The Paleo List Answers:IS TWO BUCK CHUCK PALEO?

It’s time to take a look at everyone’s favorite bargain wine: Charles Shaw. Better known by the moniker Two Buck Chuck, based on the low-low price of $1.99 in California (the cost is higher in other states). We covered wine in a previous post, but is Two Buck Chuck just like any other wine? Is it Paleo? Is it Primal?
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What is Two Buck Chuck?

This popular wine is sold exclusively at Trader Joe’s locations around the world, and bears the name Charles Shaw. It tastes much sweeter than your standard Napa Valley wine. But, according to most sources, Charles Shaw is actually just a brand that makes wine from cheap grapes throughout California’s Central Valley, instead of the more desirable grapes from Napa Valley. The parent company does own a winery in Napa, which is why it is allowed to put Napa on the label. (Apparently.)


It’s always been a challenge to get details about Trader Joe’s products, but this does explain why each bottle of Two Buck Chuck can have a much different taste profile. In reality, Two Buck Chuck is made from cheap grapes in a factory, not a winery, and is owned by Bronco, which is owned by the Franzia brothers (not related to Franzia boxed wine). Rumor has it that they add a lot of sugar to their wine to make it more palatable.

Is Two Buck Chuck Paleo?

Probably not. Since Trader Joe’s is very secretive about its proprietary information, we can’t know for sure exactly what we’re getting. We don’t know where the grapes are from, what pesticides they’re sprayed with, and what other companies we’re supporting by buying it. (Which is also true of most other Trader Joe’s products.)

We do know that these wines are sweeter than most others, less traditionally produced, and made from an unknown mixture of grapes. It is like the trendier version of boxed wine (which may contain unsafe levels of arsenic) – and like Mark Sisson says: “While spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal.” For this reason, we don’t really support or recommend Two Buck Chuck. You can pay just a few dollars more for much more interesting wine, one that is less likely to leave you with a wicked sugar headache.

It should be noted that wine, as it is generally produced today, probably isn’t exactly Paleo anyway. While you’re probably getting a higher quality (and healthier) product at a higher price point, it’s still not 100% Paleo anyway. So keep that in mind!

Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo?  Do you need help planning some Paleo meals?  Check out this great Paleo cookbook:

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