Things haven’t always gone well for Charles Shaw, the man behind the bargain booze known as “Two Buck Chuck.” For one, Shaw actually wanted to keep his wine business, but he lost that in a bitter divorce. And while he went on to make a decent living selling software that “monitors cardiac surgery,” Shaw was forced to watch as the wine that bears his name was torn down in the public forum—first hijacked by none other than box-wine king Fred Franzia and then morphed into a pseudo Napa Valley wine that sold for a (seemingly preposterous $2), earning the ire of some of the region’s most influential wine professionals.
Well, poor Shaw has to weep no longer. The wine that bears his name has suffered its last—and apparently fatal—blow at the hands of that big bully we call the Internet. That’s right, folks. Everyone’s favorite, almost unbelievably affordable wine will be pulled from the shelves on May 31, 2016 due to margin pressures induced by slumping sales. The cause: a derogatory article published on Quora in 2011, since deleted, but not before it was was turned into a viral sensation by the Huffington Post in August 2014. The article, written by wine professional Chris Knox, accused Franzia—owner of Bronco Wines—of utilizing sloppy, and even dangerous, shortcuts in the production of a falsely advertised “Napa” wine. (The grapes were not grown in the Napa Valley.) Among other institutional shortcuts, Bronco didn’t hand-harvest but recklessly collected ripe and underripe grapes, among, well, a lot of other really weird things. Says Knox:
“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 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?”
Read the rest of the original article on Vinepair.com.