I never thought I’d say this, but daaaaayum Costco, I’m impressed! Before researching this article, I’d never stepped foot in a Costco liquor store. Erin had written about Costco in her Calgary Wine Buyers’ Guide a couple of years ago. But seeing as how Costco liquor doesn’t exist in BC, I simply never had the opportunity to check it out until moving to Calgary mid last year. It’s with great enthusiasm that I present to you, Social Sips’ Costco Wine Buyers’ Guide.
Prior to walking in, I anticipated seeing crates of generic Kirkland label Merlot or bag-in-box 3L for $20. What I didn’t expect was Premier Cru Chablis or Châteauneuf-du-Pape for $37. Wowza! Kirkland is killing it with sourcing vineyards and winemakers from specific areas and then making sure to communicate that partnership on the back label. It’s hard to find this kind of information on any wine label, so for Kirkland to do it is fab.
Before sharing my picks, I must preface that I haven’t tried most of these wines. But each of these wines share something interesting on the label or piqued my interest enough to be included. I also didn’t anticipate only highlighting Kirkland Signature wines, but alas, that’s what this has turned into. So, let’s get started!
KIRKLAND SIGNATURE WHITE WINES
SAUVIGNON BLANC $11.99 Three things about this wine stood out to me: 1) It’s from Marlborough which is where you want your New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to be from. 2) It’s a 2019 which means production is swift for that bottle to be on shelves in the northern hemisphere already. 3) It mentions the vineyard name (Ti Point) and the name of the winemaker on the back label (Tracy Haslam) so you can google anything you want about where this wine is sourced.
PREMIER CRU CHABLIS $25.99 What the what? You can’t get a regular Chablis in BC for less than 30 bucks. So, the fact that this Premier Cru is $26 is kind of blowing my mind. Odile Van Der Moere is the winemaker for this chardonnay which comes from the Vau Ligneau and Vaugiraut vineyard sites. If you’re a fan of Chablis – run and buy a few bottles. Keep a couple bottles for a few years and see how it develops. That’s wine speak for a fun Friday night!
CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES $11.99 I’m astounded at the value here. Sorry (not sorry) to always compare to BC, but villages level wines in BC near $20. So ya, it’s something to point out! It also tells you the winemaker, Patrick Lesec, whom the internet will tell you is kind of a big deal.
CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA DOCG $13.79 This is one of the most well written back labels I’ve ever seen. It tells you the grape, right off the bat. Although if you know anything about Chianti, you know it’s going to be a Sangiovese. But then it goes to name the wine making team at Villa Cafaggio Estate and that it met the minimum aging requirements to be a DOCG. Then, it finishes with a tasting note. Superb info!
NAPA VALLEY RED BLEND $19.99 Again, loving the winemaker shoutout on the back label (Glenn Hugo) along with the varietal breakdown. Majority Merlot (big and juicy), with a quarter Cab Sauv (structure and depth) with a smattering of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec (texture, complexity and oomph). Nothing says Napa like oomph. 😉
GIGONDAS $22.99 Grand effing Cru people! If you’re a fan of southern rhone style wines, this is the steal of a deal for you. Typical GSM (75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre) with bold and ripe fruits with earthy sweet tobacco and of herbs de provence. Made by Guillaum Gonnet whose family winery is Domaine Font de Michelle.
CHAMPAGNE BRUT $29.99 Yup, real Champagne. I actually did a double take. If you’re keen on the real deal (not Prosecco, not Cava, not sparkling wine) then this is the bottle for you. It doesn’t have the grower or winemaking specifics that the other bottles do. But mostly because Champagne is a different beast and you really have to pay for those kinds of things.