Trader Joe's Hikes Price of 'Two-Buck Chuck'

Back-to-back years of bad crops impacted production costs.

After an 11-year run as perhaps the most drinkable cheap wine around, "Two Buck Chuck" fell victim to inflation this month.

The iconic Trader Joe's shiraz and cabernet sauvignon wines are retailing for $2.49 in California stores, up 50 cents from the $1.99 price tag that made the wines famous.

Jokes abound, renaming the Charles Shaw line as "Inflation Chuck" and "Upchuck" (referencing the price, not the quality of the wine).

The winemaker, Bronco Wine Co., said poor grape crops affected costs. The company owns about 45,000 acres of vineyards, which had stablized grape production to some extent, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

The cheap wine had already increased in price in other states. California was the last to see prices rise.

Trader Joe's sold about 5 million cases of Charles Shaw last year.

Two-Buck Chuck fans, do you plan to stick with the brand and shell out a little more for your vino? Tell us in the comment section below.

Tom Ricks January 25, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Wait a minute...if I do math math right...that is a 25.12% price increase....The rate of inflation is currently under 2%...... a year.....I demand a Congressional Investigation!!!! Let's get Nancy P. on this!!!!!! Guess I am going to have to go back to drinking my Gallo Gallon jugs....... Some body got an extra paper cup???? :-)
Vanessa Castañeda January 25, 2013 at 06:27 PM
lol Upchuck indeed. I hadn't even heard of this stuff until I moved to California. It's still absurdly cheap...You definitely get what you pay for.
RUFF N READY January 25, 2013 at 07:57 PM
#1- Trader Joes did not raise the price the winery did #2 - Vanessa in this case this wine knocks the socks off many $15 bottles of wine- you don't sell 5 million cases of sub par wine every year and have an absurdly loyal fan base
Vanessa Castañeda January 25, 2013 at 08:18 PM
@RUFF N READY, this wine sells because of the price point, not the flavor. A parallel behavior can be found in the packs of loyal frat boys who buy cooler loads of Natty Light to fuel their fun.
Steve Hayes January 25, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Traders Joes set the price so yes they did raise the price. Of course cost helps determine the price and I am certain Charles Shaw has been a loss leader for a long time - so the two things driving this are higher costs and the motivation to make a small profit. I agree with Vanessa, CS is very good for the price but it is a jug wine and does not have the character of many other wines - best if it is opened as the second or third round or mixed into sangria.


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