At What "Cost"

costco_wine_3.jpgThe nation’s largest wine retailer, how could I not go? Armed with a new membership card from my company I entered Costco. The size lives up to the reputation. What didn’t live up to the hype was the wine. Me and my gigantic shopping cart circled the wine section ready to stock up on the fabled bargains. I left without buying a bottle . The most exciting wine offered was Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, which is hardly a hard wine to find and not a very stimulating wine to drink.

There indeed is a sucker born every minute, because everyone else was packing their carts with bottles from Costco. There were no hot wines there,  just the same industrial crap that fills the aisles at most grocery stores. Were they cheaper? Who cares. These are wines not to buy.

While reading my Sunday paper I grabbed the Cost Plus ad. In the ad were such fine choices as Wrondo Dongo Mourvedre, Red Guitar, 7 Deadly Zins and Sin Zin. Cute names, but bad wines. Great prices? Sure enough, but who cares.

There can be no more reliable indicator of over-manipulated, industrial wines, that are the worst wine values in the world, than the regular wine selections of these “Cost” stores. In these stores you’ll find a list of wines to avoid. The wine buyers for these stores must be lazy, for there is no excuse in offering such mediocrity in an era that is producing better and better wines at lower and lower prices.  They certainly have no creativity or passion for the product that they buy.

What is the  “Cost”  that the buying power and marketing power of such mega-stores have on the industry? They don’t cost the industry a thing, but they cost the consumers a lot. If you want a good wine value avoid these “Cost” stores. Costco and Cost Plus and their brethren are to wine what McDonald’s is to hamburgers.