August 27th, 2010
01:41 PM ET
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Bronco Wine founder Fred Franzia talks about how he started selling bottles of "Two-buck Chuck" to Trader Joe's.

While Fred Franzia is indeed part of the Franzia Brothers' table wine legacy, the family sold the brand name in 1973 and he has no ties to the boxed wine.

CNN Money has the FULL VIDEO

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Filed under: Sip • Think • Video • Wine

soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Dude715

    Trader Joe's is not a liberal nor is it a conservative company. It's owned by Germans that could give a shit either way. We have plenty of both come into out stores every day and plenty of both that work there.

    August 31, 2010 at 5:10 am |
  2. Trader Shmoe

    Nighttrain !!!!!!

    August 30, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  3. trumod

    The red works pretty nicely in marinade.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  4. Roberto

    Hey! Does anybody remember Italian Swiss Colony Rhineskeller? Whooeee!!! Whop!!! Drank too much of that stuff in HS once. I farted black smoke for three days! I think the trick to drinking any wine is not to drink too much. After about the second glass I doubt most could tell a difference between a $3 bottle and $50 bottle.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Jesse

      sure ya can, its called vomit. 3 dollar vomit taste much worse than the 50 dollar brand.

      August 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
      • RichardHead

        only if you staring at the label while hugging the toilet.

        August 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        See? Someone likes to drink vomit, hence validating my post about wine.

        August 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  5. Traveldoc

    Here in NC...Then: "2 Buck Chuck".
    Now: "3 Dollar Charles". For table wine, it's great! And fortunately for me, I drink this and astonishingly great $150 bottles of wine, too. There is a time and a place for everything!

    August 30, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  6. RichardHead

    Thanks for the input"Clarice" The Ripple is on isle 5.

    August 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  7. Hannibal Lechter

    I personally can do without the two buck chuck and prefer a nice chianti.

    August 30, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • Jesse

      no fava beans for you!

      August 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  8. Dennis McCallister

    As for me as an old grunt I've had the good stuff and the bad.
    My good friend has a liquor store and occasionally we are treated to a a wine tasting put on by the suppliers.
    I once had a taste of $1200 a bottle red. I'm one of those that could be fooled with a fake.
    However, I know when I like something and some of the chuck wine I like.
    I agree it does seem inconsistent.
    In Cleveland the two buck is now four buck.
    Does that make it twice as good.
    An old grunt said that.

    August 30, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
    • Another Dennis

      Nope, that just makes it twice as bad.

      August 30, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  9. same ol'

    Walmart sells a bottle of wine for two dollars that is great!! well atleast good. I get tipsy with one glass. THE END!

    August 30, 2010 at 10:58 am |
    • Jesse

      and lead based paint thinner is beverage.

      August 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
      • Jesse

        sorry should read "is your beverage."

        August 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • Tis Me

      Some people drink for the sole purpose of getting tipsy. Two Buck is perfect for you. Others, myself included, drink for the love of the taste and complexity of the wine. Two Buck is NOT my wine.

      Had a party once. 65 guests. Served many good wines. Yet, one of the first guests, brought a bottle of Two Buck and began pouring it for the other guests. My wife and I fought to hold back the tears.

      August 30, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  10. Les

    makes a good pitcher of Sangria

    August 30, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  11. Paul M

    Just another cheap wine to go along with Mad Dog 20/20, Night Train, Wild Irish Rose, etal.

    August 30, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  12. Emily Myers

    Two Buck Chuck + three day camping trip in Big Sur = best weekend ever.

    August 29, 2010 at 9:06 pm |
  13. Pete

    It's not so much bloody awful as wildly inconsistent. One type may be potable for a few months, and then get really bad, while another variety pulls itself up to the level of 'not awful and pretty darn good for $2.'

    Also, it's not a boxed wine. CNN–>Fail

    August 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • chuck norris fan

      I think you all should have just stuck with chuck norris jokes lol

      August 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Hey there – not saying that Two-Buck-Chuck is a boxed wine. Franzia is.

      August 29, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
      • RichardHead

        Wasn't Franzia Fonzie's girlfriend from Italy? She liked spandex and motorbikes. Coulda been Pinkie though.

        August 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants


        -The Fonz

        August 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  14. Maggie

    Makes me nostalgic for the TV series "Simon and Simon," where character Rick Simon would buy a Mexican wine called "Don Diablo" for a dollar a gallon!

