Wine pairs well with all kinds of foods. Chocolate? Totally. Cheese? Of course. But pairing marijuana and wine? You better believe it.
The art of wine pairing is all about how the wine and food interact, softening or highlighting different notes and flavors you may not recognize otherwise. If you’ve ever followed a hearty bite of steak with a healthy swig of cabernet, you know exactly what we’re talking about here. It’s a taste sensation.
Fortunately for us all, pairing marijuana and wine offers a similar experience. Indeed, entrepreneurs are already exploring the perfect match. The tastiest notes of your favorite weed strains can be amplified for more enjoyment or subdued to reveal new tastes to enjoy by tossing a little wine in the mix. And vice versa. Starting with a few basic combinations, marijuana and wine pairings can open up an entire world of fun mixing and matching.
Can you imagine a blind tasting party with wine and weed? Sign us up!
Ways to pair marijuana and wine
Just as with a wine and food pairing, the main thing you want to look for when lining up a side-by-side weed and wine tasting is complimentary flavors. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg (er, tastebud?). With hundreds of strains and a multitude of wines to pair them with, the options for pairings are seemingly limitless. To get the most out of your tasting experience, there are two key principles to keep in mind:
- Pairing by Flavor
Cannabis strains are often characterized by the terpenes — naturally occurring, fragrant oils — they contain. Many of these oils are also found in fruits, herbs, and flowers, hence why some strains have descriptive names — Mango Kush, Strawberry Cough, etc. Great pairings enhance these flavors, as well as highlighting other notes. For a beginner, sticking with weed strains that have specific names, especially fruits, can be a great starting point to learn pairing basics.
- Pairing by Effect/Feeling
Just as complimentary flavors exist between wine and marijuana strains, a great pairing takes into account the physical effects of both. Deep red wines tend to make you relax and a little drowsy. Toss in a couple tokes from a heavier-hitting indica strain, and it’ll be nap time before you know it. Start out with wines and strains that you know or, if you’re heading to a dispensary, ask the budtender to make sure you’ve got a good combo planned.
4 suggested marijuana and wine pairings
Now that you understand the basics, it’s time for the fun part. To help you get started with your pairing experience, we’ve put together a list of four of our favorite combinations. Give them a shot, come up with a few pairings of your own, and be sure to let us know your thoughts!
- Dry White and Amnesia Haze
Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and pinot grigio run the gamut from peppery to sweet and citrusy. Pairing with a more herbal strain, like Amnesia Haze, will bring out notes of pine and oak for more complex tasting experience.
- Light Red and Blackberry Kush
Pinot noir and grenache are characterized by bright berry flavors and a touch of sweetness. Blackberry Kush is notorious for its rich flavor and lemony aftertaste that pairs well with the mild sweetness of light red wines.
- Rosé and Dutch Treat
White zinfandel and other rosés are typically rather sweet. Dutch Treat offers intense fruit smells, with a pinch of pine and eucalyptus, making for a balanced match.
- Dark Reds and Sage N Sour
Cabernet sauvignon and syrah are bold reds that pack a ton of flavors like dark berries, tobacco, and even leather. Sage N Sour — a hybrid of Sour Diesel and the SAGE hybrid — is known to carry the subtle aroma of its namesake herb. Providing a euphoric, happy high, this strain will even out the punch of a hefty red.
A note on moderation
Trust us, we don’t want to be total buzzkills, but we’d be a little remiss if we didn’t mention one key point: Alcohol can amplify the effects of weed. Nothing will slam the brakes on a good time faster than overdoing it mixing the wine and weed. Take it slow and stick to smaller wine samples and tokes to ensure a good time for all involved.