19 Crimes Snoop Dogg Cali Red: The Ultimate Bottle Guide

Pop quiz: What punishment was considered a viable alternative to death in 18th-century Britain? The answer, weirdly enough, is deportation to Australia. In colonial England, there was a set of 19 crimes that resulted in banishment to Oz, and this set of criminal activities provided the inspiration for 19 Crimes. You've probably seen some of 19 Crimes' wines at the store. Each bottle features the face of an infamous criminal peering out from its dark, moody label.

One of the most prevalent modern-day malefactors to grace the label of a 19 Crimes wine is Calvin Broadus, Jr. — or as most of us know him, Snoop Dogg. Before he became a bestselling artist and entrepreneur in the early 1990s, Snoop was infamous for his run-ins with the law, spending time in prison and causing a scene on the streets of Southern California. Much of Snoop's work centers around these early experiences — and he's maintained a reputation as a charming rascal — but in the years since, he's blossomed into superstardom both as a musician and businessman. One of his latest ventures? A collaboration with 19 Crimes on a blended red wine called Snoop Dogg's Cali Red. Who would've thought that the man who famously raps about sippin' on gin and juice would come out with a line of wines? Read on to learn all about how this delightful and delicious partnership came to be.

History of 19 Crimes: Snoop Dogg Cali Red

Although Snoop Dogg didn't drop his Cali Red (like it was hot) until 2020, the history of the bottle and the 19 Crimes brand goes way back. Treasury Wine Estates, the parent company of 19 Crimes Wines, prides itself on creating sustainable, unique, and memorable wines at prices accessible to the average consumer. Armed with this philosophy, TWE established the 19 Crimes brand in 2012. 19 Crimes got its name from the combination of a historical phenomenon and some super-savvy branding. The name is drawn from a list of 19 offenses like larceny, theft, and assault (along with stranger wrongdoings such as "stealing fish from a pond or river") which, if committed in colonial England, resulted in deportation to Australia. These rule-breakers, however, ended up thriving in Australia and beyond, and 19 Crimes chose its name based on the adventurous, devil-may-care spirit exhibited by the deported Englishmen.

Up until Snoop joined the brand in 2020, 19 Crimes focused primarily on Australian wines in an homage to the land of colonial banishment. Snoop's Cali Red was the brand's very first California wine. This, of course, made sense — Snoop has been affiliated with California since, well, forever. Though Snoop didn't grow up a wine drinker, he discovered an affinity for the beverage decades ago. Given the artist's entrepreneurial spirit, a partnership with the radical winemaker seemed only natural.

What does Snoop Dogg's Cali Red taste like?

Snoop's Cali Red is a blend of petite sirah, zinfandel, and merlot grapes. Petite sirah, which makes up 65% of this blended wine, is known for deep, complex flavors. The juicy taste of dark berries and plum along with cocoa are common in a petite sirah, and it's also known to be one of the most acidic and tannic wine varieties. Red zinfandel (30% of Snoop's Cali Red) is ultra-jammy with a high alcohol content (although this particular bottle has a pretty standard ABV of 14.1%). Red Zins are also known for having a smoky finish, and this quality is definitely perceptible in Snoop's Cali Red. The final 5% of this bottle comes from merlot grapes, which tend to feature flavors similar to those present in the petite sirah — dark fruit with a chocolatey finish.

Many of the basic elements of the three wines that go into Snoop's Cali Red are present in the finished product. It's a well-balanced wine, and flavors like dark cherry, blackberry, vanilla, and tobacco smoke are readily apparent. In spite of its affordable price tag, Snoop Dogg's Cali Red maintains a pretty good ranking (4.5/5) on the Total Wine website, with reviews citing a surprising smoothness and robust flavor for a bottle in this price range. The Cali Red is sweet as far as red wines go, so it may not hit the spot for those who favor drier reds like Bordeaux, Beaujolais, and Chianti.

Cali Red reflects a commitment to sustainability

Sustainability may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of gangster rap and winemaking, but Treasury Wine Estates, the parent company of 19 Crimes, aims to produce wines in the most eco-friendly manner possible. Treasury Wine Estates' 2022 sustainability report emphasized the ways the business is embracing sustainability, and while not all of the business's objectives were met, the goals for the year, such as using 100% recycled materials in packaging, were pretty impressive. One of TWE's biggest achievements in 2022 was opening a state-of-the-art production facility in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, which will be a big help in their goal of being 100% powered by renewable energy by 2024.