    August 29, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      I forgot about that show.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  15. Matt

    This should win the "Worst Article of the Year Award". What a pathetic excuse for an article.

    August 29, 2010 at 9:57 am |
    • Eric

      And you should win "Most Useless Comment of the Year"...

      August 29, 2010 at 10:42 am |
      • SomeGuyInNC

        No, I should win that: "I like squirrels!"

        August 29, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  16. Russ

    I miss Spanada. It was great for derusting sheet metal.

    August 28, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  17. Trader Vic

    I am Trader Vic, and I am a liberal and I also hate America.

    August 28, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
    • the fredman

      I am the Fredman and I LOVE America. You should move to Talibanistan (Afghanistan). They have No Traders Joe's and no wine and no Chuch Norris and no women in public. Enjoy!

      August 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
    • Lush Rimbaugh

      Mr. Trader, I don't hate you, and I *love* America. Your wine isn't bad, either, but seriously, by the 3rd bottle, I was doing the "Two-Buck Up-Chuck". I could hardly keep my fistful of pills down.

      August 28, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
      • Funny

        HAHAHA! "Two-Buck Up-Chuck" Must be some good stuff...

        August 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • Alan Pants

      I am Alan Pants. They call me that because I wear pants – but I'm not wearing any right now.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  18. Not quite a wine snob.

    It's pretty amazing for a $2 or $3 bottle. We regularly cook with it, and usually have a glass or so of it as well.

    I really enjoy wine and we have a decent collection of decent wine (not a cellar and nothing of extraordinary price) and yes, I can tell the difference between 2-Buck-Chuck and one of the $50 bottles we have. But, my budget doesn't allow me to open a $50 bottle every day, or even every week. Heck, I doubt we drink one a month.

    But when $3 wine is drinkable – and just as good as many of the $10 wines we're likely to open a bottle per week of – I'm not ashamed to admit I drink it and buy it by the case.

    Any "wine snob" that can't tell the difference between it and a $50 bottle is either just being polite or plainly thinks $$$ = good. But, most people can't tell it from many $10 bottles – and in my world that's our budget for a random normal evening at home wine.

    August 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • the fredman

      You,my friend , have a serious alcohol problem. Get help.

      August 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
    • happyharrison

      I too buy it a case at a time; certainly not perfect wine; but definitely drinkable – I can afford $36 a case every 2 to 3 months we're so happy to have TJ's within a 2-hour drive...wish we had one closer.....(as well as a Starbucks, Super Target, Costco and any big-box book store!)....

      August 28, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  19. Jake

    Jim has it pretty much right here, wining snobs aside (er, I meant whining, but nevermind). Had a bottle at a friend's house and it went down well with dinner. Since this was a bottle carried over to Egypt I had no idea what the price was. So I would have to say that for the's a steal! If you want fine wine, go pay the price for it. If you're not a wine expert and would like something that will pass as wine, then this will do the trick. Wish we could get a Trader Joe's over here (and Taco Bell, Home Depot, and a fricken IHOP!)

    August 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  20. John

    I just love the 'wine snobs' that love to tell everyone what is good and what is not. When I run into one I switch the wine from the expensive bottle to the cheap bottle and from the cheap bottle to the expensive one... then watch them praise the cheap wine out of the expensive bottle. Works everytime.

    August 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • so fresh

      you have never done that.

      August 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
      • John

        I have so done that. It took a bit of effort switching the bottles, but it was so worth it when my wine snob dinner guests drank both wines and complimented my good taste. You should have seen the expression on their faces when I told them I had switched the bottles and that they didn't know as much about wine as they pretended to. They knew that they had been outfoxed! I don't see them much any more, but I bet they still think of me when they drink their wine. Smirk.

        August 30, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
  21. Jim

    No, it isn't the highest quality wine, but it isn't horrible, either. For the price, it's a great deal. It's not for sipping but it is a decent accompaniment for any pasta, pork or steak meal. In my humble opinion.

    August 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      Agreed. Chuck is at its worst acceptable, and you can't beat it for the price.

      But having said that, if you're willing to "splurge" for $6/bottle, you can find much better bottles from vintners who deal with TJ's exclusively.

