Here are a few shots from Wineboy's traveling tasting gig with the "Costco Wine Road Show" last week, featuring some of their best sellers and prices that makes Costco a "must-stop" for wine lovers and anyone who needs 150 lbs. of potato salad. I had a blast dishing colorful wine education and met tons of aficionados and novices alike! If you want to see me screaming the praises of poor decisions and wittical wine wisdom near you, write me -- ryan at wineboywegman dot com!
Leslie Hall. Bedazzler in Chief.
Boutique: One of the gravest offenses against many "Orange Wine" seekers is to reduce the credit they've attributed to the few labels they know. E.g., "Duckhorn 'Decoy' is the only wine my family drinks and I was actually baptized in the birdbath that inspired the name. Do you have any of that?" When a wine professional is asked for assistance, he doesn't see himself as the animatronic crossing guard of your local wine establishment. He is there to provide assistance and guidance. While there are times to point and remain silent, the amount of cash required to shut up someone half in the bag by virtue of their career is a check most aren't able to write. My/the boutique response, when in fact this would be true, is thus, "Well, yes, we do have the wine you're seeking. However, for the same price, we carry this wine which is a far superior value." Do not be mistaken: I'm not trying to make your boyfriend into a switch hitter (yes, I am). I'm offering my value to you as a professional by giving you the additional value of a better selection which you'll find more fulfilling. By shopping in a boutique, the added margin over the nearest large grocer is accounting for this. If you aren't seeking advice and need to simply get "this one specific wine for my friend who kvetches and throws sh*t without it.", then my keester won't be kosher for you.
Bulk: You know what you're looking for. You want the best price. You're feeling particularly utilitarian and in the mood to test your kickboxing lessons at Costco. The margin large retailers such as that or others make is so small they must move incredibly large volumes of products to, at times, break even. Don't expect customer service. The staffing budget and manual labor load at places such as these isn't a formula that offers the space to provide such a luxury. At times, you'll get lucky and find someone that can offer assistance but my best wishes on said journey. The obvious advantage: you can also buy the Advil you'll need in the morning after buying a less than stellar bottle on your own or large volumes of what you were seeking.
Conclusion: Draw your own. It's a question of ambiance VS. elbow grease, education VS. utility. But if you're reading this, I'll guess you're not one for oil stains on your boots. They make a mess of bedazzled zebra skin rugs.