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Why does Two Buck Chuck cost $3.00?

I was shopping today at Trader Joe’s and decided to have a peek in the wine aisle (shocking, I know). I noticed that the Charles Shaw , known as Two Buck Chuck, was actually $2.99! What gives?

And who the heck is Chuck anyway?

Charles Shaw came to Napa Valley with dreams of planting Gamay Beaujolais and re-creating the excitement when French Beaujolais Nouveau is released. Unfortunately, with his divorce he lost access to his wife’s inheritance money and couldn’t keep the winery.

Fred Franzia, nephew of wine titan Ernest Gallo, purcashed the Charles Shaw name and teamed up with Trader Joe’s. TJs exploded across the US and along for the ride came Charles Shaw wines, known as “Two Buck Chuck” for their $1.99 price tag. Fred Franzia describes Charles Shaw as an “economic, value-priced brand.”

Trader Joe’s website has the following to say:

“Charles Shaw: The game-changer. This forthright label brought to light the fact that really good wine need NOT cost a lot.

Since 2002, our Charles Shaw Wines have garnered a large, loyal following for two simple reasons: 1. The juice is good (in many cases, award-winning). 2. The juice is a really good value. Hence the friendly moniker: Two-buck Chuck. Made for us by one of California’s largest winemakers – a real stickler for quality and consistency – these wines are fruity, uncomplicated and meant to be drunk young (and often).”

Like it or hate it, Charles Shaw Wines are consumed by a lot of people.

Even Gary Vaynerchuk had something to say regarding Charles Shaw’s impact on wine: “There’s not a doubt in my mind that the two biggest things that have happened to the wine industry in the last 10 years are the movie Sideways and Two Buck Chuck.” What would Miles say?

So is it Two buck, Three buck, or Four buck Chuck?

It depends on where you live! In California where it was first sold, the price is $1.99. Franzia increases the price depending on state distribution laws, taxes and transportation costs…

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