      August 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
    • Petey

      Agreed, that needed to be said. It's a decent and affordable, if inconsistent, table wine, of which the pretentious American wine community is sorely deficient.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  22. Jack

    "Trader Joe's is a very liberal organization. We do not need them in Colorado, thanks."

    Is that because they pay a decent salary, have good benefits, sell products at a reasonable to cheap price, treat the customers well, have clean stores and cater to the handicapped???

    August 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • Jim

      I believe that is exactly why. Conservatives seem to have a problem with this way of running a business.

      August 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  23. dadu1

    Tip for using this wine: I use the Gamay Beaujolais in preparing the meat sauce for my spaghetti and lasagna. Adds a little kick. Agree; not the best sipping wine around but not bad for 2 bucks plus tax.

    August 28, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  24. Vinophile

    I'm a vinophile. In fact, just returned from Tuscany. If I were homeless, I might consider 2Buck, but for now let me enjoy the good vin.

    August 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
    • ummm....

      oneophile... not vinophile, dude.....

      August 30, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
      • ummmm.....2

        vinophile is a common slang of oneohile.

        sir, not dude . . .

        August 30, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
      • durr

        oenophile ...not oneophile, dude.....

        August 30, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Why does this word even exist? The correct term is "Alcoholic posing as a wine aficionado".

        August 31, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  25. Bill McGrath

    The intellectual level of posts on this website leaves a lot to be desired. Poor logic, misspellings, lousy grammar... did any of you people ever get out of grade school? And does it always have to degenerate to name calling? Get a life!

    August 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • Maggie

      My thoughts exactly.

      August 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. Geez people, if you're going to bother wasting your time on a discussion board, could you at least redeem yourselves with an intelligent remark, with good grammar?

      August 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  26. Dave

    It happens on both sides of the political spectrum. Look above at the post "Chuck Norris is a partisan stooge". The far leftist do the very same thing you're complaining about. Chuck Norris is a stooge because he's a stooge. That has nothing to do with the fact that he has conservative values.

    August 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • SomeGuyInNC

      Well I dunno there buddy. When I catch him hawking exercise equipment late at night on cable infomercials, it just gets me to thinking: "Y'know, there's a guy who shares my set of values, and I should simply believe anything he says."

      August 29, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
      • Someotherguyin NC

        Chuck Norris and the bowflex changed my life... politically speaking of course.

        August 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  27. Slobowitz

    Trader Joe's is a very liberal organization. We do not need them in Colorado, thanks.

    August 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • What?!

      What an IDIOTIC statement!!! Are you serious? Please tell me you were joking and aren't truly this much of a right-wing wacko?

      What does this company's political leanings have anything to do with wine? If you don't like it, don't buy there – it's as simple as that. You right-wing nut jobs are what is truly ruining this country. Apparently anyone that thinks contrary to your doctrine is obviously against America, right? WRONG! There is (and always will be) people that think differently in this country. In fact, if elections were won by the POPULAR vote versus the electoral cluster[muck] we have now, idiots like you would be completely marginalized. Politicians would be campaigning to the masses in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. Instead, they're stuck trying to cater to backward-thinking lemmings such as yourself. Sorry, I just have such a problem when I see someone pushing their own political bent on everything. I consider myself middle-of-the-road. There's room for Glen Beck in America and there's also room for Bill Maher. Guess what – deal with it because no matter what, everybody will continue to purchase at liberal organizations as well as conservative. If you have a good product I don't see why a simple label like "liberal" is any reason to keep them from making an honest living.

      Geez, people like you are such dunderheads... Pull your head outta your [butt] and watch something other than Fox now and then! There's a whole big world out there for you to discover! (FYI, they don't all talk English either!)

      August 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
      • Joe Shmuckatelli

        Why do you hate America?

        August 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
      • What?!Fan

        I wish there was a 'like' button on this post because you have hit the nail on the head my friend. People need to stop peddling hate and learn to live together or we are all doomed to go extinct one way or another.

        August 28, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • Jim

      Oh please, get over yourself. We most definitely could use Trader Joes here in Colorado and I fervently hope they open a store here very soon. The variety of food and the prices make it an excellent alternative to everything from King Soopers to Vitamin Cottage. Please, do yourself a favor and only speak for yourself, not others.

      August 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • Capt. Obvious

      You folks really need to learn to recognize a troll when you see one....

