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Looking for LA area Costco with good wine

Help! I've been hopelessly spoiled by the wine selections in No Cal Costcos. My local Costco's wine selection is AWFUL (Alhambra--they've had the same 16 wines in the bins since October) so I schlepped to Los Feliz and it was only marginally better, which surprised me since is was LOS FELIZ for God's sake.

Does anyone know of an area Costco with a big and decent wine selection? I'm talking 2 of those island jobs with the bins all around. I'm not interested as much in the stuff on the pallets. I want to buy good interesting wine. Asuza? Burbank? Montebello? City of Industry? Anyone shop at these and can describe the vino? Prefer east and north of the city, but will venture to the west side and the 405 if required.

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  1. Marina Del Rey has a nice selection of wines.

    2 Replies
    1. re: maudies5

      i 2nd this......they had a nice selection of bordeaux a few weeks back.

      1. re: wilafur

        I 3rd the Costco in Marina Del Rey. Is Henry Wilson still the wine manager there?

    2. I know Costco sells more wine than any US retailer. I know their prices are fairly cheap. Maybe you like the 2% rebate for executive members. BUT... there are other better places about for quality wine at good prices, to wit: Topline on San Fernando Rd. in Glendale; Wine Expo at 2933 Santa Monica Bl, Santa Monica; Wine House on Cotner in WLA. And K&L Wines is about to open a store on Vine in Hollywood. Another possibility is Du Vin on San Vicente near the Beverly Center--smaller, but interesting. Start driving and signing up for the newsletters and emails.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mc michael

        I feel the same way about LA Costcos.

        1. re: mc michael

          Mc Michael, I already shop at all those places. I'm not asking for good wine stores--I'm asking for a Costco with a good wine selection.

          1. re: Dr. Debs

            "Costco with a good wine selection" Could be an oxymoron in LA area. Give us an update on your finds please.

            1. re: mc michael

              Will do, although right now the best recs are for Burbank. I'll make a fieldtrip and let you know.

        2. you should have gone just a little bit further past Los Feliz to the Costco in Burbank, their selection is better. The one in Westlake Village is good too but probably too far for you coming from Alhambra. But if you're in this area you should check out Silverlake Wine on Glendale Blvd, Rosso Wine on Verdugo also in Glendale, Red Carpet on Glenoaks, Colorado wine on Coloroado in Eagle Rock, as well as the previously mentiond Topline. I hadnt realized how many good small wine shops there are in this area. The advantage to most of them is they specialize in smaller wineries that cant supply the volumn required by the big retailers. Selections are much larger than Costco and the prices are as good or better than anywhere else Ive found the same wines. Added bonus; most offer wine tasteings, have very knowledgeable staffs, no Costco parking and checkout line chaos

          1. Another good small wine shop is Petite Vendome in Pasadena--on Lake, or just East of Lake. The manager knows his stuff and makes good recs. Worth paying a little more for.

            1. Here's another vote for Topline on San Fernando in Glendale - Have gotten some excellent wines there at the owner(?)'s suggestion. There is also a Beverages & More store on Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena - maybe not so much for smaller vineyards, but have been fairly lucky there. Red Carpet on Glenoaks in Glendale is good, but pricey.

              And there's always Trader Joe's!!!


              1. i am into wine and here are my choices:

                l.a. wine co (north of lax by marina) lowest price in town
                topline (glendale) similar to above
                red carpet (glendale)
                manhattan fine wine (manhattan beach)
                mission wine co (so pas)
                chronicle wine cellar (pas)
                wine house (wla)
                wally's (wla)

                many more in oc if you are willing to go there:
                wine exchange (city of orange)
                wine club (santa ana)
                hi time (costa mesa)

                they all have web site with decent inventor list....happy hunting :)

                2 Replies
                1. re: rickym13

                  LA Wine CO is the best. I went up to Paso Robles for wine tasting and many of the small vineyards like Linne Calodo are available at the LA Wine CO. Great selection with many boutique wines... and the prices are the best.

                  1. re: rickym13

                    I will second Topline in Glendale. LA Wine Company in the Marina area is basically the same thing with more breathless descriptions (lots of imperatives and !!!s) and sometimes annoying service - seems more out for the buck. (Topline has no problems with credit cards but LAWC lets you know this is costing them and requests checks. True, I'm sure, but annoying anyway.)

                  2. Thanks everybody. I already shop at every single one of the stores that you mention, and like the small retailers, too. And mc michael lists good options, but they don't have the fabulous deals that you occasionally trip over at Costo. So, I also want to shop at a Costco! This isn't an either/or situation! But if you've got to go to Costco for other stuff, at least you can go to one with good wine.Thanks to Maudie and Steve in So Cal for the tip about Burbank, and also to an earlier comment about Marina del Ray.

