We heard from several readers that the Costco Wine Advent Calendar box for 2023 was at Costco so made a quick trip to the store looking for it, only to find a different, but very similar, box.
So of course we had to pick it up for further exploration and to report back here. And what we discovered is quite interesting.
There seems to be two boxes this year, this one, as well as the new 2023 Wine Advent calendar. And what we learned is that they feature the same exact wines, just different packaging on the outside. Interesting…let’s dig in.
This Around the World box is a similar concept to many of the other boxes including the Advent calendar. You get an assortment of wines from around the world in half bottle size. There’s white, reds and rose wines.
The box is $99.99 (same as years past) and you get an unbelievable amount of wine for the money. Each box comes with twenty four 375ml bottles (1/2 size of regular wine bottles) for what nets out to about $4 for each 1/2 bottle.
As we’ve noted in our previous write ups on the Wine Advent calendar, the wines can sometimes be hit or miss, but the handiness of the smaller size bottles is the winning element for us. They are just convenient to have when you want just a glass of a certain style, or a glass of rose before dinner.
If nothing else, they give you an opportunity to taste wines from areas you might not normally seek out or have easy access to, like Bulgaria, Hungary and Luxembourg. Most of the other wines in the box are from Italy, France and Spain.
The full list of wines is at the bottom of this post (to give people a chance to keep them a surprise if they like).
The packaging is great as always, and here’s where it started to get interesting for us…when you visit the website for this box. The first thing you see is a mention of the new Wine Advent calendar with a note that both boxes will be available in Costco stores starting in Sept.
OK, but then as you click on all the links to see the details on the wines included in each box, it becomes apparent right away, that the wines are the same, and in the same order 1-24, with the same labels. So the only difference is the outside packaging from what we can tell.
Well I guess that makes our job easier only having to review one box. And as we do with each box review, we’ll pull a few bottles out and sample them. This time we have a white, a rose and two reds, all to varying degree of quality, in our opinion.
Palloncini Rose Italy
This is a Rose made with 51% Sangiovese and 49% Merlot; it pours a medium salmon color, not a lot on the nose, kind of a strawberry sherbet, feels good in the mouth but finishes with a bit too much fruit punch for us. Just ok.
Brass Rabbit Pinot Blanc Luxembourg
Here’s one of the more unique wines in the box; medium yellow in the glass, aromatic, citrus fruit, a little peach, honey, not super acidic; this is a pretty good, easy going white.
Secrets Revealed Red Blend Portugal
This wine is a medium purple; dark fruit on the nose, with flavors of blueberry, plum; dusty and dry, tastes really young; drinkable but nothing memorable for us.
2022 Lightning Strikes Again Cabernet Sauvignon Chile
This wine pours a medium ruby with a nose of earth and red fruit; it is medium bodied and a pretty enjoyable Cab all around.
So just an ok showing right out of the gate for us on these four random bottles (the Pinot Blanc and Cab being the best of the four). You have to remember the price you’re paying per bottle, which is extremely low, and set your expectations accordingly.
We don’t view these boxes as a chance to score unbelievable wine at an amazing price, but rather a fun chance to have a wide range of different wine on hand, to pop a cork here and there, and enjoy for the fun of trying something new.
From what we can tell, these are mostly new wines this year. It’s hard to say for certain since some of them sound similar to year’s past but have new branding; they may or may not be the same, but regardless there’s plenty of new regions to explore as well.
We remain fans of these boxes for the simple fat that it can help advance your global exploration of different wines. That for us is the journey we are on, and a journey we very much enjoy.
We’ll report back as we see the 2023 Costco wine advent calendar drop to confirm it’s the same. One thing to note is that this box has a different Costco item number than the Advent Calendar. This one is 1748589.
Historically, the Wine Advent calendar has been: 1357643.
And for those who want to know, here’s the full list of wines included in both boxes, in order.
- Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon
- Italian Pinot Grigio
- French Merlot
- Italian red blend
- Romanian Sauvignon Blanc
- Argentinian Bonardo
- Italian Famoso (obscure white)
- South African Pinotage
- Italian Merlot
- Spanish Macabeo
- Hungarian Blaufrankisch
- Italian rose
- Bulgarian Cabernet Sauvignon
- Portuguese white blend
- Italian Montepulciano
- South African Chenin Blanc
- Portuguese red blend
- French rose
- Spanish Grenache
- Italian semi sweet red
- Luxenbourg Pinot Blanc
- Italian Syrah-Cabernet
- French red blend
- Spanish white blend