Most people think of a different kind of green when they think of Snoop Dogg, but the rapper appears to be getting into the sustainability movement these days too. In 2020, he partnered with SodaStream to produce a short video in which he praised the product for reducing plastic waste from soda bottles. He performed at an environmental solutions festival in 2019, and while he's not vegan, Snoop Dogg's cookbook "From Cook to Crook: Platinum Recipes from Tha' Boss Dogg's Kitchen" features many plant-based recipes — and he's even rumored to be launching a vegan hot dog brand. Given Snoop's passion for environmentally-friendly products and practices, 19 Crimes was a fitting pick when it came to producing his vino.

How to drink 19 Crimes: Snoop Dogg

Drinking red wine is a far cry from sippin' on gin and juice. Whether you're enjoying it on your couch after a long day of work or breaking out a bottle for a dinner party, there are many ways to drink red wine. Red wines are often consumed at room temperature, but given that Snoop's Cali Red is fairly sweet, it may benefit from chilling. Believe it or not, there are best practices for drinking chilled red wine. Experts found that red wines reached their optimal state after being chilled in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour. If chilled isn't your thing, feel free to leave the Cali Red on your countertop or chill in a cellar or a wine fridge or set to your preferred temperature.

One Total Wine reviewer reported great results after using an aerator on Snoop's red blend. Red wine drinkers have long known that the flavor of a wine will change over time as it's exposed to oxygen (this is why holding on to the cork is handy if you're one of the few people who regularly finds themselves with leftover wine). Aerating wine forces the liquid through pressurized oxygen, which helps speed up the oxidation process and leads to a fuller flavor in less time. However you choose to prepare your wine, once it's poured, Snoop Dogg's personal favorite way to enjoy his Cali Red is alongside a juicy steak and some fettuccine.

How much does Snoop's Cali Red cost?

Wine prices vary wildly depending on vintage, producer, location, and many other factors. You can find some great wines under $10 at Trader Joe's and similar grocers, or you can shell out thousands of dollars for a rare vintage at wine auctions and specialty liquor stores. Thankfully, there are plenty of wines available in the $15-$30 range, and that's right where most of 19 Crimes' bottles fall — the winemaker's cheapest offering is Revolutionary Red, a blend priced at $13 on the brand's website, and the most expensive bottles on their site cap out at $20.

If you, like the Doggfather, have your mind on your money and your money on your mind, Snoop Dogg's Cali Red just might be the wine for you. The 19 Crimes website currently offers the bottle at $15, but it can be found at prices as low as $9.97 online and on the shelves of specialty liquor stores like Total Wine — though, of course, in-store prices can vary depending on location. Snoop's Cali Red is a great bang for your buck, and if you're hosting an event for your thirstier friends, it's worth stocking up — if nothing else, you can pair the wine with some classic Snoop bangers and get a head start on your playlist!

Snoop Dogg's Cali Red vs. Cali Rosé

The release of Snoop Dogg's Cali Red in 2020 was a smashing success, and unsurprisingly, 19 Crimes capitalized on its popularity and quickly released a number of additional Snoop-endorsed wines (all California wines in honor of the Doggfather's home state, of course), including Cali Gold, Cali Blanc, and Cali Rosé. Both Snoop's red blend and his rosé have fairly positive rankings in reviews on sites like Drizly, where the red holds a 4.6/5 score to the rosé's 4.5/5. On the flip side, Mashed ranked Snoop's Cali Red at No. 2 and the Cali Rosé at No. 9 in a ranking of 19 Crimes wines.

Snoop's Cali Rosé consists of 75% zinfandel, 20% grenache, and 5% pinot noir. Rosé wines are much sweeter than reds, and Snoop's Cali Rosé is no exception — the vast majority of reviews for the rosé mention the bottle's sweetness, though some reviewers consider it a strength and others a weakness. Aside from the overall sweetness of the rosé, notes of strawberry, pink grapefruit, and rose petals are present on the palate, accompanied by a slightly acidic finish. This wine is unlikely to appeal to those who prefer deeper-bodied wines, but at $15 per bottle, sweet wine drinkers should give it a shot. If not consumed straight-up, Snoop's Cali Rosé could also make a great addition to a boozy fruit punch, wine-based cocktail, or rosé sangria.

