Charles Shaw wine
Charles Shaw is a brand of "extreme value", bargain-priced wine. Largely made from California grapes, Charles Shaw wines currently include Cabernet Sauvignon, White Zinfandel, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Valdiguié in the style of Beaujolais nouveau, and limited quantities of Pinot Grigio. These wines were introduced at Trader Joe's grocery stores in California at a price of $1.99 per bottle, earning the wines the nickname Two Buck Chuck. In 2009, an international version of Chardonnay from Australia was introduced in limited stores. Prices in states other than California have increased to as high as $3.79 per bottle. As of January 16, 2013, a bottle of Charles Shaw retailed for $2.49 in California.
The Charles Shaw label is owned by the Bronco Wine Company, headed by Fred Franzia, formerly of Franzia Brothers wines. The Bronco Wine Company produces the Charles Shaw label at their Ceres, California, winery, which is not open to the public.
There was once an actual, eponymous winery owned by Charles F. Shaw, which produced Beaujolais-style wines in the Napa Valley AVA. That winery went out of business, and the name was sold to Bronco in 1990.
In 1999 Fred Franzia plead guilty to fraud for substituting cheap grapes for Zinfandel grapes and selling these grapes at a much higher price. Franzia paid a $500,000 fine and was barred from the wine business for 5 years. Ref. Tangled Vines by Frances Dinkelspiel.
In the media
- Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure visited the winery in the fourth episode of their second series.
- In Chuck season four, episode eleven, Chuck and his team go to a winery in France while on a mission. An oenophile states that Chuck wouldn't know the difference between fine wine and "Two Buck Chuck". Chuck replies that he likes Two Buck Chuck.
At the 28th Annual International Eastern Wine Competition, Shaw's 2002 Shiraz received the double gold medal, beating approximately 2,300 other wines in the competition.
Shaw's 2005 California Chardonnay was judged Best Chardonnay from California at the Commercial Wine Competition of the 2007 California Exposition and State Fair. The chardonnay received 98 points, a double gold, with accolades of "Best of California" and "Best of Class".
- Julia Flynn Siler (2007). The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty. New York: Gotham Books. p. 310. ISBN 9781592402595.
- "The American Way of Aldi". Deutsche Welle. January 16, 2004. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Charles Shaw Wine". Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer. February 6, 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- Cathy Bussewitz (January 22, 2013). "Price hiked for 'Two-Buck Chuck'". The Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- Michael Chatfield (November 8, 2004). "The story behind Two Buck Chuck". The Gilroy Dispatch. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "'Two-Buck Chuck' Snags Top Wine Prize". NPR News. June 18, 2004. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "The judgment of California: Charles Shaw chardonnay is state’s best". The Napa Valley Register. June 29, 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2013.