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.