                    1. I don't think the wine prices at Costco are that good. Selection certainly isn't.
                      As already mentioned, The Wine House, Topline, Red Carpet, and the Chronicle are all very good places to shop.
                      One place I have not been, but my understanding is they carry some incredible and hard to find bottles is Twenty Twenty Wine Merchants, same street as Wine House.

                      1. Well this is probably way out of your way but the best wine selection I've seen at a Costco has been at the one in Goleta. We were up that way for a weekend last summer and they had stuff there that the others didn't have. Even some German wines in very unusual looking bottles.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: monkuboy

                          Probably too far, but thanks for the tip. If I have to head out that way I'll certainly make a stop. But this might be the pattern: Costcos in wine country are better for wine that Costcos outside wine country. Goleta is in SBarbara wine country!

                        2. I've only been to a Costco once, and that was in Chino Hills. I was unimpressed by the whole place, frankly: large quantities but virtually no selection, across the board. This was particulary true of the wines. I'd heard about good deals, but what I found was that they didn't have anything I couldn't get, for less, at BevMo.

                          Now, maybe other stores vary, but I can certainly advise you not to make the schlep out to Chino Hills.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jack Flash

                            Thanks, Jack Flash. Just the kind of feedback I was looking for!

                          2. Thanks for the feedback, folks. Just to let you know, again: this is not a "I want cheap wine" post. It's a "I have to go to Costco for other stuff, and am willing to drive if I can also go to one that has a good wine selection" post.

                            For those of you who don't know, Costcos vary A LOT by store. No Costco has an enormous selection, but if it's a good selection it can be a soothing interlude between the chaos of the parking lot and the chaos of the checkout. Up north, at the Vacaville (outside Napa) and Novato (outside Sonoma) Costcos in N. Cal. the wine selections are amazing--really amazing. Great Bordeaux for 50% less than what you can find on K&L, much better prices than either BevMo or Top Line, 12 different really good pinot noirs from all over the world, half a dozen different sparkling wines, and a wide selection of sauvignon blanc. At the Alhambra Costco there are cabernets, chardonnays, and some Australian red blends. Not inspiring.

                            Was just hoping against hope that at least one of the LA stores had a selection like those in N. Cal. I'll try Burbank and Marina del Ray and let you all know.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Dr. Debs

                              "Up north, at the Vacaville (outside Napa) and Novato (outside Sonoma) Costcos in N. Cal. the wine selections are amazing--really amazing. Great Bordeaux for 50% less than what you can find on K&L, much better prices than either BevMo or Top Line, 12 different really good pinot noirs from all over the world, half a dozen different sparkling wines, and a wide selection of sauvignon blanc."
                              We've been cheated! I want a Northern Cal Costco in SoCal now!

                              1. re: mc michael

                                I know, I know. Believe me, the wine manager at your local Costco makes ALL the difference. Sounds like Marina del Ray's got a good one from comments above.

                              2. re: Dr. Debs

                                I shop at Los Feliz (really close to the house) and at times they have some of those great bordeaux selections that you're talking about. I used to go to Westlake Village, and found good choices there are well. Also, in case you happen to be in these areas, Palm Springs has a terrific selection, as does the one up in Santa Maria. (of course, in the middle on the Central Coast wine area).

                                1. re: Dr. Debs

                                  I live real close to the Alhambra nightmare that is Costco and the wine selection is crappy at best (I find we get gas more than any food there). I go to Bevmo in South Pas instead or even Cost Plus.

                                  1. re: monkey

                                    Try Mission Wines in So. Pasadena at 1114 Mission, 626.403.9463. Chris Meeske is one of the best sources of wine info around, was referred to in today's write-up on Foundry Restaurant on Melrose as wine selector, and he can provide you with good prices, superb wines, and you will soon forget bevmo,c+, etc. Also not too much further away are places like Silver Lake, Colorado Wine, Topline, etc. for much better selections and prices.

                                2. I go to the City of Industry Costco regularly and if you are only counting the ones in bins that are $25+ up there are about 12-15 bins. The 'pallet' ones are the cheaper wine. They sell the most expensive stuff online though ($1800+ for a bottle, anyone?). One time we went there's even a lady there recommending wine. We got a bottle of Chateau Souverain 2002 cab based on her recommendation which we loved - went back to get a few more.

                                  Not having been to a Costco in Northern Cal I can't say if it's the same. Now next time we go up there I'll have to check.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: notmartha

                                    Thanks, notmartha! Love your site. Sounds like I'm headed west into traffic land.

                                    1. re: Dr. Debs

                                      Meant east (City of Industry is east of Alhambra)? You can always do dimsum in Rowland Heights and check out the many Asian markets while you are there so it won't be a total lost if the quantity/quality of wine isn't up to your expectation.

                                  2. Costco in Van Nuys (Sepulveda at around Oxnard I believe) just finished a big expansion, much of which was dedicated to the wine section. The expanded selection is heavier on European wineries and I have enjoyed some pleasant surprises.

