Note: The opinions and content presented in this article are solely my own and not paid for by Costco.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the prowl for that elusive weeknight wine that doesn’t break the bank, yet still delivers on quality. So where to look? My husband and I recently discovered Costco’s Kirkland brand and found that regardless of your experience level with wine, if you are looking for quality wines that offer excellent value and compelling pricing, it is worth considering Costco’s Kirkland brand of wines to add everyday favorites to your cellar.
We were pleasantly surprised to find a broad spectrum of varietals from many geographic regions with the Kirkland label. While each Costco location may vary in their offerings, expect to find a collection including classic white and red varietals (think Chardonnay and Cabernet), as well as other unique varietals from Spain, France, Italy and Argentina. In fact, based on my research, I found that Kirkland produces more than 20 different wines.
Recently, my husband, who equals me in the wine passion category, suggested that we buy a variety of Kirkland wines, invite some friends over, and pop them open to see how they rate. And, to take it a step further, we thought why not pair the wines with foods available at Costco to make it a one-stop shopping excursion to simplify our efforts and create a compelling theme.
So, here was our line up of wines, what we paired with them, how much they are, and what we generally thought about them.
If you prefer your bubbles on the sweet side, you are likely to be a fan of the Kirkland Prosecco. It is light, refreshing, and slightly sweet on the palate. This style of sparkler especially proves that nothing pairs quite better with bubbles than something fried and salty. The effervescence of the wine cuts through the decadent salt and fat like there’s no tomorrow! Price: $6.99.
If you favor the grassy, grapefruit inspired taste that has your saliva glands going into overdrive, then the Kirkland Marlborough Sauv Blanc is your wine. In fact, I remember when Marlborough Sauv Blanc was pretty much synonymous with Kim Crawford, and I couldn’t get enough of it. But now, the Marlborough market has exploded and Costco’s version is every bit as good as Kim Crawford, but at a much lower price. Plus, the creaminess of the Jarlsberg cuts the acidity to just the right level. Price: $6.99.
These are two classic, cool weather varietals that served as our bridge from the light whites to the heavier reds. It was these two wines that had me ultimately concluding that overall, the Kirkland wines are solid representations of what the varietals from that region typically offer. You could easily put either of these wines head-to-head against more expensive stalwart brands from those regions and not know the difference. Both paired well with vegetable spring rolls hot out of the oven (or next time I’m trying my air fryer). Chardonnay: 12.99; Pinot Noir: $14.99
For me, the Rioja was the star of the show, based on value for the price. A Spanish varietal made from the Tempranillo grape, I like that the Kirkland Rioja isn’t too acidic or tannic, and has just enough of both to accent the spicy fruit. The finish lingers longer than I would have expected for a wine at this price. In fact, the price is ridiculous, and it’s worth buying by the case! Price: 6.99
The Zinfandel proved to be a fan favorite at our event. It isn’t a crushing fruit bomb like many Zins I’ve encountered. It features a more refined, elegant structure with juicy black fruit, rather than dried prune or overripe notes. Price: $9.99
Our final wine of the night was the Oakville Cab from the Napa Valley region. I would classify this as a medium-bodied Cab with red fruits, structured tannins and a slightly oaky finish. It doesn’t have the complexity you might expect from a Napa Cab, but given that most Napa Cabs start in the $30s, this is a good value. Price: $18.99
Do you love Pinot Noir, but find yourself put off by the price for a really good one? Or, are you tired of the ubiquitous, affordable Meiomi and would rather put something more unique on your dinner table when you seat your guests? Then, look to winemaker Joe Wagner’s new project, BÖEN.
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