As the weather warms up, it's time to transition from big red wines with comfort food to refreshing whites with lighter fare, such as seafood, chicken, and vegetables. Costco offers great values in the under $15 category with a good variety of white wines from Chardonnay to Torrontés.
Costco usually stocks well known producers, at a discount from your local wine shop prices. The selections change regularly, and often once a wine has sold out, the deal is done, since Costco is committed to providing their customers with value at a good price. Each Costco store carries different inventory, catering to what their customers like and buy. So a Costco in Thousand Oaks might carry a very different selection than the Burbank Costco.
These are some of the current white wine gems that were found at the Burbank Costco:
The 2011 Marqués de Cáceres Deusa Nai Albariño is a crisp, aromatic white wine from Northwest Spain. Highly rated by Wine Spectator (90 points), this fresh, juicy white channels aromas of orange blossoms, tropical melon, wild herbs, and sea salt with good acidity on the palate, silky texture, citrus, apple, pear, and apricot flavors, and a mineral finish. This wine has surprising concentration and depth for the price. Served slightly chilled, it's the perfect wine for seafood, fish, and salads. Costco sells this gem for a phenomenal $10.99, a savings over local wine shops, and with a screw cap to boot, making for easy quaffing anytime of year.
The 2012 Hermanos Torrontés Valle de Cafayate is a vibrant, aromatic white from Argentina's mountainous Salta region. Pale yellow with shades of green, it has a beautiful bouquet of white peach, pear, lime, and apple blossom. It's crisp, medium bodied, juicy with a spicy note, framed by a dry mineral finish and a hint of pepper. This wine is great as an aperitif, with Indian food, or mild cheeses. Costco sells this wine for $11.99, a great way to bridge Spring and Summer.
The 2012 Justin Central Coast Chardonnay is classic California Chardonnay from Paso Robles. A crisp, medium plus bodied white, the aromas and flavors are of golden apple, ripe white peach, nectarine, and lemon pie, laced with vanilla and butterscotch notes from the toasted oak, a touch of mineral and toasted almond, and a hint of clove spice on the smooth finish. This easygoing wine pairs well with chicken, fish, and seafood. Selling for $11.99, it's a good bargain for California Chardonnay.
And for dessert, the 2011 Les Lions de Suduiraut Sauternes is a lush sweet white wine from Bordeaux. This is a fresher, livelier version of the legendary honeyed wine from the region. The intense bouquet of ripe peach, pineapple, pear, honey, and candied lemon peel, accented by brioche and marzipan notes, finishes light yet decadent. The 375 ml bottle (half bottle) sells for $13.99.
Wine under $15 may lack intensity of fruit and concentration, but if crafted well, they offer good structure, acidity, and balance and can be good dinner companions. Browse the wine department at Costco in your area for many surprise bottlings that can change weekly, your pocketbook and your palette will thank you.