It appears as if the grapes are beginning to sour for California wine maker, Bucking Bronco Wine Co. famed for its three-dollar bottle of wine Charles Shaw variety as their brand is vastly turning into the three-buck upchuck for American consumers.
"Americans simply cannot handle something this cheap," says consumer advocate Constance Paigne. "Look at gas. Look at what's happened with mortgages. Look at credit cards. Wave a deal in front of an American and they cannot resist. They're like Mr. Creosote. They will simply drink until they explode."
The problem has gotten so bad that Alcoholics Anonymous spokesman, Jim Beam, says that AA meetings across the country have begun to fill at an alarming rate. Pretty soon, they will just have to turn people away.
When confronted with the problem, the $250 million a year wine maker that annually sells five million cases of its three-dollar bottle of wine gives the Phillip Morris pat answer and says that, "Americans don't have to drink it just like they don't have to buy an SUV. It's their choice," according to wine maker spokesman, Red Concord
Well, you sure as hell hope they make that choice don't you?
Bucking Bronco's Charles Shaw, or three-buck Chuck, hit the stores in 2002 and quickly became the fastest growing brand in the U.S. wine industry's history surpassing Catholic Prelude to An Evening With Boys, Fungus Breath, Sour Grapes, Toad Licker, Sam's (Wal-Mart) Brand and The Last Supper brands creating a new category of "extreme value" wine.
In fact, the popularity of Three-Buck Upchuck has grown so much that Bob Dylan came out with a new song, "The Ballad of Charles Shaw" and the Kinks leading singing, Ray Davies said that they were thinking about changing the first line in their 1970's hit "Lola" to say "Met her in a club down in old SoHo were we drank three-buck Chuck that tastes just like a babies' stroller. Cola Lola. Country singer, Garth Brooks was also reported to have rededicated his hit, "Friends In Low Places" to the Bucking Bronco Wine Co.
But one of the downfalls to selling such a cheap wine is the vagrancy issue says Mike Profit who manages Trader Joe's in Chapel Hill's Eastgate Shopping Center.
"We constantly have to keep the riff raff away from our store since Charles Shaw is a better deal than Nighttrain, Iris Rose, or Boone's Farm," he says.
"But wine needs to be brought down to a consumer level," says writer, Faye Bottoms author of The Apocalyptic Grape; The Marriage of Economics and Alcohol. "It's nice to see a bunch of drunks be able to afford a good time."