The 12 Best Costco Wines, According to Our Wine Expert

published Sep 23, 2023
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Fountain Valley, CA / USA - October 24, 2019: Bottles of wine at Costco
Credit: KK Stock/Shutterstock

Fall and a return to routine makes doing a big Costco shop even more satisfying, so in addition to lunch-box snacks and pumpkin-spice everything, it’s a great time to stock up on wine. The bulk warehouse’s strength is high-quality wine in classic styles, and on my last trip I noticed even more great wines than usual. I’ve worked in wine retail and hospitality for close to 20 years (doing that math in my head just made me feel really old!), so I know my way around a wine aisle. 

Here are my top 12 recommendations for fall fun and entertaining — grouped by activity, because sometimes vibes are just as important as aromas. Plus, wine and food pairing rules when you’re deciding what bottle to pop (or twist 😉).

Everyday Dinners

Credit: Diane McMartin

1. Valminor Albariño Rias Baixas, $13.99 for 750ml 

Casual weeknights are all about versatility and ease. Albariño is mostly found in Spain and Portugal, and Albariños from Spain’s Rias Baixas region tend to be especially crisp and fresh (and I find they stay tasting zippy even after a couple of days in the fridge). You could have this refreshing, tropical, and citrus-inflected white from Spain with fish tacos one night and Thai food the next.

Credit: Diane McMartin

2. Gerard Bertrand Kosmos Languedoc Red Blend, $8.99 for 750ml  

France’s Languedoc region boasts a warm climate and more lax winemaking regulations, making it a less expensive place to make wine than more famous French wine regions. This red blend’s deep plum flavors and hearty tannins would be great with richer dishes like chili, meatloaf, or stuffed mushrooms that have enough fat, protein, and salt to stand up to a gutsier wine.

Credit: Diane McMartin

3. Kirkland Signature Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $8.99 for 750ml

If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to Napa cabernet that’s similarly rich and lavishly oaked, keep an eye out for cabernets from Washington’s Columbia Valley. They tend to be made in a similar style, but because the vineyard land isn’t so eye-wateringly expensive and it doesn’t have Napa’s cachet, the wines are much more reasonably priced. The Kirkland Signature brand always delivers, and the rich flavors of blackberry and black cherry with a hint of earthiness in this cabernet are no exception.

At-Home Movie Night

Credit: Diane McMartin

4. Kirkland Signature Brut Champagne, $19.99 for 750ml  

As a new parent who doesn’t get to leave the house as much as I used to, I’ve really gotten into at-home movie nights. Buttery popcorn and Champagne are amazing together, so why pay a bajillion dollars for an artificial butter-flavored tub and soda when you can have homemade popcorn and toasty, bright, refreshing, and actual Champagne for less than $20? 

Credit: Diane McMartin

5. Kirkland Signature Prosecco Rosé, $7.99 for 750ml  

If gummy candy is your go-to movie snack, this rosé Prosecco — with notes of strawberry and watermelon that harmonize with fruity candy and exuberant bubbles to clear your palate for the next bite — would be a fun pairing.

Credit: Diane McMartin

6. Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel, $17.89 for 750ml  

If your favorite “couch wine” is a full-bodied red, Costco’s price on this delicious, classic zin, with brambly blackberry and dried strawberry notes and a balanced, dry finish, is very competitive — and in my opinion, it’s just a lot more classy and balanced than other Zinfandels I’ve tried at this price point. 

Fall Activities

Credit: Diane McMartin

7. King Estate Pinot Gris, $13.89 for 750ml

After a full afternoon of Instagram-worthy fall activities like finding the perfect pumpkin, raking leaves, or picking out mums, trade in the apple cider for this Oregon Pinot Gris full of ripe pear and golden apple flavors.

Credit: Diane McMartin

8. Kirkland Signature Pinot Grigio Friuli, $4.99 for 750ml  

If a post-fall activity hangout has resulted in a full house of thirsty friends, you won’t cringe at opening multiple bottles of this crisp, lemony, refreshing Pinot Grigio with a hint of floral aroma and some lovely pear and honeydew melon flavors. I don’t know which price is more shockingly low: this, or Costco’s famous rotisserie chicken. 

Credit: Diane McMartin

9. Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre, $14.89 for 750ml  

This Italian red blend is made in the ripasso method, where some of the grapes are dried before being made into wine. This gives it rich flavors of currants, ripe berries, and dried cherries — its lush texture and almost sweet fruit flavors make it a delicious standalone glass that would be perfect to curl up with in front of a firepit on a cool night.

Dinner Parties

Credit: Diane McMartin

10. J Vineyards Pinot Noir, $16.89 for 750ml  

My advanced years and many dinner party #fails have taught me that when people come over, they want a good time, not a geography lesson in the form of some esoteric wine made by monks who live on a mountaintop. A food-friendly and accessible Pinot Noir, with ripe cherry flavors along with a bit of tart pomegranate and refreshing acidity, will quietly impress everyone with your good taste. It doesn’t hurt that Costco has a very competitive price on the Pinot from classic producer J Vineyards.

Credit: Diane McMartin

11. Oberon Cabernet Napa Valley, $19.69 for 750ml  

A Napa cab for under $20 is a rare find and perfect for a dinner party small enough to break out the good stuff! The juicy blackberry and dark cocoa and coffee flavors scream BRAISED SHORT RIBS and SWEATER WEATHER.

Credit: Diane McMartin

12. A to Z Chardonnay, $11.89 for 750ml  

An unoaked Chardonnay will usually please both die-hard fans and haters whose main objection to the wine is its sometimes excessive oak. This Oregon Chardonnay has some zingy lemongrass and citrus notes that make it refreshing enough to serve pre-dinner. The rounder melon and apple flavors would also make it work with a main course like seared scallops or chicken in a buttery, herby sauce.

Have I missed any amazing wine finds at Costco? Let me know in the comments!