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Two Buck Chuck (May 1, 2003)

A California wine selling for $1.99 has become the biggest thing in the US wine world since the advent of white Zinfandel.

Charles F. Shaw's wine – affectionately known as "Two Buck Chuck" – was introduced into the US market in late 2001 and a year later it became a cult hit with bargain-thirsty Americans. In December this cheap-and-cheerful plonk sold an estimated one million cases and is destined to join an exclusive club of 21 top brands that sell 2 million cases a year (out of 6500 brands on the US home market).

Economies of scale and the glut of grapes in California allowed the Bronco Wine Company to produce this bargain-basement product that has been embraced by the wine-drinking public. Californians are buying it not only by the case but by the carload.

If you're thinking it might come to Canada, forget it – unless you live in Alberta where wine sales are not government-controlled. In Ontario, Canada's largest wine market, there is a floor price of $5.25 below which no wine can be sold. Even with the exchange rate, Two Buck Chuck would cost under $3 in Canada.

 

 

 

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