Tips for shopping at Costco

I thought I share some things I have learned about buying wines at Costco after chatting with the wine buyer at my local store (If this is already public knowledge, sorry).

First look out for endings of prices. Typically, prices end in .99. Manager specials end in .97. Supplier deals end in 9s (other than .99). Inventory-dumping deals end in .88 or .00. So, anything that does not end in .99 is a special limited time deal. Stock up!

Second, talk to the wine manager (not the workers who just stock the cases). In my experience, they enjoy just chatting about wine in general.

Third, after talking with the wine buyer I learned that he has a list of people that he contacts when special deals start. He said that sometimes they get just a couple of cases of, say, a Burgundy that is 75% off. Unless you just happen to stop by that morning, you will miss out. So, get your name on that list!

Hope this is useful.

Cheers,
Martin

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I knew about the price endings but not about the wine buyer lists…interesting.

One tip I have to add (for any who may not know) is that if a price tag has an asterisk in the corner, it means that item isn’t going to be restocked. If you see something you’re fond of and the price tag has a big *, consider loading up.

My tip for shopping at Costco is avoid it.
Nothing more pleasurable in life than getting hit with a huge shopping cart with some unneeded items in it by someone running around the store looking for free food samples .

Totally disagree but my experience (over the last 20 years) has been very different because I avoid going on weekends or late on weekdays. Costco is an amazing store for so many things, and the ones that carry wine can have great deals.

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Costco in California can have some great deals on alcohol. Dom and Cristal are the best prices I’ve seen and things like Johnnie Walker Blue and 1942 Tequila can’t be beat. They also drop prices frequently on the more affordable wines like Groth and Martin Ray which make for good gift wines.

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The Costco near me in Los Angeles sells 1st Growth and 2nd Growth Bordeaux. Last week it had 2009 Screaming Eagle for $2,400 (too tight for me). A few years back they had one single bottle of ‘82 Petrus. I’ve picked Montrose, Pontet Canet, Lynch Bages, Figeac, Margaux, La Mission Haut Brion. It’s hit or miss. You need to get them on merchandise pick-up and sometimes if you poke your head in (pre-Covid) they’ll have bottles that are not yet on the floor. They’ll tell you the sku and you can go and purchase them.

Don’t be shy about the costco wine either
I bought Kirkland champagne and it was nice. Sort of an odd so very light pink hue to it but very nice. Though I prefer pere Mata cuve for my best roi bottle

Costco is pretty much our only decent local resource for wine and even though the selection is on the smaller side for a Costco, they carry a lot of great wines and the fast turnover keeps the selection fresh. Not to mention the great prices. They carry a great European selection which we like.

I occasionally check out The Costco Wine Blog for what to look out for. This is an unaffiliated blog that reviews many of the wines found at Costco.

A funny experience for us is that after we travel to a European area famous for wine we suddenly notice a lot more offerings from that area at our local Costco. This could be attributed to heightened appreciation/attention on our part, however, when we returned from Bordeaux in late 2019, about a month later we counted 16 different wines from Bordeaux and the French Malbec region. We had a real nice selection for several months and we really stocked up. Now we don’t see much.

Synchronicity I suppose, except the same thing happened several years earlier when we returned from Provence and the Côte d’Azur. Our Costco still carries a lot of rosés from that area.

First post.

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Which LA Costco is this? The Hawthorne one has some great wine but not the level you’re talking about.

I almost don’t want to tell you…Culver City.

It’s hit or miss. Pre-Covid I would check more frequently, but the Screaming Eagle was last week. Mostly Bordeaux and Napa. Have seen some Italians. Flacianello, Valdicava, great price on Guidalberto.

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0Nvv-hIJKn2Xb9BP5Vdb8WvRw#Los_Angeles

Petrus. I think this may have been Westlake Village.

That’s pretty crazy. What could the provenance of that '82 Petrus be. I mean Costco seems really legit as a company and I know they have a ton of pull in the wine world but for $6500 I’d like to know they got it right from the winery or some other substantial piece of information. It doesn’t even look like it’s refrigerated in the picture.

Do you think they’d take it back if it was corked;)

Doesn’t Costco accept returns on anything?

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Not on liquor.
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So state dependent (but legal in MO where I’m based). I’ve heard of people buying wine at Costco for weddings and returning it.

I definitely have returned wine to Costco (in Florida).

Texas has no issues with wine returns (no distilled spirits in warehouse).

I have infrequently returned alcohhol at Costco. The first couple of times, I had no issue. Then the last time (maybe 5ish years ago), I was told that it was illegal to return alcohol. I asked them what the law was and after some back and forth, a manager admitted to me that they made it up. If Costco doesn’t want to take back liquor, that’s ok, but their dishonesty left a bad taste in my mouth. Ironically, so did the Kirkland Signature gin that I was returning.

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I remember standing behind a couple folks at my local Costco and watching their attempted return of spirits denied. Both involved the Kirkland brand. The only time I ever bought Kirkland Vodka, it was some of the worst.

Brought back a couple of corked wines. no issues… in WA at least