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Wine brand gets celebrity boost

New Snoop Dogg Cali Red from 19 Crimes

WINE has always been a lifestyle drink, and for sure a celebrity association, whether it be in endorsement or in ownership form, will only help. Several celebrities have their names associated with wineries, including the likes of Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola (under his eponymous winery name in Sonoma California — which was recently sold to Delicato Family Wines), ex-US president Donald Trump (Trump Winery in Virginia), Hollywood A-listers and former couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Chateau Miraval in Provence, France), Chinese ex-NBA Superstar Yao Ming (Yao Family Wines in Napa Valley), Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie Ferguson (Ferguson Crest in Santa Barbara California) and at least a few dozen more celebrities that are actively involved in the wine business.

SNOOP DOGGY DOGG WINE LABEL
Calvin Broadus, Jr., better known as name Snoop Doggy Dogg, is one of the biggest pop music and hip-hop/rap artists in the world. I really love hip-hop/rap music, but more of the pop rap genre (like a fusion of pop music with rap) than the hardcore hip-hop music made famous by the NWA of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube in the late 1980s. Pop rap music in early 1990s, including iconic tunes like MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” and Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” were what I was listening to during my younger days. Nowadays, Eminem, Pitbull, Flo Rida, and Nicki Minaj are among my personal favorite hip-hop artists because of their songs that appealed to my music taste.

But Snoop Dogg is not far behind in my list mainly because he has the most unique melodic tenor voice among singers that is ultra-cool. I love two of his songs that were both made in collaboration with pop stars. There are his team-ups with Akon in 2006 on “I Wanna Love You,” and with Katy Perry in 2010 “California Gurls” — both these songs were No. 1 in the Billboard chart and made Snoop Dogg as famous in the mainstream pop music scene as he was already in hip-hop music.

But it is not only his voice that is great, his personality and image are just as awesome. Snoop Dogg’s hairstyles and sunglasses are part of his trademark look. He wears his hair either braided, in pigtails or in dreadlocks, and has different signature sunglasses on most of the time. Snoop Dogg has sold over 35 million albums worldwide and is still going strong.

A fast-growing wine brand from the giant Treasury Estate Wines group, 19 Crimes, pulled off a coup of sorts when it announced the launch of the Snoop Dogg Cali (short for California) Red wine. First, 19 Crimes wines, prior to this Cali Red, was all made in Australia. Then, getting an iconic celebrity like Snoop Dogg to have his name in the label is nothing short of groundbreaking. This 19 Crimes team-up is not Snoop Dogg’s first foray in the liquor industry. Snoop Dogg launched his own premium gin brand called Indoggo also last year. Snoop is also a shareholder in a Brazilian cachaca company called Cuca Fresca. Cachaca is Brazil’s most popular distilled spirit, made from fermented sugarcane juice.

Snoop Dogg is a savvy businessman and is best known for being a co-founder of Casa Verde Capital, an investment fund which is focused on the commercial cannabis/marijuana industry. No surprise here as being a known pothead was always part of Snoop Dogg’s giddy persona. Even when he appeared in movies, TV shows, and interviews, there would always be talks about weed. In 2015, Snoop Dogg even released his own brand of marijuana called Leafs by Snoop in Denver, Colorado.

CHECKERED PAST
It is public knowledge that Snoop Dogg had several legal issues in the past. He was first arrested for possession of cocaine in 1989, fresh after graduating from high school, and had been in and out of prison in his late teens. But his fortunes changed when he was featured on Dr. Dre’s debut solo single, “Deep Cover,” in Dre’s solo album, The Chronic. Even with fame and fortune, Snoop Dogg continued to have brushes with the law, but as he got older, the frequency was less, and the last incident in recent memory was when Snoop Dogg was arrested in Sweden for being under the influence of weed, which is illegal in Sweden. This was so tame compared to the old days when Snoop Dogg would be implicated for illegal gun possession or connected with the murder of a rival gang member.

Snoop Dogg’s checkered past is what made the 19 Crimes collaboration so brilliant. The 19 Crimes name came from the British Empire during the 18th century. The brand refers to the 19 specific crimes of that period that forced convicted offenders into what is called “penal transportation.” These convicts were sent to Australia and turned into colonists and that shaped what is now modern Australia. Just like these convicts who were given a second chance, the same could be said of the celebrity Snoop Dogg.

I recently tasted the 19 Crimes Snoop Dogg Cali Red 2019, which is a wine made from a blend of 65% petite syrah, 30% zinfandel, and 5% merlot from the Lodi wine region in Northern California. From the first pour, the color was already very captivating, with its brooding dark purple hue. On the nose, it is very similar to the other 19 Crimes Australian reds I’ve tried before which was super grapey on first whiff.

The author is the only Filipino member of the UK-based Circle of Wine Writers. For comments, inquiries, wine event coverage, wine consultancy and other wine related concerns, e-mail the author at wineprotege@gmail.com, or check his wine training website https://thewinetrainingcamp.wordpress.com/services/.

The rest of my tasting notes go: “Lots of berries, tutti-frutti aromas, silky, very quaffable, off-dry, just an easy, fruit-driven wine from start to finish.”

If you are for looking for complexity, this is not the wine for you. Like Snoop Dogg’s character, this is a “chill” wine to enjoy with or without food.

19 Crimes Snoop Dogg Cali Red is now available in the country at retail price of around P800 per bottle. Soon another Snoop Dogg Californian wine will be coming — this is the Snoop Cali Rose. Like all 19 Crimes wines, the Cali Red comes in a frosted bottle, and the label also has an augmented reality feature, which has Snoop Dogg come to life when viewed from a downloadable app.

Time to get chill and be on a natural legal high.

The author is the only Filipino member of the UK-based Circle of Wine Writers. For comments, inquiries, wine event coverage, wine consultancy and other wine related concerns, e-mail the author at wineprotege@gmail.com, or check his wine training website https://thewinetrainingcamp.wordpress.com/services/.

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