Costco Says Its Wines Are No More Special Than Any Other 'Beverage'

costco wineWine, schmine. It's all the same, isn't it? I mean, it's just a beverage ... right?

Well, it probably is if you're buying it at Costco. CNBC just did a profile of the retail giant and interviewed the wine buyer, Annette Alvarez-Peters. And as far as she cares, wine isn't any more special than toilet paper. That holy glow around wine, the notion that you need some sort of expertise to understand it? Meh.

Alvarez-Peters: "Is it more special than clothing, is it more special than televisions? I don't think so."
CNBC's Carl Quintanilla: "Certainly it's different than toilet paper? Or different that tin foil?"
Alvarez-Peters: "Why?"
Quintanilla: "Because it's personal."
Alvarez-Peters: "People can look at it that way. But at the end of the day, it's a beverage."

Keep in mind, not only does Costco sell a billion dollars worth of wine a year, it also influences prices for smaller wine shops all over the country. And before Alvarez-Peters was buying wine, she was a buyer for the automotive department.

So okay. It's true. Wine is ultimately just a beverage. But I still want to buy it from somone who knows what they're doing. Because when I buy a bottle of wine, I'm not just buying something to wash down the pork roast. I could do that with a glass of water. We buy wine on the weekends only, and it's kind of special. Or anyway, we want it to be.

You don't have to be fancy to educate yourself about wine. And not all "good" wines are super expensive. But it does take some patience and focus. If you're really paying attention, you'll pick up on the wonderful ways different wines are unique. That's why we like buying wine from our neighborhood shop -- because the owner cares enough.

But whatever. If you're into volume and think stuff like Yellowtail Shiraz is just dandy, then Costco is perfect. I'm sure Alvarez-Peters is looking at the top sellers and filling the store with that. And as a retailer, I guess there's nothing wrong with that. But it's kind of sad that this probably means your chances of finding a low-priced gem, something special or unique, at Costco are probably nil. And my goodness, I definitely hope Alvarez-Peters is more excited about wine than she appears to be here. Because that would be a thrilling job for a real wine lover.


Where do you buy your wine? Do you think it matters where you get it?


Image via CNBC

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Histo... HistoryMamaX3

Maybe she should go back to selling automotive parts... because she obviously does not understand the art of wine buying. This is an example of a person not doing their job to the fullest- just running off to costco and buying what she can. Lazy.

momto... momtolittleg

Why would a wine aficionado buy wine at a warehouse store, anyway?  Seriously.  If you care about wine, don't buy it from Costco!

tinyp... tinypossum

What an obnoxious, self-important snob you are. 

Maevelyn Maevelyn

her outlook doesn't prevent you from purchasing wine the way you want. They are a warehouse store, they offer products at a discount. with wine much of 'quality' is personal taste and fashion. 

Tiffa... TiffanyMarie80

I love wine, and love exploring small wine shops for something new or special. But as it happens, costco carries some of my favorites, and I am not above getting a good deal! :)

the4m... the4mutts

I have tried every kind of wine I could think of, from blush, white, red, boxed, cheap bottles, 800$ a bottle *it was a wedding gift*

Wine is just a beverage.

And a disgusting one at that.

IMO people that get all up in arms over that stuff, are just pretentious snobs.

Idk how that crap sells. Over half of it is bitter, some is vinegary, some overly sweet....

Drinking wine is a chore, and I'll stick to my fruity girl drinks thank you.

cocob... cocobeannns

No. I buy what tastes good, not the fancy bottle it comes in. I love the Barefoot and Bubbly pink miscato, and their sweet red wine. Can't beat $8 a bottle for something that delicious.

nonmember avatar DtotheB

Some of these comments are ridiculous. She is highly accredited, go look in past editions of The Costco Connection (you can look them up online at and educate yourself before you base your decision about her and the wine buying she does on a few minutes of an edited clip/sound byte. You are minimizing the time and energy and passion she and her staff does spend traveling the world and making decisions for the 64M members. Walk into any Costco and they also have some very educated wine enthusiasts/stewards in some locations that will help you navigate through the selection as well. My guess is you people that are berrating her here have never even stepped foot into a Costco wine section. She has way more education and passion for what she does than anyone posting on this blog!



I can't drink wine (migraine trigger), therefore I never bothered to learn much about it.  But really..."But it's kind of sad that this probably means your chances of finding a low-priced gem, something special or unique, at Costco are probably nil"  Even before this woman was their wine buyer, was this even possible?  Honestly, wine afficionado's aren't chomping at the bit to see what's new and exciting in wine at Costco this week.  Even I know that!

mamivon2 mamivon2

Well I dont drink one but I would probably would just by it at the grocerystore

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