Bottle and glass of King Estate 2018 Pinot Gris (left) and Martin Ray 2018 Pinot Noir

Costco Has Two Perfect Pinots for Your Holiday Table

Fast facts:

  • 2018 King Estate Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon $9.99* (@Costco, California, Item# 232249)
  • 2018 Martin Ray Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California $14.99 (@Costco, California, Item# 803486)

*net price after $5 in store discount


Peter Piper picked a pair of Pinots…

Were you thinking when you read the headline that we were going to be recommending two Pinot Noirs?  That would be a good guess since Pinot Noir is the “no-brainer” choice for the traditional fare served on Thanksgiving. But in deference to the white wine lovers among us, we are also including a Pinot Gris in this week’s post. It will pair equally well.

Oregon Pinot Gris is reliably good, yet many wine drinkers are unfamiliar with it. Although it is genetically the same grape as Pinot Grigio, it takes on more complexity and gravitas in our Pacific Northwest. It falls somewhere between Chardonnay and Italian Pinot Grigio on the heaviness spectrum.  At this price it’s easy to buy in bulk at Costco – the same can’t be said of toilet paper, again.


Tasting Notes:

Wine Enthusiast magazine rated this wine 91 points, commenting: “this baseline Pinot Gris really shines in this vintage. It’s bursting with freshly cut pear that feels fleshy and textured. Juicy highlights of citrus boost the mouthfeel and add further liveliness to the finish, which ultimately resolves a papaya tone.” It is really well balanced, with nice clean fruit notes balanced by a crisp acidity that will refresh your palate in between bites of fatty foods. 


Speaking of toilet paper shortages.  There is no denying that Thanksgiving 2020 will be different for most of us. So although we tend to like wine finds that are under $10, this year you would be justified splurging a bit. Maybe this Martin Ray Pinot Noir is just the splurge you’re looking for. But after living with a pandemic for most of the year, no one would judge you for taking some of the money you have saved from not dining out and going out and buying yourself a bottle of 2014 Clos de Vougeout Grand Cru.  Like this week’s featured wine, it’s also a 94 point Pinot Noir (albeit from France’s famed Burgundy region) and it will set you back some $250.

Or you could buy a case of the Martin Ray and still spend less than you would for a single bottle of the aforementioned Grand Cru.



Tasting Notes:

Nicely balance Pinot with a bit of spice underneath the fruit. Mocha and oak on the nose. Black cherry, strawberry, plum, leather and licorice notes. Finishes with tart bright fruits. James Suckling awards this 94 points, which we think is a tad too high, but certainly indicative of the wine’s quality.

If you seem to recall that we recently reviewed a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, you would be correct. It was included in last weeks review of Thanksgiving picks from Trader Joe’s.


Need More Wine Picks from Costco – or Trader Joe’s Even?

If your holiday preparations take you to to Costco, prepare by taking a gander at our most recent reviews of Costco wines here in our Lucky 13 list.

And if your shopping finds you at Trader Joe’s, you can find our Lucky 13 list of TJ’s wine here.


It’s hard for me to believe, but this is the third Thanksgiving that we have been part of your pre-holiday preparations.  This year is a Thanksgiving holiday like no other, but I am grateful for each of you.  So to all of you, thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing your comments and wine picks with us. Stay healthy.





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