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Friday read: Snoop Dogg Q&A

Published:  25 May, 2023

With Cali Red and Rosé to his name, the Doggfather speaks to Andrew Catchpole about his partnership with Treasury Wine Estates’ 19 Crimes label and his take on the world of wine.

What would your favoured mix of regular drinks look like – what typically tickles your palate, mind, soul...?

I never grew up as a wine drinker. Wine was foreign to me in my neighbourhood, so I’ve probably only been drinking wine for about 15 to 20 years, but before then I was a fan of an Old Age, Gin & Juice or a Hennessy. As I’ve got older I discovered you want to go with whatever you are or wherever you’re at – I wanted to age like fine wine. You are what you drink.

Is that different on tour?

It's different on tour. I had my wine collection on display everywhere on my international tour, especially in my backstage area. All the other artists and fans who came to say ‘what's up’ after my shows, they all got to see the bottles and take some home with them.

Back at base, do you keep a wine cellar and, if so, what’s it full of?

I don't have a wine cellar, but I got all the bottles out for everyone to see and taste at the studio. It makes for a fun time for everyone. If they don't drink, it's just a cool look and a slick aesthetic.

Are there any parallels you see between wine and music?

Music and wine will always be a part of me and there are many parallels between the two. To mark the drop of Cali Red in the UK and Republic of Ireland I sent six of the best up-and-coming rappers I knew from Manchester a personalised bottle to inspire some new beats and bars.

These six rappers came together to stage a Cali Red wine inspired Cypher to emulate the chilled Cali lifestyle, a wine with Cali soul. I wanted these rappers to think about their next move with the smooth, bold taste of Cali Red, and then give them the chance to build on grit and discover an attitude for taste.

Partnering with Treasury's 19 Crimes – there’s a clue in the name to some of your escapades in the past, but what initially inspired Snoop Cali Red and now the Cali Rosé?

When we launched Cali Red, the love we got from the UK was incredible. I always said I wanted to create a wine that would cut away all the noise, and looked and tasted like something people who don’t usually drink wine would want to try, and the feedback from my fans shows we truly bottled that. That is why this year, we decided to come back and drop the all-new Cali Rosé, to bring those fresh feels from spring into summer and beyond.

My brand is all about challenging the convention of wine with a unique narrative and sense of personality, aligned with that sweet west coast lifestyle.

And how did you decide which image of Snoop would grace the label?

I had to choose an image that was bold and full of character, one where I have had to beat the odds and take my place as a leader in contemporary pop culture.

To emulate my Snoop experience, the bottle also features ground-breaking augmented reality technology. Here, I invite consumers to ‘Ask the Doggfather’ by following a QR code on the back label where myself, the D.O.G.G, will respond to their unanswered questions.

You have a lot of interests – how involved have you been in the wine side of things, how does that relationship work ongoing?

Wine has become one of my main passions, and that is why not only am I proud to be the face of the brand, but I make sure I am involved behind the scenes. Working in partnership with Treasury Wine Estates I have been able to come up with the perfect blend – strong, bold and incredible. Being involved in the tasting process, I just knew from the first sip that everyone was going to love it!

I wouldn’t be who I am without my past, and I appreciate celebrating folks who have reinvented themselves along the way. I’ve been able to impact others not just through my music, but through other important projects like getting our youth off the streets. Using my voice to create change is very important to me.

A big issue for the trade is that wine still unfortunately holds an elite image for many people – what do you make of that and do you think you can help that to change?

Cali by Snoop is a brand that honours my story, one which tells of overcoming adversity, beating the odds and taking my place in contemporary pop culture. I am always looking to embody the timeless value of perseverance, and I hope I can inspire people to recognise their own individual talents, all whilst remaining true to themselves.

With Cali Rosé now in the mix too, will we see more Snoop wines and what might they be?

All I can say is that after the success of launching both Cali Red and Cali Rosé, I cannot wait to see what is next on the horizon – watch this space as we continue to recruit more consumers into the wine category through disruption and defiance of convention.

Can you give us a favourite lyric (from you or anyone else) about wine?

The best lyrics are yet to be made. Just wait and see.

What’s your idea of food and wine heaven – a place, a dish, a wine… whatever combo blisses you out?

Wine definitely goes with a filet mignon steak and fettuccine. It also goes really good with spaghetti from my cookbook, From Crook to Cook – ground beef, Italian sausage, your favourite kind of cheeses. It’s a good combo with food.