This Story About Cheap Wine Might Make You Gag

Editorial Update: The origins of this story have been called into question, and the post has been updated to reflect that.

America loves Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck (or should we say Three-Buck?), because it’s cheap, palatable, and . . . did we say cheap? That’s reason enough for people to buy it by the case, consume it with dinner, and display it proudly at house parties. According to Quora user Chris Morrison (a wine shop manager and buyer), behind that familiar, beloved label, there’s a very scary reality as to why the wine is so shockingly cheap. According to him, Charles Shaw, owned and operated by Fred Franzia of Bronco Wine Company, relies on machines to harvest the 35,000 acres of grapes grown in the Central Valley. Sounds efficient, right? Well, there is a catch. Here’s what Morrison writes:

“[T]hat 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.”

Finally, the wine is allegedly blended with unfermented grape juice and added sugar to make it more toothsome.

Since this Quora thread originally went up, it has become a hotly contested topic. It is enough to give us pause, but we want to know if this will weigh into your future decisions to buy the cheapest wine on store shelves.

Source: Instagram user willoliver28

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