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by Andrew Chalk

It is actually “19 Crimes Cali Red”, a red blend from California. And there may be more action in the back story than in the bottle. Rapper Snoop Dog has apparently endorsed the brand but doesn’t actually stir the barrels or anything like that.

The brand is all about English criminals in the nineteenth century being transported to Australia as punishment (presumably involving being trampled by a kangaroo in the rutting season). These men were “defiant by nature, bold in character, and always uncompromising”. These qualities are also shared by Snoop, the website informs us. Unfortunately, it fails to mention what the convicts had done wrong. Historically, such heroes were most often guilty of petty theft. Unlike 2020 New York City, no free bail in 19th century England.

Snoop escaped transportation to Australia (even in Qantas coach class), being transported to a nearby jail for cocaine possession and membership of the Crips (which I think is a branch of the Boy Scouts) in 1990, and then being sentenced to make public service announcements in 1997 as punishment for assault. In a stroke of good luck, Australia banned him 2007, thus saving him from transportation.

The wine? It is a soft, young, fruit-led wine that is a blend of multiple grapes that includes Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. Not complex or memorable, but pleasant enough. Pair with barbecue.


1 comment

1 Comment

Apr 17, 2021

19 Crimes actually did tell us the crimes that would get one transported to Australia through their corks. The Snoop Cali Red bears Snoop’s image but the other wines in their cellar bear corks with numbered crimes 1-19.

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