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart both have 19 Crimes wines

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart have been unlikely besties since Snoop was a guest on Martha's talk show in 2008. While the unlikely pairing may not have a lot in common at first glance, they share the experience of having been convicted of serious crimes and turning their lives around. Since Snoop's infamous appearance on "Martha," the friends have collaborated on many projects, from their hit TV show "Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party" to a recent Super Bowl commercial promoting Martha's new line of Sketchers sneakers.

Snoop and Martha both embody the fun, envelope-pushing, slightly-dangerous spirit that 19 Crimes aims to project, as the 19 Crimes website states. After Snoop collaborated with 19 Crimes on Snoop Dogg's Cali Red in 2020, it was only fitting that Martha should follow suit; the domestic diva released her own wine through the brand in 2022. Martha currently has two wines available under 19 Crimes: Martha's Chard, a 100% chardonnay produced in California; and Martha's Lighter Chard, a variation on her original bottle with a lower alcohol content at 8.5% ABV. 19 Crimes currently offers Snoop's Cali Red and Martha's Chard for $30 in a package dubbed the Snoop & Martha 2-Pack — a fitting collaboration for one of the cutest improbable celebrity friendships of our time.

19 Crimes changed the game with augmented reality

Augmented reality is all over the place these days, but 19 Crimes provides an excellent example of how companies can use futuristic technology to invigorate a brand. The brand embraced AR with open arms, beginning with a custom app in 2017, and continues to do so to this day. As previously mentioned, each bottle of 19 Crimes features a convicted criminal on its label. This alone is a fascinating brand strategy, but 19 Crimes didn't stop there.

The Living Wine Labels app, which is available for download through the app store, allows users to scan the label on any bottle of 19 Crimes wine and learn all about the history of the rule-breaker featured on the label. Stories like that of Snoop Dogg and historical criminals like John Boyle O'Reilly, who wrote and published poetry during the treacherous journey from England to Australia and later escaped to America, come to life when scanned through the app – the portraits on the label appear to move, and each law-breaker (voiced by voice-over artists for the deceased criminals) gives a summary of their own crimes. The use of augmented reality was genius brand storytelling by 19 Crimes, and the bold move seems to have given the winemaker a real boost — 19 Crimes' sales volume grew by 60% and the brand increased in value by 70% in 2017, the year the business introduced AR-compatible labels.

Inspired by criminals, Snoop Dogg's reputation matches the brand

Though Snoop has proven himself a successful musician and businessman for decades now, his early life was riddled with crime and hardship. In his childhood years, Snoop showed a clear inclination for music, but was sent to jail for drug possession on multiple occasions before being discovered by Dr. Dre and even faced charges of assault and attempted murder in the 1990s. Despite his record, Snoop cultivated an endearing public persona. In 2012, he announced his conversion to the Rastafari movement (along with a short-lived name change to Snoop Lion), and it's been fairly smooth sailing since then.

Just like the offenders who inspired the branding for 19 Crimes, Snoop hasn't allowed his criminal past to define or limit him. Many of the criminals featured on the 19 Crimes labels went on to accomplish extraordinary feats after being exiled to Australia, just as Snoop Dogg rose to international fame in spite of his past wrongdoings. It's this groundbreaking spirit of resilience, playful lawlessness, and fearlessness that makes Snoop Dogg a perfect celebrity partner to the 19 Crimes portfolio.

Snoop Dogg supports prison reform

Having experienced the United States' judicial and prison systems firsthand, Snoop Dogg is understandably passionate about prison reform and rehabilitation. The rapper has openly supported causes such as commuting sentences for death row inmates and has taken part in conversations dissecting police brutality with law enforcement officials. Snoop was fortunate in that he was able to succeed at an astronomical level despite his checkered past, but many prisoners with similar charges are not so lucky ... and Snoop wants to change that.

While it doesn't appear that any of the revenue from Snoop Dogg's Cali Red or other wines goes toward prison reform, the spirit of the brand clearly resonates with the artist. Whether by choice or due to the fact that his early life has been widely publicized, Snoop is candid about his early years. In fact, he embraces his past and admires those who have reinvented themselves. What better way to celebrate reinvention and human potential than by partnering with a wine that tells the stories of one-time law-breakers who went on to mold better lives for themselves?