                                    Also new to that Costco is the whole rotisserie chicken for $5-- really excellent bird and possibly worth the Costco trip in itself.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: ccsather

                                      I tend to be in the Van Nuys Costco about every 10 days, and they have had those rotisserie chickens in that store forever, back between the bakery and the meat counter.
                                      The addition was created to increase the produce area as well as all of the old jug/junk wine that I am guessing Dr. Debs is not interested in.
                                      Their boutique/high end stuff is quite limited to cabernets/chards/merlots, with a few others periodically available. I find its selection fairly limiting but that is because I really do not drink cabs, chards or merlot, yet want zin, malbec, rhone, syrah, etc.
                                      And by comparison, Topline in Glendale has the same prices on Grey Goose as an example where the local kid is competitive with the big guy!

                                      1. re: carter

                                        I agree with Topline. I like the price and staff is very friendly and helpful. Only bad experience is wineglass. I bought Riedel Sommeliers Boardeaux Grand Cru glasses. They were priced at such a bargen, so I bought two of them. But the glass was so much thinner than the ones I had at home. Although I was extremely careful, they broke when I was washing after the first use. I suspect they were factory rejects :(

                                        1. re: Ashibi

                                          That sucks. Did you get a replacement/refund?

                                          1. re: Ashibi

                                            The sommeliers are really thin. I have some of their bugundy sommelier stemware and also some from the vinum and extreme series, and the sommeliers are much thinner. Are you saying that you are comparing sommerliers and the Topline ones were thinner than the sommeliers you have at home?

                                            1. re: monkuboy

                                              I compared Riedel Sommeliers Boardeaux Grand Cru glasses I have at home with the same ones I bought from Topline. I've noticed the one from Topline were much thinner than mine. So I suspect they might have been selling factory reject at lower price. Anyway, I thougth I have no chance of getting replacement/refund for my broken glasses, so I did not try.

                                      2. I concur that the Marina Del Rey Costco has a large selection. I'm not qualified to comment on how good it is but if memory serves, they have two rows (double-sided) of those crates and I believe the sparkling wine is on the regular aisle shelf as well as the stuff on palets. The hard liquor selection is better than I've seen at other Costcos too (even Northern CA ones ;) ). It's too bad I moved away from Northern CA at 22- I didn't even know what I was missing. Vacaville (or Cal Expo in Sacramento) were my Costcos.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jenjunum

                                          Sounds like Marina del Rey is what I'm looking for! The Vacaville Costco was the best--huge parking lot, big wine section; lots of boutique bottlings. Sigh.

                                        2. The Costco in Los Feliz has a pretty good selection. I agree that Westlake is also good.
                                          The best I've seen--the one in "Sideways" country, I think it's Santa Maria, and also the one in Palm Springs. And, just fyi, the flagship store outside Seattle is amazing. It's where the executives' wives shop.

                                          1. The Marina del Rey Costco just expanded the floor space for their wines by moving the breads and some of the other baked goods to another part of the store. As to whether or not they expanded the selection, I don't know...

                                            1. OK...I know that you wanted an Costco in LA area, but the ones in OC seem to have a good selection. I like the one in Cypress, it's one of the newer Costcos.

                                              1. As someone who shops a lot at Costco, I've been to every single local branch several times over. So please trust me when I tell you that the hands-down reliably best overall selection of EVERYTHING (including wine) is at the Costco in Hawthorne, which is on Rosecrans just off the 405 (a couple of exits south of Century Blvd./LAX).

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Arthur

                                                  Arthur, THANK YOU. I will try that one, as well as the Burbank and Marina del Rey stores.

                                                2. Dr. Debs, try the Westlake Village location, they always have a great selection, Mike

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: miket5

                                                    Thanks Mike--it will definitely go on the list with Marina del Rey, Burbank, and City of Industry.

                                                  2. Burbank has 2 rows double sided which is best one I've been too. However after hearing about NoCal I doubt your expectations will be met (and we're all jealous). Irwindale occasionally has interesting wines but only 1 row, last fall they did get a case of Opus One and Insignia which went quickly.

                                                    1. Just returned from Burbank Costco, and it is very, very good. Best in any LA Costco I've been in yet, and the stuff in the pallets is really good, not just miles of Clos du Bois merlot stretching into infinity. Found great deals on Loire whites, Italian chianti classico, Cotes du Rhone, white Burgundy. Well worth the extra trip and definitely the most varied selection of wines I've seen outside Northern California. Next stop: Van Nuys.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Dr. Debs

                                                        So since your last posts, have you had a chance to visit the other Costcos? What are your findings so far? We're eager for the scoop!

                                                        1. re: monkuboy

                                                          Try Simi Valley Costco. I have seen a nice selection out here. E-mail me if you need directions.