Off the beaten path
Five uncommon wines
to sample this summer
By Annette Alvarez-Peters
ONE EXCITING ASPECT of exploring
the world of wines is that treasures lie off
the beaten path. Don’t shy
away from the unfamiliar.
Here’s a look at five fashionable varietals you
might not have thought to
pick up … until now!
ALVAREZ-PETERS yay) is a full-bodied
white—very aromatic, with
attractive rich mineral flavors. Most have
lovely stone-fruit flavors of apricots and
peaches and are meant to be consumed
young. The wines are produced in the northern Rhône and South Australia regions, as
well as in California and South Africa.
Viognier, traditionally a blending grape, has
become a trendy single varietal that is crisp
and refreshing, with beautiful floral aromas.
Try it with dishes that might normally call for
a Gewürztraminer (guh-vurtz-trah-mean-er),
such as lighter seafood dishes, fruits and
Pinot Gris (pee-noh gree) is a light-bod-ied white, high in acidity and grown in cool
areas such as Oregon, Alsace and northeast
Italy, where it is also known as Pinot Grigio.
Oregon Pinot Gris delivers bold and expressive flavors and is fuller in body than Italian
Featured at Costco
Incognito Viognier Item #158708
Beringer Viognier Item #281837
Willamette Valley Pinot Gris Item #476424
Kris Pinot Grigio Item #310444
Montes Cherub Rosé Item #157377
Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Item #10862
Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Reserve
Beaucastel Coudoulet Rouge Item #35696
Pascual Toso Reserve Malbec Item #183433
Not all wines available at all locations.
See costco.com for more wine choices.
Pinot Grigio, which tends to be light bodied
and fairly neutral. Alsace Pinot Gris has
attractive notes of honey and spice. The
wines have a lovely creaminess—perfect with
a summer salad or light seafood.
Malbec (mal-bek), rich and lush, has
become a trademark of Argentina’s best wine
regions. Malbec has a deep red color, soft tannins and robust fruit flavors.
Malbec is also produced in France, where
it is one of the five red grape varietals found
in the blend of Bordeaux wines. This fashionable red variety offers a tremendous
value-to-quality ratio and can stand up to
almost anything you throw on the barbecue.
Tempranillo (temp-rah-nee-yo), Spain’s
most noble wine grape, grows in moderate to
hot climates throughout several Spanish wine
regions, especially in Rioja and Ribera del
Duero. The variety is also found in Portugal
and Argentina. These wines have a balanced
acidity, are usually higher in alcohol and feature a wide range of flavors from strawberries
Tempranillos can be enjoyed now or can
be long-lived: As the wine ages, the flavors can
take on a savory, meaty character and a beautiful spicy note. Try it with grilled lamp chops.
Grenache (greh-nash), or Garnacha (
gar-nah-cha) in Spain, is a red varietal that produces a wide range of styles, from a bone-dry,
light-colored rosé to a big, ripe, jammy fruit
bomb. The grape is planted throughout the
southern Rhône region, from Châteauneuf-du-Pape to Tavel, as well as Spain and South
Australia. It’s a perfect complement to barbecued chicken wings in the summer, as well as
The lovely strawberry-flavored, refreshing rosé wines from Tavel and rosatos from
Spain are popular, as are the concentrated,
rich wines with white peppered notes found
in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the fruity rich
blends from Spain or Australia.
Take a chance and experiment with at least
one new varietal this summer. Cheers! C
MY CHEESE TIP thıs month is simple:
Many people stay with Old World
favorites when making their cheese
choices. And for good reason: The
Europeans have perfected cheesemaking
over thousands of years. But American
cheesemakers have done wonderful
things by blending time-honored traditions from Europe and abroad with local
influences and flavors—and classic
In 43 of 50 states, families and entrepreneurs are perfecting sustainable, high-quality cheesemaking. Costco’s cheese-buying team chooses a few of these local
products to bring in to select warehouses.
For example, Costco warehouses in
the Seattle area carry Beecher’s cheese,
made in the city’s historic Pike Place
Market. In California, members will find
Bravo Farms cheeses, while in Vermont,
Carr Valley cheese is a sure winner.
What makes American cheeses spe-
cial? They’re often a creative twist on a
traditional variety. A number are farm-
stead—they are made from milk produced
on the cheesemaker’s farm. And the price
can be lower than for European cheeses.
These small farms are making great
cheeses in limited quantities. The dedica-
tion to quality can be tasted in every
batch. Your new favorite may be from a
cheesemaker in your own backyard!
For information on Costco’s Kirkland Signature™ wines,
go to costco.com, click on “Costco Connection
Magazine,” then “Kirkland Signature Wine Connection.”
Annette Alvarez-Peters oversees Costco’s
national wine, spirits and beer program.
The Costco Connection
Costco carries a variety of local cheeses,
with selections varying by location.
N Beecher’s Cheese—Beecher’s Flagship
N Marin French Cheese—Rouge et Noir
(Soft Cheese Sampler) Item #22882