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How to Make Two Buck Chuck? *Updated*

The Truth about Trader Joe's infamous wine?

by
Stephen Green

Bio

August 10, 2014 - 11:00 am

MERLOT

Chris Knox reports on the wee tiny corners Fred Franzia may cut from time to time to keep his Charles Shaw Wine so cheap:

A few things to keep in mind about his vineyards: one is that they are located in what is known as the Central Valley in the California wine world which is notoriously flat and quite hot producing massive yields of overripe grapes. The other thing is that Fred Franzia is no dummy – he planted those vineyards in such a way as the rows run north-south, giving the vines maximum sun exposure and he made the rows as long as he possibly could, minimizing the number of turns his tractors would need to make. And third, these aren’t hand-picked vineyards…they are all machine harvested. And that means these large tractors with huge claws go down the rows of vineyards grabbing the grapes and depositing them in its huge receptacle. And it not only grabs ripe grapes, but unripe and down right rotten ones as well and throws them all together. Add to that leaves, stems and any rodents, birds, or insects that may have made those vines their home – they all get thrown into the bin as well. And guess what? You think there’s going to be any sorting when that truck arrives at the winery (or should I say processing facility)? Nope. Everything, and I do mean everything (including all those unripe grapes, rotten grapes, leaves, stems, birds, rodents, and insects) gets tossed into the crusher and transferred to large tanks to ferment. So think about all the animal blood and parts that may have made their way into your wine next time you crack open that bottle of Two Buck Chuck! Hardly even seems worth the $2 does it?

If you were to taste that wine right after it was made, I guarantee you it would be undrinkable. They will then manipulate the finished wine in whatever way necessary, including adding sugar or unfermented grape juice if needed to make the wine palatable.

I need a drink.

Updated: “This blog post contained un-sourced claims about Two Buck Chuck and its proprietor, Bronco Wines. It has been removed from the site in accordance with our blogger terms.”

****

Cross-posted from Vodkapundit

Stephen Green began blogging at VodkaPundit.com in early 2002, and has served as PJMedia's Denver editor since 2008. He's one of the hosts on PJTV, and one-third of PJTV's Trifecta team with Scott Ott and Bill Whittle. Steve lives with his wife and sons in the hills and woods of Monument, Colorado, where he enjoys the occasional lovely adult beverage.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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It's been a while since I had some Two Buck but I thought it was OK.

And I really don't buy the stuff about pushing everything into the vat unfiltered.

15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am most amazed that HuffPo removed a story for being unsourced. Seems they've never cared before. I'll bet Franzia sent a nasty threat.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Franzia probably sent Moose and Knuckles to pay a visit to HuffPo. Friendly advice, you know?
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Nice blog ya got there Arianna, wouldn't want anything to happen to it..."
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you click on the link provided, you get this:


Editor's Note

This blog post contained un-sourced claims about Two Buck Chuck and its proprietor, Bronco Wines. It has been removed from the site in accordance with our blogger terms.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Absolutely none of this surprises me in the slightest.

I am a red wine drinker and used to collect good Napa cabs (before I got divorced...'nother story) and a few from Bordeaux. I know crap wines.

First, Mr. cjclarke doesn't have a clue. He should be content to lurk on threads like this. For instance, his contention that "running them over screens" eliminates things like rat dung and insects shows his ignorance.  Would anyone here drink water that has been contaminated with these things after "running (it) over a screen? Especially with grapes after they have been crushed with these impurities? That's just plain dumb.

Second, Stephen Green certainly does, and I'm glad he wrote this piece.

There are decent wines to be had at TJs but the Shaw "wines" (and even in scare quotes, I use the term advisedly) should not even be used for cooking. That's how terrible they are. 

The reasons Mr. Green cites are enough, but any red wine drinker worth his (or her, whatever) salt wouldn't touch *any* wine from the central valley (or Temecula, for that matter).  They are all absolute swill.

Go spend $2.00 on one of Shaw's "wines" and then, at the same time, spend $4-5.00 more on a similar wine at TJs and tell me which one you would rather have over dinner.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Running them over screens" means the grapes BEFORE they are crushed. That allows the smaller debris, twigs, bugs(at least the dead ones), and so forth to fall off. Seen it done at a winery in that same Napa Valley from where you used to collect wines. It would also remove a goodly portion of rat dung, if the rat dung were dry enough that it didnt adhere to the outside of the fruit.
As far as drinking water, there are many major cities that use surface water for their water supplies, water that has had waterfowl sitting in it, other birds flying over it, and so on. It gets treated, but it's still been there. Other places draw water from underground that has passed through dirt (it's called a well). Treatment is by filtration (thats a very fine screen) and sometimes chemical treatment, but not always.

I have just as much right to comment here a you do, though I may not be a "wine expert" like yourself.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, the Puffers are mad because the grapes are machine-picked, rather than picked by unionized illegals, so they put this stuff out, and you take it at face value?
I'd bet that the grapes go through a process that removes the twigs, rodents, bugs etc. All they really gotta do is wash them on the way through and it removes most of that. Running them over screens on the way into the crusher allows the garbage to drop out, and also allows screening out the larger things also. I also doubt that the picking machine picks up rodents, which are smart enough to get out of the way.
Oh, and I'd bet ANY wine you drank just after it is made is "undrinkable". It all has to age or it's just grape juice.
It's just another "evil capitalists are trying to poison us all" screed.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's just another "evil non-union capitalists are trying to poison us all" screed.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
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