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Fred Franzia, champion of affordable wine, has died

NPR – Fred Franzia, the man behind the famous “Two Buck Chuck,” died on Tuesday at age 79.

The Franzia family and the Bronco Wine Company announced Franzia’s death on Instagram.

Franzia founded the company with one of his brothers and a cousin in 1973. The trio aimed to create “high quality wines at a value for wine consumers.”

“Core to his vision was a belief that wine should be enjoyed and consumed on every American Table,” the company said.

The California winemaker said countless times over his career that a person should not have to pay more than $10 for a bottle of wine.

“It has a surprising amount of tannin and other types of complexity which is why people are so wowed by the fact that they can get it for $2.”

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The thought, while appealing to many, was just as distressing to many people who indulge in more expensive wines.

Still, Franzia did well to bring affordable wine to the masses through his plethora of brands and his savvy business tactics of buying and selling wine in bulk at opportune times, as detailed by The New Yorker.

Probably none of these are more famous than the Charles Shaw brand that is sold exclusively at Trader Joe’s grocery stores. For years, consumers could grab a bottle or two for just $1.99 each.

The price has gone up some, but “Two Buck Chuck” still remains well within grasp for those who value affordability.

“The flavor profile of Charles Shaw tends to be very fruit forward, very likable, very approachable,” Emert told Morning Edition. It doesn’t taste like a cheap, simple syrupy wine.”

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