From its convict-bearing labels to its signature black bottle and smooth vanilla taste, 19 Crimes is the wine you won’t, or better yet can’t, forget. Since its 2012 debut the brand has become as much a staple in wine shops as it has in household refrigerators. This is largely due to its clever marketing tactics (ahem, AR-enabled labels and Snoop Dogg collaborations) and the portfolio’s easy-drinking red blends.
Perhaps it’s the history behind the labels, the uniqueness of the bottle, or the fact that the wines are housed within Treasury Wine Estates’ portfolio –– which is one of the largest wine companies based out of Melbourne –– that entices shoppers. But whatever the draw, the bold yet velvety taste of the wines continues to keep drinkers interested and satisfied.
Here are 10 things you should know about 19 Crimes.
Don't Miss A DropGet the latest in beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent straight to your inbox.
Every bottle has a criminal record.
Not just a catchy name, 19 Crimes refers to the number of felonies used to exile convicts from Britain back in 1787, including Jane Castings, who covers the Hard Chard, and John O’reilly, who covers the Red Blend . Upon conviction of at least one of the 19 from that list, prisoners were sentenced to punishment by exile, and were transported to Australia — should they survive the journey there. Those who survived became the first British settlers on the continent.
A mobile app allows the bottles to really come alive.
With the help of the 19 Crimes app, the criminals on the labels are able to come to life. Simply place your phone camera in view with the label and watch as an animated video appears. Through this feature the outlaws share their side of the story, telling the viewer exactly why they were banished from Britain and “sentenced” to a life in Australia. It’s this adult variation of augmented reality that gave 19 Crimes an edge, increasing its sales by almost 500 percent in just 18 months, when it comes to wine marketing.
The Snoop Dogg collab wines are the brand’s first California releases.
For its first stride into California wine, 19 Crimes partnered with Snoop Dogg to release Snoop Cali Red, A red blend made from 65 percent petite Syrah, 30 percent Zinfandel, and 5 percent Merlot, all sourced from California. Following the red blend, 19 Crimes released Snoop Cali Rosé in summer 2021. Given the popularity of both wines, it’s safe to say that the 19 Crimes/Snoop Dogg partnership will be releasing many more wines in the future.
In total there are 8 red wines, 2 white wines, and 1 rosé.
Despite Shiraz being the notable grape of Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon was the first type of wine released in 2012 by 19 Crimes. The brand’s full catalog boasts a total of eight red wines, two white wines, and, most recently, a rosé. The single-variety reds are Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Pinot Noir. The blends include labels The Red Blend, The Warden, The Uprising, The Banished Dark Red, and Snoop Cal-Red. The whites include the Hard Chard and Sauv Block.
The corks are collectable pieces of history.
From grand larceny, setting fires, stealing fish, and even impersonating an Egyptian, each of the collectable corks holds one of Britain’s 19 Crimes deemed punishable by exile. For more info on the crime, drinkers can head to the 19 Crimes website for interesting facts and historical links.
19 Crimes wines are affordable and accessible.
An affordable price point and genuine accessibility has helped solidify the popularity of 19 Crimes. You’ll likely find any of its reds, Chardonnay, and rosé at local liquor stores, wine shops, and online retailers alike. At an average price of $10 to $15 the approachable wines are a value.
One bottle pays homage to rum.
“The Uprising” wine has an intriguing taste and history lesson attached to it. A portion of this red blend is aged for 30 days in rum barrels for a taste that is jammy and smoky. But the flavor profile is only half the story when it comes to this bottle. The barrel aging also pays homage to Australia’s Rum Rebellion of 1808, during which soldiers banded together to overthrow the government for inhibiting the rum trade.
Another was created for millennial men.
It was created to target the under-represented male millennial segment of the market. Research from marketing media company Kantar showed that male millennials, between the ages of 18 and 34, were the lowest of any demographic group to drink and purchase wine. With that in mind, The Banished, a red wine blend described as full-bodied and round on the palate with a distinct sweetness, was released in 2015. The flavor profile and timing of the release was no accident. According to Treasury Wine Estates, the male millennial market for wine grew by 95 percent in 2015, with 19 Crimes showing similar growth.
Almost all of 19 Crimes wines are Australian.
The majority of the wines, aside from the brand’s collaborations with Snoop Dogg, are made with grapes sourced from Australia. These grapes include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Pinot Noir.
19 Crimes has siblings.
Part of the Treasury Wine Estates portfolio, 19 Crimes is produced by one of the largest wine companies based out of Melbourne. That makes it siblings with well-known brands such as Beringer, Penfolds, Sterling Vineyards, and Matua, to name a few.