If you’re wondering how Snoop Dogg went from a hard-hitting, hip-hop legend to a famed celebrity foodie—don’t worry, I’m right there with you. He’s got his own cookbook, a VH1 show with Martha Stewart, an investment in a vegan snack brand and now, his very own wine. While a Snoop Dogg and 19 Crimes collaboration was one I never saw coming, after it was on my radar, it made sense that the rapper would be the face of the brand’s first-ever California label. After an exclusive sneak preview, I can see myself sippin’ on Snoop Cali Red all summer long.
When does it launch?
Launching officially to the public on July 15, Snoop is just one of the latest celebs to enter the wine game. A true mark of success, maybe? He had this to say about partnering with the popular company: “It’s one of the most successful brands in the market, so I’m more than eager to bring this collaboration to the world!”
Known for being a pioneer in Australian wine, 19 Crimes refers to the British convicts turned colonists who were sentenced to live in Australia, instead of to death during the Industrial Revolution. These prisoners embodied a rebellious spirit while overcoming adversity and cultivating a culture of their own—something that John Wardley, Vice President of Marketing, Treasury Wine Estates—likened to Snoop’s journey as both a self-made entertainment and California icon.
Not only does Snoop Cali Red come as the brand’s first California wine iteration, 19 Crimes also announced a multi-year partnership with the rapper. The Snoop Dogg and 19 Crimes collaboration is the start of an expansion line that they hope will “cast a contemporary lens” on the brand. In addition to the launch, 19 Crimes will also be donating $100,000 to the NAACP Legal Fund to support BIPOC.
What we thought:
Now let’s get to the wine, or rather, the bottle itself first. Fitted with a label that features a black and white image of Snoop sporting a dark hoodie, the musician’s signature is also embossed in gold on the seal and his face is stamped onto the cork. In true 19 Crimes fashion, the label comes to life with an AR feature that’s accessible by downloading the Living Wine Labels app. When you hover your phone over the bottle, Snoop comes to life spouting a number of pre-recorded words of wisdom in a way that only Snoop could.
Snoop Cali Red is a blend of 65% Petite Syrah, 30% Zinfandel and 5% Merlot—all sourced from the Lodi region of Northern California. On the 19 Crimes website, they describe it as “full and dense, with strong black and blue fruit notes up front from the Petite Sirah, complemented by bright red, slightly candies fruit in the background from the Zinfandel. The darkly toasted oak ties it all together along with a slightly sweet finish.”
If you’re in the market for an easy-drinking (and affordably priced) red wine, this one’s for you. There is definitely a pleasant sweetness that comes through at the end that makes you think of bright, juicy summertime fruits like strawberries and cherries. But since it’s a blend, you also pick up on that slight smokiness from the oak which gives it a savory edge, perfect to accompany a backyard barbeque. If you’re really paying attention, you might even enjoy lingering notes of chocolate and vanilla.
If this Snoop Dogg and 19 Crimes collaboration is just a taste of what’s to come, we can’t help but be excited about the future.
Main image by Mark Owens