The Charles Shaw shiraz or cabernet sauvignon, which has been $1.99 at the Santa Rosa Trader Joe's and other California locations for the past decade, has now gone up in price to $2.49 per bottle, putting its "Two-Buck Chuck" nickname in jeopardy, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Thursday.
"Inflation Chuck," shopper Matt Tucker, 28, suggested as a new nickname.
"Upchuck," said customer Lisa Garrett, 50, referring to the price going "up" rather than comparing the wine to vomit.
Harvey Posert, a spokesman for the Bronco Wine Co., parent company of the Charles Shaw brand, said the prices were kept low for so long because the company owns 45,000 acres of vineyard land, making it less affected by fluctuations in grape prices.
"If there's one grape too many, the price dips," Posert said. "If there's one grape too few, the price zips up. In the sense of being the largest grape grower, Bronco can ride many of these ups and downs."
"But there were bad crops in 2010 and 2011, and that certainly impacted the industry," he said.
However, Posert said the final decision on retail prices is set by Trader Joe's.
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