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What is Two Buck Chuck? (or now Three Buck Chuck)

Despite the exercise in marketing over how the two buck price tag came about, Fred Franzia, creator of old school boxed wine, purchased the Charles Shaw label and drove a bargain product built for the bourgeois.

Interesting Tools

Two buck chuck (Charles Shaw) wine display at Trader Joe's
Racks of TJ's Two Buck Chuck

The term was made famous due to Trader Joe’s selling of Charles Shaw wine for two dollars. Two buck chuck was a revelatory sensation for wine drinkers, brown baggers, college kids, and everything in between over the last 15 years. Thus, the low cost of entry makes it perfect for an experiment in hyperdecanting.

Before we get started, if you ever find yourself without a wine key, know that there are ways to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew.

Why is two buck chuck so cheap?

In general, it’s because vineyards and wineries need to sell off their surplus without diluting their main brands (see Pacific Peak). So, some good value can sometimes be derived in bargain-priced wine. This was exactly the case with the 2002 Charles Shaw Shiraz.

For the experiment, we went with another bargain-priced wine, the Pacific Peak Cabernet Sauvignon ($2.57/bottle). Who owns Pacific Peak? We couldn’t find the answer, even after diving into what we call Search Purgatory, or, page 4 of Google.

Choose a two buck chuck to hyperdecant
Updated designs by Charles Shaw and his wine

Any of the Charles Shaw wines should be considered with regard to what is the best trader joe's wine under $10. They are exceptional for the price point.

Types of Charles Shaw Two Buck Chuck

  • Chardonnay
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Pinot Noir
  • Rose

Type we liked the best

After trying out the five two buck chucks, we'd have to say that our favorite was the chardonnay. It was certainly passable for a wine you'd hand out at a family dinner.

Types we didn't try

  • Merlot
  • Red Blend
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Shiraz

Two Buck Chuck FAQs

Where can you buy two buck chuck?

Trader Joe's.

How much is two buck chuck?

It depends on where you are. There could be some variation in price between states like New York, Colorado, Florida, etc.

How many bottles in a case of two buck chuck?

12 bottles. Should round out somewhere between $24-36 dollars.

Where can you find two buck chuck @ Trader Joe's?

In the back is where the wine section usually is.

Can you hyperdecant a two buck chuck?

Yes. In fact, we suggest you should hyperdecant a two buck chuck.

First off, it’s not like freeze drying food. You should consume the wine immediately, or shortly thereafter.

It won’t turn a cheap red wine into a good red wine. Let’s face it, you couldn’t slide your hyperdecanted two buck chuck past an actual sommelier. But, there is still plenty of room to impress your friends at your next wine tasting party.