There’s nothing wrong with drinking on a budget and we’re all looking to save a dollar here and there. So it’s only natural to be drawn to that low, low, low price tag of Charles Shaw wine in Trader Joe’s. It typically runs for about $2.99 (the price increased a dollar sometime in 2013). A recent article published on Huffington Post claims even $3 is too much for this factory-produced wine.
According to the article, the wine is produced almost entirely by machines that, when the grapes are harvested, also take in just about everything else in the field, including stems, leaves, rotten grapes, birds and rodents. Yep, rodents. All that is thrown into a big tank to ferment. Eventually, sugar is added to make it palatable.
This isn’t the first article to bring the practices of Fred Franzia and Bronco Wines (the owners of Charles Shaw) into question. We found this CBS News report from a few years ago that lists the Charles Shaw wine as one of four things you really shouldn’t buy from Trader Joe’s, not so much because of the harvesting practices, but because it tastes so bad.
I’ll drink cheap wine. I might even drink bad wine if it’s cheap enough. But wine with birds and rats in it? I don’t think the price is ever right for that.