Kitchn Love Letters

The $17 French White Our Wine Expert Buys at Costco by the Case

published Dec 23, 2022
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Credit: Trong Nguyen

Before I got into wine, the name Chablis conjured two images in my mind: My favorite character in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and the late ’70s/early ’80s wine ads starring Orson Wells. A mixed bag of reactions at best.

Years later I had my first sip of a good Chablis. Once I had, I knew I’d found a keeper. This frequently unoaked Chardonnay from the Chablis region of France changed this ABC — anything but Chardonnay — girl into a true fan. It’s not the movie popcorn Chardonnay or sickly sweet Chablis in carafes that most people are used to; it is the polar opposite. Usually unoaked, mineral-driven, citrusy, and lean are the hallmarks of a good Chablis.

Credit: Jen Monago

What Is Chablis?

Chablis is code for Chardonnay; its namesake appellation is located in northern Burgundy, France. Vineyards are on what was a prehistoric sea, and the limestone and fossil soil is perfect for growing this particular style of Chardonnay. Some say, you could even catch a whiff of ocean air when sniffing a Chablis. I wouldn’t go that far, but the soil absolutely has a strong influence — a Premier Cru Chablis tends to be flirty and flinty with fresh salinity. A good one usually costs well more than $25 … unless you go to Costco.  

Credit: Jen Monago

What’s So Great About Kirkland Signature Premier Cru Chablis?

I know. Costco is magic. Due to bulk warehouse’s buying power, well-known wine brands are private-labeling their product, and selling for slightly less — in this case, roughly $7 per bottle less.

Costco has managed to repackage and sell a Premier Cru Chablis for less than 20 bucks a bottle. Every vintage of Kirkland Premier Cru Chablis has been fantastic, collecting high acclaim from wine journals and critics each year. Premier Cru is a classification bestowed to some of the best vineyard sites in Chablis and have strict production requirements to focus on quality over quantity. It’s true that 2020 was a tough growing season, but the wine produced is well-balanced and delicious. 

Wine-lovers in-the-know eagerly await its arrival every year because they understand what a steal this truly is. A crowd-pleaser, the Kirkland Premier Cru Chablis is refreshing, crisp, and makes friends wherever I’ve served it. I even convinced my mother-in-law to serve as a VP of the fan club. Her primary duty is to clear out her local Costco as soon as a shipment drops. Become friends with your local Costco wine associate and figure out when the Premier Cru Chablis hits. Grab a case before it sells out — I promise that your inner wine geek will thank you!

What’s the Best Way to Enjoy Kirkland Signature Premier Cru Chablis?

What else should you buy to go with that fine wine? Roast chicken, crispy latkes, salmon, and shrimp pad Thai are all good pairings. Even one of my favorite meals by my mom — asopao de camarones — is a winning combo with this Chablis.

Set out some lightly chilled Kirkland Premier Cru Chablis and creamy cheese for a night on the porch with friends. Regardless of how you pair it, this is one of my favorite wines. I hope you get to share a bottle with friends this holiday season!

Find it in stores: Kirkland Signature Premier Cru Chablis, $17.99 for 750 ml

Have you tried this white wine from Costco? Tell us about it in the comments!