Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Apr 23, 2009 12:08 PM

good buy at Costco

Came across a phenomenal wine at Costco - Girard 2006 Petite Sirah, Napa Valley. It sells for $22 while the winery lists it for $28. This is for someone who likes BIG intense wines. I collected 20 bottles but had to go to several Costcos because it goes fast. (Robert Parker 91).

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Beltramo's Wines & Spirits
    1540 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025

    has it listed at $23.99

    23 Replies
    1. re: RicRios

      How to spoil some fun in one easy lesson.

      Costco is funny that way. We found Girard there right after having visited the Girard tasting room in Yountville and were happy to have a local place to buy their wine. From what I've heard Costco buyers are not allowed to take more than a 13% profit on anything so it would seem that they paid $19.14 for this wine, which would be just about normal in the trade for a $28 wine. So, no great deal and other retailers can be close to their price or match it. But the wine IS VERY GOOD.


      1. re: Midlife

        Not sure what you mean, $2 per bottle better than competition still counts at least in my checkbook .. and frankly I rather pick up the wine myself then have it shipped and spoil during transit. So yes, it is a great deal for me....

        1. re: olasek

          Who is your post aimed at? I'm agreeing with you but you replied to me, not to RicRios. I would take the convenience of Costco for the $2 any day, and no shipping cost unless you live near Menlo Park? A no-brainer.

          I keep suggesting that posters here need lessons in how to be sure their posts nest the way they intend but the mods don't think it's a big deal.

          1. re: Midlife

            My reply was to you but perhaps I misunderstood your post, sorry. But I am also greatful to RicRios for providing a substitute source in case all else failed...

            1. re: olasek

              Since you mentioned having to go to several Costco, and since Costco stores are usually far apart, I thought sourcing from a single vendor would be more reasonable, the $2.00/btl + shipping being compensated by the savings in gas & time.

              Re spoilage during transit: I souce all the time from all over, including east coast. Many retailers are offering free ground UPS, which is fine as long as it's not summer time. Your shipment will definitely experience "bottle shock", but that's easy to fix with a couple weeks rest. Breakage is not a problem either, since everybody nowadays ships in styrofoam containers. Yes, I know, styrofoams are bad for the environment. But I take care of that recycling same containers over & over.

              1. re: RicRios

                Those styrofoam packs also keep everything insulated for the legs of the journey that do get hot/cold.

              2. re: olasek

                I was gently chiding RicRios for 'spoiling the fun' you had at finding the Girard. And... I was a bit surprised that Costco was so close to another source as they're usually well below (more than the 10% in this situation).

          2. re: Midlife

            At least in CT....Costco will sell the wine at cost which no other retailer in CT will do. They have a selection of wines here in CT, but it is pretty standard stuff. Their private label wines have really grown in selection. I would buy the hiigher end items, ex: Twomey Merlot...sells retail for like $80...Costco will sell it for $65 to $70...what ever the cost is that particular month. Their concept is to get you in and buy...they are making their money else where in the store itself so they would rather take the dive on a lost leader.

            1. re: triggs73

              Good deal for you guys. As I understand California law, it is illegal for a licensed wine retailer to sell current product at cost here. The CA ABC told me the minimum profit was6%.

              1. re: Midlife

                In CT...the law is that you can sell at a designated state set minimum price but never below. If you pay $10 wholesale and the state says you can sell for $10.02 then that's the deal....It's called CT State min bottle pricing. Has it's ups and downs for the consumer

                1. re: triggs73

                  I can see the 'downs' for the consumer. What are the 'ups'?

              2. re: triggs73

                This is interesting however I have hard time understanding why they would sell something at a cost - why not at some profit that can still beat other suppliers, certainly their wine section can take up a great deal of floor space. But nonetheless I am glad to get confirmation that Costco's wine pricing is excellent. At least at Costco I have a fairly decent selection of low medium and higher end wines, I can't say this about Trader's Joe which I avoid for wine purchasing.

                1. re: olasek

                  Hi, i'll check it later, thanks!!

                  1. re: olasek

                    from what i understand, costco makes a substantial amount of their net from the membership fees they charge.
                    from their point of view, they need to do what it takes to keep those membership numbers up.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Don't let them fool you. YeaH they maKE A GOOD DEAL OF $$ ON membership fees, but they are also buying aS a chain and get fantastic deals. In CT, wine, beers, spirits is just another plus to get you in the door. I was just there this past Friday and their prices across the board are excellent.

                      1. re: triggs73

                        "Don't let them fool you. " ????????

                        ANY business needs to keep its customer numbers up. That's just basic. Costco makes enough on their memberships to allow them to take low markups on what they sell. I don't think Costco is out there saying they're doing their customers a favor by selling at low prices as a thank you for being a member. . That's just the way their business model works.

