Trader Joe’s grocery store sells wines on the cheap. For the same price as a bottle of “Mad Dog” 20/20, or the dreaded Night Train Express, you can get wine made from real grapes, that won’t even make you go blind.
The most well-known is the Charles Shaw vineyard, called “two-buck-chuck” (or in Minneapolis, “three-buck-chuck,” since a bottle sells for $2.99 here). Chuck is actually made by Mr. Franzia, a California vintner-type person, well-known, at least to my college friends, as the man who brought us fine varietals like “Chillable . . .