Needed: A New Name for “Two-Buck Chuck”

Say it ain’t so, Bo.

Tell me it’s not true, Stu.

That can’t be the plan, Stan.

Actually, Bo, Stu and Stan have nothing to do with this, but Chuck does.

So, what the heck is going on here, Chuck?

For the last 10 years or so, we’ve been able to visit our local Trader Joe’s store and purchase a bottle of Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon for the princely sum of $1.99. It was known far and wide as “Two-Buck Chuck.”

Granted, this was not a bottle we’d open when trying to impress the boss or to toast a special occasion. No, this was mother-in-law wine.

Even with America’s high divorce rate, there apparently still are plenty of mothers-in-law out there—enough that Trader Joe’s sold 5 million cases of the stuff last year. That’s 60 million bottles.

But now comes the news that Trader Joe’s is upping the price of “Two-Buck Chuck” to $2.49. That’s a 25 percent increase in one fell swoop.

Is any mother-in-law worth that kind of inflation? (Okay, okay… I’ll stop picking on mothers-in-law. Mine was actually a very nice lady. One day, not long before the divorce became final, she asked me, “What did you ever see in my daughter?” That day, she got to drink the good stuff. But I digress…)

The pressing question associated with this price increase is: What are we now going to call “Two-Buck Chuck”?

Well, it has been known as “Three-Buck Chuck” in some eastern markets for quite some time, the extra dollar attributed to shipping costs. But that still won’t work for a $2.49 (or $3.49) price.

In this story that appeared in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Stewarts Point, Calif., resident Lisa Garrett suggested, “Upchuck.”

She added that she was not referring to the wine’s drinkability—just to the price increase.

Posted in The Wine Business
One comment on “Needed: A New Name for “Two-Buck Chuck”
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