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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage."

As this most mis-assigned phrase in American political history is, so too maybe the goal of Mr. Two Buck Chuck, also known as Fred Franzia. The famed (depending on your perspective) maker of $2 Chuck and of course the favorite of many Trader Joe's customers! Mr. Franzias stated goal it is "to have an inexpensive wine that everybody in the U.S. can afford." a quote from Harvey Posert, a spokesman for Bronco.
According to Fred, who will be marketing his newest inexpensive wine to the likes of Ruby Tuesday, with his new $3.00 chuck! Oh boy I can't wait, and in turn you can buy this wine for $10.00 which is only a 235% mark-up! This in my opinion is not a good trend! Like the famous phrase above in the title, perhaps the unintended goal of Mr. Franzia and Bronco is to have a "cheap wine in every restaurant and a marginal wine in every glass!" who knows?
Now according to a Bronco Wines Mr. Harvey Posert, a spokesman for Bronco, "Bronco is also one of the largest wineries(loose translation) in the country and it has enormous efficiencies of scale". As quoted in the Press Democrat. Yep that is what I look for in my wine, "enormous efficiencies of scale", which begs the question "please could I have some more sir?" Doubtful anyone will want more, but hey anything is possible.
There are many folks drinking Two-Buck Chuck (it goes out by the case at TJ's) and are perfectly content and yes maybe 235% markup on $3.00 is what the doctor has ordered for these economic times which we are living in, what do you think? Would you pay $10.00 to drink Two-Buck Chuck in a restaurant? I think for a few dollars more you could get a respectable wine like Toasted Head Chardonnay (also mass produced) which is sold in many restaurants and is on the inexpensive side of the wine menu!

I guess I really brought two different issues to the discussion table here, one the over inflated price of buying wine @ at a restaurant (with an average markup of over 400%) and two the promulgation of inexpensive quaffers flooding wine menus across the country, posing as something palatable at inflated prices. Which is why on count one, I whole heartily believe in BYOB! and in the future and my god I know this will sound pretentious as hell, but BYOG as well. Once you are comfortable with the practice it is relatively seamless! My wife just rolled her eye's at me, for the mere suggestion of BYOG and a carrying case! You know she's thinking, "someone stop him please, he is out of control!"

That said, yes I'll will admit it I have become a "cork-dork" ! Some might say I've become a wine snob! But I am tired of drinking wine from glasses thicker than Aunt Mildred's glasses, so thick and clunky you could potentially take out a mugger with the damn thing! So if you see me with my "little wine purse", please don't disparage me too harshly as I imagine you have wished that you too had the temerity to do the same! Also very tired of drinking "plonk" wine with over inflated prices, I mean c'mon on folks (speaking to restaurateur's) do you really think I don't know what you paid for that wine on the menu? A 400% markup is ridiculous by any standard, I know you need to make a profit but c'mon! (you can also see that statement posted at RantnRave.com) J/k.So for me to BYOB for a $10.00 -$15.00 corkage it is so worth it! If I am out and about happen to want to dine without my little wine-purse, then I will stop by a grocery store pick up a similar bottle and pay corkage. Saves me some green and little frustration!

The second point about this story which Dennis, a wine maker I know brought up in a discussion about this article is about "boutique" wine that he makes and the cost per bottle difference, frankly there is no comparison! In reference to Bronco Wines Charles Shaw brand they make plonk (yes it's a real word), pure and simple! Dennis the wine you and other boutique winemaker like you, produce wine that is not only on another level, it's on another playing field!

I'm saying it's the little league vs. the major league comparison. I told Dennis your wine is suave and sophisticated and theirs (the Charles Shaw brand ) is insipid and boring! Purple kool-aid for adults! But some folks are happy to drink these wines, but what they don't know is that for maybe a few dollars more they could be drinking an Italian wine like the one featured in my blog for $7.99! Click on this link: http://cuveecorner.blogspot.com/2009/03/tormaresca-2007-neprica-red-blend.html and see you don't have to spend a fortune to buy a some-what serious wine, that definitely has some refinement and special qualities compared to drinking plonk for $2!
In the interest of fairness, Bronco wines also also controls its own distribution company, Classic Wines of California, which like the name says have some classic wines in their portfolio! I made ascribed a few unintentional comments about "boxed wine" to Mr. Franzia, which I have cleared up after further research. Thanks for stopping by and Cheers everyone!
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2 comments:

Lisa Adams Walter said...

Hi Bill, I work with Harvey Posert (in the interest of full disclosure). Please be advised however, that Bronco Wine Company, Fred Franzia and the Franzia Family have NO relation to Franzia Boxed Wine. They Never Did. That wine is made by another company. Bronco does not produce boxed wines. They keep their costs low by owning more vineyards than any other family in the state of California, and controlling many other aspects of production from the vine to the bottle. Your readers may want to know that there is a big difference between the Super Value Wines made by Bronco Wine Company, and the cheap boxed wines made by other large wine companies. Best regards, Lisa Adams Walter.

Bill Eyer said...

Lisa,
First, I want to apologize for my unintentional research error and I will edit the post entitled, "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage." to reflect the current and correct information. Second, thanks for the professional manner in which you brought the error it to my attention. It is very much appreciated. I will be much more thorough in my research methods in the future.

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