      August 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
    • Veronika Larsson

      Trader Joes is not a liberal organization. Every Saturday, they make a group of Haitian orphans club baby seals and then they spend the rest of the day harassing gay people.

      NOW will you want a Trader Joes in KKKolorado?

      August 29, 2010 at 4:21 am |
      • Mary McCormick

        Your comments are divisive and hateful. Learn to practice the "tolerance" you self-righteously preach, hypocrite.

        August 30, 2010 at 9:45 am |
      • YouAreDumberThenDirt

        Mary, are you really this much of a moron. Can't you tell when someone is going way beyond. Please say you aren't this dumb, well then again you probably are. I bet you have your GED, may have taken you ten tries but you finally wrote your name correctly.

        August 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
      • Michelle

        Oh the irony of criticizing someone's intelligence while incorrectly using the word "then" instead of "than"

        August 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
      • Actually...

        Michelle, actually he used "then" correctly. Next time you want to correct someone make sure you are correct yourself.

        August 30, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants


        No, actually, he didn't.

        August 31, 2010 at 8:55 am |
    • pelegrim

      Haha....we don't need colorado at all

      August 30, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  28. jillmarie

    It is $3 in NYC. I wish the Trader Joe's stores in NJ sold wine! I had it once when someone bought it over, and it wasn't bad for the price.

    August 28, 2010 at 10:12 am |
    • RNM

      The Trader Joe's in Westfield sells wine.

      August 28, 2010 at 11:36 am |
      • jillmarie

        Thanks for the tip- I go to Florham Park or Wayne- I'll check Westfield out next!

        August 28, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
      • blueguitar

        The Trader Joe's in Princeton NJ sells wine....including Charles Shaw. It is located on Route 1 North near Lowes Home Center.

        August 29, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  29. Zevon

    Werewolves of London Again...

    August 27, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  30. Love Me the Wine

    Charles Shaw wine is Two Buck Chuck because its cheap!!

    August 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  31. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    Wine sucks. Drink vomit!

    August 27, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • vomit

      you never cease to find the lowest possible comment to make

      August 28, 2010 at 11:44 am |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Because people with replies like your's makes me laugh. Makes the day go by quicker.

        August 30, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  32. Alverant

    It's a bit more than $2 in Chicago's outer burbs. Not the greatest wine. I'd cook with it but I'd rather have beer.

    August 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  33. Caroline

    It's three bucks in NYC, and it really is bloody awful. But when your broke as a joke and jonesing for some vino, it'll do.

    August 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  34. Billy Joe Jim Bob

    No, it's not good wine. In fact, it's bloody awful.

    August 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  35. msyellarose

    We bought a case of these while at Trader Joe's in Vegas. It's inexpensive, but good wine.

    August 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  36. Chuck Norris

    I thought this was a Chuck Norris joke!!!

    August 27, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Truth

      Chuck Norris is a partisan stooge.

      August 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
      • Afraid of the Chuck Norris

        Don't mess the Chuck Norris! He can kill you with his eyes!

        August 28, 2010 at 9:56 am |
    • Bauer488


      September 1, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  37. Truth

    I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at trader Joe's.
    His hair was perfect.

    August 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Idrinkyourmilkshake


      August 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
    • Matt

      Did he have a Chinese menu in his hands?

      August 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
      • Truth

        That's him...walkin through streets of SoHo in the rain...

        August 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
    • Alverant

      Haha, but there is such a place as Trader Vics in Chicago's loop. Well that should be WAS such a place. I heard it closed years ago.

      August 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
      • John

        Yep, Trader Vic's has been around for about 70 years. See

        August 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
    • Jim

      That's funny, I don't care who you are.

      August 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • Fuzzy

      Sorry...I just had a killer craving for beef chow mein...

      August 29, 2010 at 12:49 am |
    • Jesse L. Cairns


      August 29, 2010 at 2:43 am |
    • Elizabeth

      Warren Zevon forever!

      August 29, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
      • Hugo Roses

        I have been to Lee Ho Fooks, and the beef chow mein wasn't that good.

        August 30, 2010 at 8:23 am |
      • scott

        Might have been on Letterman, but facing his mortality, Zevon was asked if he had any advice, any words of wisdom for the audience. His response was "Enjoy every sandwich". Absolutely perfect!

        August 31, 2010 at 8:51 am |
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