Did you know that Costco is the biggest wine retailer in the U.S.? Whoa, neither did we. The chain sells name brand labels for 20 percent less than most wine stores. And when something great isn’t available for retail, Costco bottles it under its private label, Kirkland Signature. The huge selection means lots of decision making, so we tossed back taste-tested a bunch of vino to bring you the best pick for every occasion.
The Everyday Red: 2014 Seaside Cellars Pinot Noir ($10)
You’ll find this elegant red from New Zealand elsewhere for around $20. It’s flavorful (raspberries, grapefruit and black pepper) but also clean with a hint of minerality. So basically, it’s tasty enough to stand on its own but won’t overwhelm your favorite chicken dinner.
The Crowd-Pleasing White: 2016 Kirkland Ti Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($7)
Cantaloupe, passionfruit, ripe lemon and a hint of sea spray (yep) make this steal one of the most refreshing wines we’ve ever tasted. The zesty beverage pairs especially well with sharp cheeses, spicy foods (oh hi, Spicy Shrimp Tacos) and even dessert.
The Perfect Pink: Whispering Angel Côtes De Provence Rosé 2016 ($15)
Great news: You can find this box office hit on the shelves for super cheap. Provence pink wines are considered the gold standard of rosé, and this blush-colored pick is no exception. Bone dry with aromas of strawberry and green apple, it’s perfect for sipping from noon to midnight—or enjoying with salmon, charcuterie, marinated olives or hamburgers.
The Bottle That’s Made to Last: 2012 Condado De Haza Ribera Del Duero ($18)
This vibrant red will make the sirloin you cook tomorrow night taste like it’s from the nicest steakhouse in town. But do yourself a favor and stock up. It costs $30-plus elsewhere and its big berry, dark chocolate and herbal notes will taste even better as they age another five years.
How to Wow a Wine Snob: 2014 Kirkland Signature Series Chablis Premier Cru ($15)
Aged in stainless steel, this gem’s pineapple, sour apple and grapefruit flavors taste clean and pure without any oaky influence. And psst: Premier cru is the second highest classification that wine from Burgundy can receive. To put things into perspective, it’s almost impossible to find a bottle for less than $40. (Take off the price tag and it’ll be our secret.)
Bubbly That’s Cause to Celebrate: NV Gruet Brut ($12)
You’ll want to watch the cork, because this sparkler is particularly effervescent. It’s bright, crisp and reminds us of tropical fruit, hibiscus flowers and lemon-lime. Cheers!