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A Few of Our Favorite (Non Costco) Wine Resources and Items

A Few of Our Favorite (Non Costco) Wine Resources and Items

We’re going to take a quick break from the Costco wine reviews for what we hope is a fun post that brings value to your wine experiences. 

There are so many great resources in the wine world right now, and we thought we’d highlight a few of our favorites, as perhaps you’ll discover a few new things that will interest, educate or entertain you as well.

Disclaimer: We have no affiliation with anyone or any of the entities listed below, just like we have no affiliation with Costco Wholesale. We are just fans.  We do include a few affiliate links to Amazon for a couple of items listed below, where we earn a small commission on sales.

Let’s kick it off (in no particular order).

Wine Library is a retail store in New Jersey popularized by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. But once you dig in here, there’s a lot to be discovered.

First of all, Gary’s YouTube tasting videos, WineLibraryTV, are beyond legendary, and super educational.  That education focus in carried throughout the WineLibrary Instagram page, which I highly recommend following.  And the Gary V Wine Club, at $60 a month is perhaps, outside of Costco wine of course, the single greatest deal in wine that exists today.

Also, don’t miss Gary’s Empathy Wines project.  I tasted all three of the wines and enjoyed them all a lot.  Each bottle is $20, which is totally fair for the quality of the juice.

Yes another retail outlet where you can buy wine (and they want you to), but this one is more about data and research, at least for me. has information on so many bottles of wine, organized so well, with critic scores, pricing and if you scroll to the bottom of the pages they list information on the producer and region. 

The app is also great.  It can scan wine labels and provide info on the wines, similar to Vivino, which we also recommend.


While we’re on the app kick, if you’re aging wines, CellarTracker is a must have app.  It not only helps you organize and keep track of your wine, but the community tasting notes from people who are opening and tasting bottles of various years is invaluable.

Riedel glassware

There’s so much good glassware out there and a zillion opinions on what’s best.  I don’t think you can go wrong with Riedel; the shape and size is really your own preference. 

This wine opener on Amazon

Simple, effective and inexpensive, this is my go to.

And for older bottles, use this one

It will help you get those delicate corks out without breaking them.  A must have item for anyone with a wine cellar.

“I’ll Drink to That” podcast

This is a deep dive into the wine world, and gets pretty nerdy, but if you’re like me and enjoy the nerdy wine stuff, you will love this one.  Host Levi Dalton’s wine knowledge is otherworldly.


My favorite wine fridge.  I’ve depended on my mine for years and love it.  They are not inexpensive, but have proven to dependable and well worth it.  If you spend a fair amount of money on wine to age, then why not spend a fair amount to ensure a proper place to store it?

“On Wine” column at the Wall Street Journal, by Lettie Teague

Ms. Teague is a powerhouse of wine knowledge and does an amazing job of digging into various aspects of the wine world in a compelling, and relatable fashion.  One of my favorite wine writers. I only wish she published more often.

Eric Asimov’s Instagram

Mr. Asimov is the NY Times wine writer and another one of our favorites.  He explores both complex and very consumer level topics in the wine world.  A great follow on Instagram for what he’s drinking and writing about.

This is another great online resource for just about anything you want to learn about wine, and the supporting visuals are so good at helping convey complex information about wines and regions.  They’ve also published an amazing book that every wine lover will enjoy.

Wine Spectator Vintage Chart

There are a lot of vintage charts out there, but this is a dependable and well organized one.  I’d bookmark it in your mobile browser so you can bring it up fast on the go.  They also have a wallet chart you can print.

Somm (2013) and Somm: Into The Bottle (2015)

I love movies about wine and there are too many good ones to list, but here are two that would be fun to start with. 

Blood Into Wine (2010)

OK, one more, because I feel this one sometimes gets overlooked.  Plus Arizona wine is still not on everyone’s radar, but it should be.  This documentary is about Maynard James Kennan, front man for several bands including Tool and Perfect Circle, and it follows his journey into creating a vineyard and becoming a winemaker in Arizona. 

Don’t knock AZ wine until you’ve tasted it (especially his Caduceus Cellars).  Same with Virginia wine.  Both unexpectedly delicious.

Bern’s restaurant, Tampa

Bern's Steak House Logo

As unique as they come, discrete building, no windows, one of the largest wine collections in the world with reasonable prices, tasty hand cut steaks, cellar and kitchen tours and a dessert room like no other.  A unique and memorable experience every time.

Let’s stop here and call this the first Chapter in this series of favorite wine things.  If I hear from you that you enjoyed it, we’ll plan to highlight more items down the line.  And of course, share any of your suggestions in the comments below.

Cheers, Andrew

bruno in San jose

Monday 19th of April 2021

I've had a Monopol brand one of this style opener and I use it regularly. But this Ah-So style cork screw recommended is a piece of junk. 16% of the reviewers on Amazon gave it ONE star. I've had to use cheapies like this and they are more trouble than they are worth.


Monday 19th of April 2021

Very informative. Excellent resources. Thank you, Jan

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