Move over, cheese. Cannabis and wine pairings are the new duo, and these two can be a match made in heaven — as long as you know what you’re doing. Both cannabis and wine are fragrant and flavorful, and the right pairing can elevate both characteristics. But there’s a little more to it than just firing one up and grabbing the corkscrew. If you’re feeling fancy, check out these three tips for pairing cannabis and wine.
Follow the Classic Food-and-Wine Pairing Guidelines
If you’re choosing a wine to accompany a meal, you’re going to take your cues from the food itself. A chicken dish with a rich and creamy sauce will be elevated if you’re sipping on a crisp white wine with enough acidity to temper the richness of the sauce. That’s because you’re reaching for a wine that has positive contrasts to the flavors and aromas of the meal. The same goes for your choice of wine and cannabis. Think about the particular fragrance and taste of a strain and how the notes of a certain wine will pleasantly contrast.
Know Thy Terpenes
Flavors and fragrance, of course, come from the terpenes in a given strain. If you’re not particularly familiar with the role of terpene profiles in cannabis, ask your budtender for a primer. Essentially, these are the aromatic little compounds that offer therapeutic benefits in addition to all those tastes and smells you know and love. Wine has its own terpenes, which is why a cannabis and wine pairing works in the first place. The goal is to create pairings in which all of the elements are enhanced and elevated, and that can take a little practice. Try evaluating cannabis like you might a wine — when you sip or sniff, think about the different layers of flavors and aromas coming at you. What do you like? What don’t you like? This makes it easier to start parsing the terpenes that appeal to you the most.
Consider Your Desired Outcome
Get the most out of your experience by setting the stage properly. You want to make sure you’re enjoying your pairing in a safe, relaxed environment where you have hours to chill. Both cannabis and alcohol are generally downers, so think about what you’re trying to achieve. Are you looking for a giddy, buzzy, uplifting good time? Then you’ll want a sativa or hybrid to pair with a lighter wine. If you want something seriously relaxing, the right red and an indica can do the trick. Just steer clear of wines high in tannins — options like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, red blends, Merlot, and heavy Italian reds will leave you with wicked dry mouth and a generally unpleasant experience. Rosés can be a great catch-all option that pair well with a lot of different strains.
Finally, keep in mind that there’s going to be a little experimenting before you nail that perfect cannabis and wine pairing. Take it slow and remember that the experience of the pairing itself is really, well, the experience. So enjoy all the flavors and aromas and sensations of the pairings, and heed your limits. Too much will only spoil a really great time.