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June 7, 2022

Costco Wine Review: Willamette Valley Pinot Noir And Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

One of my early pandemic discoveries was Costco and I haven’t regretted it for a minute. I don’t recall what drove me to get a membership, but I just strolled in one day and signed up. I’m in a household of two people, so I wasn’t sure if I’d get to take full advantage of things. Boy was I wrong! Our favorites now are the proteins, big hunks of cheese, and fun snacks (the Korean BBQ jerky is a hit). Every time I go, I seem to discover something new. And Aaron hates going, so it’s shopping alone time that I love. Sometimes I stroll the aisles fantasizing about the big ‘ol house I’ll own one day, where I can store all 36 cans of tomato sauce in the pantry! Though that is not happening now in my 1-bedroom apartment situation!


Costco Wine Review: Did You Know?

In case you didn’t know, Costco is the largest retailer of wine IN THE WORLD. Crazy, right? People always ask me about Costco brand wines, and I never had a meaningful reply, as I had never tried them. Once I got my membership, I decided to change that! In previous blog posts I conducted Costco wine reviews of their Kirkland brand wines. For most of them, I actually blind tasted with a group of friends to find out which were the Costco Crowd Pleasers and Costco Brand Wine Values. To date, these Costco wine review have been the most popular posts in the history of my blog!

Let’s get right to my Costco wine reviews of the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and the Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon. 


Costco Wine Review: Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2019 $12.99

Before I begin this Costco wine review, let me share something that I think is helpful if you want to up your wine game. Pinot Noir is a very difficult grape to grow. A lot goes into ensuring its success in the vineyard which translates into good juice in the bottle. Pinot Noir has thin skins, which makes it susceptible to rot, mold, and mildew in the vineyard. Essentially this grape has to be treated with kid gloves from start to finish to ensure that you get a good wine in your glass. With that being said, I’ll say it once and I will say it again “it is very difficult to make good, cheap Pinot Noir”. And honestly this wine is no exception. I find this wine to be hollow with no mid palate. Super simple and no complexity. This wine tastes like a cheap grocery store, non-appellation Pinot Noir. A very basic wine. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with that. I just think that for this to be a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, I am expecting a step up in quality than just good ol’ fashioned, basic Pinot Noir. I will let you decide if his Costco wine review will make you run out and buy it or if you’re going to pass. For me this one is a hard pass.


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Costco Wine Review: Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2019 $19.99

With this Costco wine review, we are squarely in the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon category. Which isn’t for everyone! I’m talking about big juicy fruit, big tannin structure, high alcohol, extraction, essentially: more is more. That is what Napa Valley is known for. With this wine, we are specifically in Oakville, one of the sub AVAs of Napa Valley. Oakville is known for all of these big structural elements, but one of the key hallmarks of Oakville (and why it is so prized), is that their wines are known for having balance. None of the structural elements stand out and jut ahead of the others. I was so damn pleased with this wine, and would grab a megaphone if I had one, to tell you to go buy some now. How’s that for a positive Costco wine review! An insane and complex finish of coffee beans, cigar box, and sweet tobacco. Plus, this is only a 2019. I believe this wine has all of the elements to age and evolve beautifully. Seriously, go buy a case. And have one bottle a year for the next decade. You’re welcome.


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Check out my article on Decanter:  Decanter Best: Costco Kirkland Signature Wines: Top Buys from the US

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you’re looking to Up Your Wine Game and Drink Better, consider booking a private in-person or virtual wine tasting experience.
Brianne Cohen Wine Educator
Brianne Cohen is a Los Angeles-based certified sommelier, wine educator, consultant, and writer.

Brianne has educated and entertained over 10,000 people through her in-person and virtual wine tasting experiences.

Brianne holds the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) Diploma certificate, one of the most coveted wine certifications in the world. When she’s not helping people Up Their Wine Game, she can be found judging at international wine competitions

Brianne aims to make wine approachable and conversational, to surprise and delight with unexpected wine finds, and to give people knowledge (and confidence) about wine in their everyday lives.

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Sample Policy

As a wine writer, I frequently accept samples for review on my  website and on my social media channels. Please contact me at to discuss sending samples for review. I promise to always be honorable with the samples. I will evaluate all wines in good tasting settings and with no distractions.

All reviews are my opinions, and mine only. Because of the volume of samples I receive, I cannot promise that all samples received will be reviewed, but I will do my best.

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