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Learn About the 19 Crimes that Inspired a Wine Label (and a New AR App)

19 crimes
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If Johnny Cash were alive today, he’d drink 19 Crimes. That’s because this rebellious wine label is turning old-world British rouges into vino inspiration at a price point we love, and with a dash of gaming fun via augmented reality (AR).

“19 Crimes fans have always been genuinely enthusiastic about the authentic 19 Crimes story, experiencing the wines beyond the glass, collecting the corks and posing for photos with the labels,” says Doug Altmeyer, 19 Crimes senior brand manager. “The new 19 Crimes AR app offers a new and exciting way to experience the 19 Crimes story, told by the convicts-turned-colonists themselves!”

But let’s back up …

If you haven’t seen the bottles of wine labeled with vintage mug shots of former criminals turned Australian colonists, you need to go to the store and look for it now. The men (and women) adorning the 19 Crimes labels were punished to “transportation” at the start of 1783 for committing at least one of the 19 crimes. Those lawless who survived at sea went on to become pioneers in the frontier penal colony we know fondly as The Down Under.

These wines are bold, smooth, and come to life under your smartphone. That’s because 19 Crimes is one of the first wine or spirits brand to jump on the AR bandwagon (Patron tequila being another). Don’t be surprised if, come spring 2018, you see every beer, whiskey, and pinot touting their own AR app. But in the case of 19 Crimes, it makes total, complete, fantastic sense.

“We saw such a positive response to our first three wines with AR labels that we actually brought the AR technology to the whole 19 Crimes line of wines,” adds Altmeyer. “Now, no matter if you’re opening a bottle of The Warden or our new wine, The Uprising, you can find a new convict and interact with the wine. The next step is actually building in new ways of interaction with the wines. Think of convicts talking to each other from their labels, telling new stories — there are almost no limits.”

You can download the 19 Crimes app via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and snap a shot of your criminal, watching as they come to life in their vintage mugshot to tell the story of their crime. Hear from The Banished Dark Red, James Wilson, on his creed to “fight ‘till the end,” taking a swig straight from the bottle (because rebellion is contagious). Check out the female leader of a gang of thieves, Jane Castings, who talks of grit and fronts 19 Crimes’ first white wine.

Our favorite taste among the 19 Crimes family has got to be the Cabernet Sauvignon from Barossa, Australia, which boasts vanilla aromatics balanced with red currants and mulberry fruits. Firm and full on the palate, one sip is rich yet sweet. The palate shines with redberry fruit and a soft, lingering tannins finish. It’s a relatively young cab, bottled in 2015. And as for the rebel on the bottle, you can learn about his midnight escape by getting a damn bottle of your own and learning from the app. Finally! A wine for under $10 that has a little life to it!

Every detail of 19 Crimes right down to the cork is memorable and initiating. This, my fellow rouges, is a wine brand with options to pairs with a night in alone or a raucous dinner party with your band of misfits.

Also worth mentioning: consider joining this True Crime & Wine Club (if you love one, the other, or both).

Jahla Seppanen
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Born and raised off-the-grid in New Mexico, Jahla Seppanen is currently a sports, fitness, spirits, and culture writer in…
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