12 Tips to Find the Best Wine Deals at Costco

Stock the wine cellar of your dreams with these simple Costco shopping tips.
Updated April 16, 2024
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It’s no secret that Costco is an excellent place to shop if you want affordable prices. One great way to save money at Costco is to buy good wine at the retailer for a bargain price.

Here are some money-saving tips for the next time you purchase wine at Costco.

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Know your vintages

gstockstudio/Adobe man choosing wine bottle at store

Costco doesn't change prices too much based on their vintage. So, you'll need to do some research to find out which years offer the best wines, as you can't tell by price alone.

If you're interested in researching vintages to invest in, use a site like Vinovest instead of poring through Costco's shelves. They help you source, purchase, and store wines without needing a lot of upfront capital.

Go in with a plan

Drobot Dean/Adobe man on call writing notes

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by Costco’s vast wine selection. If you want a good deal on something you will love, it’s smart to go in with a plan.

Narrow down to a few varieties of wine you like, and research good brands within that variety. This can eliminate some shopping anxiety and help you better identify good deals.

Grab good wines before they're gone

Prostock-studio/Adobe african american couple shopping for wine

A rule of thumb for shopping at Costco is to note any item with an asterisk, also known by CostcoWineBlog.com as the “star of death.” This symbol indicates that the item is the last of its stock.

If you know you like a wine tagged with an asterisk, buy it in bulk in true Costco fashion.

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Don’t skip Kirkland Signature wines

Kristina Blokhin/Adobe wine pinot grigio with wine glass

While Costco offers great deals on multiple wine brands, don’t overlook Kirkland Signature wines.

There are several Kirkland wines that are equal parts delicious, rich, and affordable. If you aren’t particular about labels, you can find great deals.

Sleuth around for premier winemakers

Minerva Studio/Adobe mature man choosing wine bottles

If you want to source an excellent wine at Costco, check the labels on those Kirkland Signature wines. In some cases, the winemaker behind these products will be listed on the label.

You can work backward from there: Knowing who the winemaker is, you might be able to figure out where the grapes came from, including which vineyard.

Dig through the bins

K KStock/Adobe bottles of wine at costco

There's a good chance your local Costco will stock wines from various vintages in the same wine bin. That means you need to look carefully to make sure you're getting the vintage you want.

If you find only a bottle or two of the vintage you desire, look under the display bins to see if there are more bottles in stock there.

Learn the price code

Andrii/Adobe woman looking at wine bottle label

You can find the best prices at Costco by paying attention to the label. While the price of most items ends in “$.99,” wine that is on sale will have tags ending in “$.97,” according to CostcoWineBlog.com.

Additionally, items that end in prices with a nine but are not “$.99” (such as “$.89”) likely represent special Costco deals, meaning you might not find a better price elsewhere.

Prices that end in eight or zero mean Costco is likely trying to get rid of the item to make room for additional stock.

Buy in bulk

tronngguyen/Adobe wine stock inside alaska costco warehouse

If you see a wine you like at a great price, just buy a whole wooden crate.

If you’re not buying in bulk, try and snag empty wooden crates if you see them. These crates can help prevent your wine bottles from rolling around in your cart or car.

Get better wine selections during holidays

Евгений Вершинин/Adobe hands toasting champagne glasses at party

Even if you’re familiar with your local Costco’s wine selection, be sure to take another pass through during major holiday seasons. This is a time when you will likely find new selections.

Don’t go too close to the holidays, though, as the selection may have been picked through by then.

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Learn when deliveries come in

dennizn/Adobe costco membership card over costco truck

If you really want to access the best wine selections, find out when your local Costco receives its wine deliveries. This is generally a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, but check to be sure.

Head in early to be one of the first to comb through the available varieties.

Talk to the wine advisor

Seventyfour/Adobe salesman consulting customer in liquor store

Some Costcos have a wine advisor. If that is true at your local warehouse, introduce yourself, give them an overview of your preferences, and check in routinely to see if they have anything special coming in.

Buy sample bottles

ArchonCodex/Adobe wine glasses with samples on table

While buying a wine you love in bulk is a great way to save money, you don’t want to purchase something in bulk if you have never tried it before.

Instead, buy just one bottle to sample. If you like it, you can always return for more later.

Bottom line

caftor/Adobe senior couple buying liquor at supermarket

Not only is Costco a great place to save on groceries, but you can also cut the cost of wine when you buy it at the retailer.

Shopping for wine at Costco is a great way to save money on wines you already love and explore new wines without breaking the bank.

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Author Details

Lucy Clark Lucy Clark has considerable experience writing about real estate, as well as homes and gardens, home value, and more. She is savvy and resourceful, and she aims to ensure others can be, as well.

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