosecco is genuine (it has the quality-assurance label to prove it), there are few clues about who actually makes it.
Kirkland prosecco is imported by Misa Imports from the Veneto region vineyards, but the true vintner remains a secret.
14. You Can Buy Costco Wine by the Box
Buying wine by the box appeals to many because you don’t have to worry about finishing a bottle in one sitting. Costco began selling Kirkland Signature wine by the box some years ago, which is quite a steal compared to other name brands.
For example, you get four bottles’-worth for $13 in a box, compared to rival Black Box, which sells for $25 for the same amount.
The Costco Wine Blog found the wine itself to be “mediocre,” but if you enjoy boxed wine for the quantity and not the quality, there’s not much else to complain about.
15. Just Try and Get Your Hands On The Costco Wine Advent Calendar
People in the United States go absolutely nuts for a good Advent calendar, and Costco’s wine advent calendar is on another level.
In 2021, Costco released the calendar earlier than ever in September, and even that far out from Christmas, the boxes have sold in large quantities.
These calendars are currently sold for $100, but you get 24 half-bottles to try all throughout December (if you can wait that long).
Costco wine is an institution unto itself, with Kirkland Signature vinos bringing both quality and affordability to shoppers. The ever-rotating selection keeps products fresh and maintains low prices, making it worth the price of a Costco membership.