                        With the possible exception of WalMart, Costco is the largest retailer of many products in the country. They are #1 in wine sales and get the best pricing in the marketplace; they take pretty low profit margins, so they have some of the best wine prices you'll find. But, there are thousands and thousands of wines being sold, so you need to know what you're buying to get the best deals (if you care that much). Whichever retailer buys the last 5,000 cases of XYZ wine is going to get the best price, so it may be that a particular wine is a better deal at your local chain supermarket this week. In general, though, Costco IS going to beat most competitors.

                        Just my $.02, but I'll stick with it.

                        1. re: Midlife

                          Buying the last 5,000 cases....that theory does not work in CT. You are dictated by the state as to what you can sell for. In the case of Costco, they either work at that price or pretty close to it. I worked for a leading grocery chain in New England for 20 years and the 2 biggest threats were Costco and Wal Mart because of their buying and distribution power. Where the 2 companies could approach a Proctor & Gamble, Coke or Campbells and say give us 1 million cases, now what is our price. Laws that govern the sale of alcohol differ from state to state. Also, you can't transport booze over state lines so tranfering beer from NJ to a CT store would not fly at all. I am only speaking of CT in this case where buying 1 case or 1,000 does not change your pricing. I do agree that Costco makes money off of memberships, but when you take into account the amount of merchandise that rolls out of there everyday it is incredible. So, by working close with the price on alcohol you are creating a sort of lost leader, where you are not making/losing money, but generating sales. The idea that well I'm here so I might as well buy it now along with my 50 pounds of burgers and dogs and 50 pack of TP. Their selection is decent, but as far as I know, if you are looking for an item that they do not carry then you are out of luck. Also, at least in CT, the people that watch over the area are not wine savvy at all. Everything was miss labeled with incorrect vintages and points. But again, for the average person who doesn't pay attention to garb like this the it is a great value.

                          1. re: triggs73

                            OK......... I get the issue in CT. But I still don't think Costco is trying to "fool" anyone. What am I missing?

                            BTW......... Costco and WalMart are STILL the biggest threats to just about every major retailer in America.

                            1. re: Midlife

                              Of course they are....still no service. No matter how many bodies you stick in an aisle or at a register they both have no service. At the Costco I frequent, I try and find 2 particular cashiers that I only use just because they are pleasant every time I go. Wal Mart, forget it. The only thing that they have going is the ease of returning goods.

                              1. re: triggs73

                                Service???????? What's that? :o)

                                We must be lucky because our local Costco cashiers are pretty nice.

                                My rule, at Costco's wine department (as in most big-box situations), is to buy only what I know something about. The only winery I ever see offering help there is Cameron Hughes (may be California only) and their people aren't always that knowledgeable. I don't think there's room in Costco's profit model for across-the-board one-on-one useful product help. Their competitors (as in large volume, quality wine merchants) should be grateful for that. In my days as a wine retailer I was happy they didn't have someone there who knew wine, had a reasonable palate and had tasted what they sell. OMG, it's hard enough to try to compete on price in California!

                        2. re: triggs73

                          These sound like great deals! Do any of the Costco's in NJ sell wine? I can't tell from the store profiles if they do or not. I know they'd have to purchase a liquor license. Our local Costco Moorestown/Mt. Laurel doesn't but BJ's does. Thanks.

                          1. re: medford

                            See BJ's around me in CT does not sell wine.

              3. We've been picking up Vilafonte 2004 Series C at the Marina del Rey Costco on a regular basis for around $35. Great Bordeaux-type blend from South Africa that never has failed to please us or our friends and relatives.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bulavinaka

                  if you are going to be in that neighborhood, it makes sense to look online at what LA Wine Co. is offering too. You can order online and pick the stuff up at their store with no shipping charges.


                  1. re: westsidegal

                    I really like LA Wine - they are one of my primary sources for wine. I've found that in general, they do a good job in editing their selection so it's very likely that I'll pick something that I like almost every time. They are also very knowledgeable and very helpful when I (often) find myself in need of a rec. Thanks for the tip though - I appreciate the thought!

                2. Apparently the '05 Montrose is going for $79.97 -- great price for that wine.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: whiner

                    In fact, it's now showing up in!
                    That must be first time I see Costco linked to wine-search.

                    1. re: whiner

                      That pricing with the ".97" means it's a closeout item. You can confirm with the mgmt or guy in the wine dept, but this the point-97 usually implies they're closing out the inventory on this item - grab as much as you can!

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        They do this in England at our Costco too. They've been trying to shift their Kirkland brand WA State Syrah for the last year at £7.97. It was alright, but not something I'd buy again at that price, despite the novelty of WA wine in the UK!

                        Currently they have a good deal going on Cloudy Bay, about £5 cheaper a bottle than you'd find it anywhere else. Anyone know what it is there in the US?

                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          Depending on what your local Costco stocks, there's going to be more ".97" closeouts in the wine dept. coming in the near future. Costco doesn't want to keep bottles around forever, and I've noticed a lot of bottles have been sitting on the shelves since Q4 of 2008. I picked up a bunch of magnums recently of a decent Sonoma vintner that had been marked down to $19.97 (dunno what the original price was, but 750s of this same vintage go for more than that online).