It was bound to happen. Inflation has caught up to Trader Joe's wildly successful Charles Shaw wines, ten years after "Two Buck Chuck" became a phenomenon. It's been a long time since we've bought a bottle -- go ahead, spend a few more dollars and try some other stuff -- but it's a sad day nonetheless for bargain hunters.
According to the Los Angeles Business Journal (by way of LAist), the price will now be $2.49 a bottle -- still cheaper than on the East Coast, where it sells for $2.99 or more. I guess call it "Two-And-A-Half-Buck Chuck"? Maybe get Ashton, Jon and Angus to promote it? Details from the paper:
“We work hard to have every item in the store at an intersection of quality and price that highlights outstanding value,” said Alison Mochizuki, spokeswoman for Trader Joe’s. “In general, our retail prices change only when our costs change.”
The Monrovia grocer sells about 5 million cases each year of the Charles Shaw brand, owned by Bronco Wine Co., and has sold more than 600 million bottles since it first hit the shelves 11 years ago.
“We’ve held a $1.99 retail price for 11 years. Quite a bit has happened during those years and the move to $2.49 allows us to offer the same quality that has made the wine famous the world over,” Mochizuki said.
In this 2003 Franklin Avenue blog post, we talked to a Napa Valley winery about how "Two-Buck Chuck" was hurting the state's wine industry. The guy we talked to was also bemoaning the coming of Napa's first Trader Joe's. Read all of our Two-Buck Chuck posts here.