Everywhere I go these days, from swank parties to low-key affairs, I see people — charming and intelligent people who should know better — gripping their red plastic cups (and sometimes actual wine glasses) with this godawful ruddy swill called two buck chuck. The whole point of this ghastly red liquid is to get as drunk as fucking possible using as little money as possible. (In this case, two measly dollars.) Which makes it another part of this goddam lofty American ideal: Get there as fast as you can in the cheapest manner possible. To hell with quality, to hell with life, to hell with savoring the moment.
These people have the audacity to call this shit “wine.” As in “Can I pour you some more wine, Ed?”
No, motherfucker. You can pour me a half-decent glass of something with actual taste and texture that I can nurse for an hour while you and the boys get blitzed in minutes. All because this crap is named after a motherfucker named Charles Shaw, whose name sounds suspiciously like a vicious investment banker who takes every dollar in your savings account and leaves in a cloud of dust before he can hand you a receipt.
I have to ask this all-important question: Does it feel good to drink a “wine” whose only real achievement is underpricing cheap Gallo?
I’m no vintner and I’m hardly a wine connoisseur. And the last thing I want to do is advocate that Sideways wine snob bullshit that shows no signs of dying among the hipsters. But I’ve learned over the years that wine isn’t meant to be guzzled. When I taste this shit, it conjures up the unsavory notion of fermented Kool-Aid. And the last thing I need when I’m relaxing is to be reminded of that shifty pitcher-sized son of a bitch with the permanent smile on that bulbous and untrustworthy face.
What makes two buck chuck any difference from grabbing a forty ouncer? If you’re going to inhabit a alcohol paradigm this low, why not drink two buck chuck in a paper bag? While you’re at it, have a glass of this junk to wash down with your crappy Big Mac meal.
If this is about getting trashed (and by the way that people slam their two buck chuck, that’s certainly the ostensible goal), why not bourbon? Hell, why not ether? Drinking two buck chuck feeds into the blotto impulse but it tastes like a poorly mixed girly drink. And the sad thing is that the bartender’s not there to fix it right. It’s the drinking equivalent to a pup staying on the porch while the big dogs play.
Plus, two buck chuck rhymes with “fuck.” Outside of Orangina (as pronounced ni New Jersey), I can’t think of a single successful beverage that rhymed so bluntly with copulative terminology. It’s a wonder that no one has suggested “two buck chuck and a fuck.” That honesty (get trashed, get fucked, wake up with a hangover wondering who the hell this stranger is) would make me feel so much better about the deceit of it all.
So fuck two buck chuck. Fuck it hard.
Me? I’ll be drinking my Kendall Jackson pinot. It’s eight bucks more, but it lasts a whole evening. And when you compare the dollar-to-drinking rate of each (a bottle of two buck chuck in an hour versus a ten dollar bottle of Kendall over five hours), the balance evens out.