The cannabis market and the wine market have several things in common. The most obvious common feature of these two products is the intricate depth, complexity, and diversity of strains and flavors in both.
If you haven’t used these two together for the sake of sensory feast, this guide is exactly what you need to start your adventure with pairing marijuana with wine.
Tantalizing the taste buds with a sip of merlot, following with a rich sweetness of blueberry cheesecake is an unforgettable experience.
But how to go about pairing marijuana with wine if you’re a complete newbie?
This article holds the answer to that question.
What’s the Marijuana & Wine Pairing About?
Pairing marijuana with wine is very similar to pairing food with wine. It’s a complementary experience that allows you to travel between different flavors of one another, matching them to your preferences.
A good pairing should result in experience better than the sum of each product alone. With food, the perfect example is steak and cabernet sauvignon.
Jameson Fink, a Senior Digital Editor at Wine Enthusiast, gave a perfect description of this combination:
“On its own, cabernet is rich and tannic. Pair it with steak and a wonderful dance happens: the fat of the meat tames tannins and, simultaneously, the tannins cut through the fat and get you ready for the next bite.”
The same goes for pairing marijuana with wine. You can either add more of the same flavor to your set or contrast it with a different bouquet of flavors to achieve a completely new pairing profile.
Is Pairing Marijuana With Wine Difficult?
It’s just as difficult as any new activity you try in life. At first, you may be petrified by the idea of pairings because there’s an abundance of potential combinations out there.
And as with anything in life, you probably start to think that you may not be good at pairing marijuana with wine.
But you know what?
There are no wrong answers — that’s the truth. If you like it, then it’s a good pairing. Period.
“There are no hard and fast rules,” continues Fink. “That same steak can be great with pinot noir. And one of the best wine pairings I ever had was Champagne.”
Do you see? Sometimes, unconventional choices are the best.
How to Pair Marijuana With Wine
Like any kind of pairing, personal taste and tolerance to both substances play a big role, but there are some general guidelines you can use to drafting out your marijuana and wine pairing road map.
1. Mind the Consumption Method
Pairing marijuana with wine is about combining subtle flavors with other subtle flavors and, just as the shape of a wine glass can change the flavor of your sip, the consumption method of your weed can affect the sensory experience.
The best way to enjoy the subtle notes of a cannabis flower is to inhale it through a vaporizer. Vaping cannabis only heats it to the point where the plant releases its precious cannabinoids and terpenes, allowing you to fully revel in the aroma profile of your bud.
The majority of high-quality vaporizers can operate on temperatures that allow for better preservation of terpenes, drawing even more fragrance and flavor from the flower.
2. Make Yourself Familiar with Terpenes
Terpenes are fragrant oils that occur naturally in the plant and give strains their unique scents and flavors. The fact that many strains are named after herbs, flowers, and fruits can be attributed to specific terpenes inside them.
For example, Mango Kush owes its flavor to myrcene, a terpene found in mango, whereas the Lavender strain carries an abundance of linalool, a terpene naturally occurring in lavender flowers.
An effective pairing happens when the flavors in cannabis will either underline existing flavors in the wine and vice versa or complement them in another, unique way.
3. Follow the Name of Your Strain
As mentioned, marijuana strains are often named after the fruit they share common terpenes with.
Others are not.
For example, the Northern Lights doesn’t say anything about its aromas or flavors, but when you say Blue Cheese or Strawberry Banana, you know what to expect, more or less.
One of the easiest places to start pairing marijuana with wine is to pick descriptively named strains. The Strawberry Banana flower will pair well with prosecco or chenin blanc, whereas blue cheese can add pizzazz to semi-sweet red wine.
Got some Tangie in your jar? How about pairing it with Sangria for that extra fruit punch?
Once you become a seasoned weed & wine connoisseur, you may start experimenting with some less obvious names.
4. Pair Marijuana With Wine by Effects
This is another level on which you can maneuver between different weed and wine strains. Your pairing will be even more compelling than wine and food pairings because food can’t get you high — unless you pair edibles with wine, but that’s a different pair of shoes.
The wine may influence the consumer’s state of consciousness, just as cannabis can. For example, red wine promotes a warm and cozy vibe, sometimes even romantic. Certain marijuana varieties have similar effects — they can be sedating, arousing, or sharpen your senses for a romantic dinner before some Netflix and chill.
With that said, it’s important to be aware of each individual substance’s effects as you create your combo. Smoking a sedative indica and having one glass of heavy red wine too many may leave you seeking refuge in the nearest couch. If you know red wine tends to make you feel yawny, opt for an elevating sativa or sativa-dominant hybrids to balance the effect out.
But above all, always consume both substances in moderation. This applies for pairing any kind of marijuana and alcohol. Remember that a little goes a long way and your goal is not to get stoned or drunk — rather experience both goods in a sophisticated way.
Just as if you were enjoying a medium-rare ribeye steak with a glass of Vietti Barolo.
What’s your favorite marijuana & wine pairing?