Pop a run-of-the-mill bud in your mouth and cannabis tastes a lot like: The young spice of a green bell pepper, A goat chewing grass, A piney pine tree.
Luckily, with the explosion of the underground ‘craft’ grower scene and the recent easing of prohibition we have increasing access to a wide variety of high quality buds and pre-made edibles.
I ate a hash jolly rancher then woke up twelve hours later with the T.V. still on.
Just because cannabis edibles can be mind numbingly strong doesn’t mean they have to be. The pungent cannabis flavor combines with the profile of the food, causing an entirely new taste that is easy to ingest and doesn’t require smoking. The key to a sustainable and happy buzz is knowing when to stop. Take it too far and the worst that will happen is a long, long sleep. Over an hour can pass before a weed edible hits, so it’s perfect for a chill evening with friends along side a glass or two of carefully paired wine.
Extractions and Why To Decarb
Only the most skilled chefs, chemists and home-bakers can preserve the true flavor integrity of the cannabis when extracting for edibles. For wine pairing, extraction technique is the biggest component affecting the flavor of the cannabis. What method you use will affect how we pair the final edible with the wine. The following are four common techniques, click on a title below to be linked to a ‘how-to’.
|Dominant Flavor Profiles||Best Wine Pairing||Pairs With|
|Weed Butter||Creamy Dairy, Herbal, Spicy, Earthy, Grassy/Fungal||Rich White, Light Red||Light White, Medium Red|
|Canna-Oil||Fruity, Olive, Floral, Earthy, Spicy, Grassy/Fungal||Rich White, Light White||Medium Red, Light Red|
|Phoenix Tears||Exotic Spice, Earthy, Barnyard, Grassy/Fungal||Medium Red||Rich White, Sweet White|
|Cannabis Honey||Earthy, Sweet, Caramel, Floral, Herbal, Spcy, Grassy/Fungal||Medium Red, Sweet White||Light Red, Dessert|
The hotter and faster you decarboxylate, the more terpenes will break down.
To the weed gourmet, terpenes or terpenoids are very, very important. They have medicinal and recreational purposes and also give weed its flavor. It’s the different combinations of terpenes that cause some strains to taste and smell like berry or citrus while others have flavors of pine, cheese, Sasquatch Den, etc…
When extracting cannabis, Decarboxylation is the process used to make THCA become the psychoactive compound THC. Basically, when ingesting weed, if you don’t ‘decarb’ you won’t get as high with the same amount. (Click here for instructions)
When cooking with any fully extracted batch of oil, butter or elixir always be aware of heat. Too much too fast can damage the integrity of the terpenes and therefore the medicinal value and richness of the flavor. Also, wink-wink, potency.
Why Strains and How to Pair
Different strains have radically different flavors and ‘stoney’ effects. For the research behind this tasting we chose the wildly popular Blue Dream because of its availability and potency. The sweet blueberry flavor results from its hybridization of Blueberry Indica and Sativa Haze. A long time favorite of Southern Oregon outdoor growers because of its hardiness and high yield it has around 18% THC and a good representation of terpenes like Myrcene. Blue Dream balances a relaxed body high while maintaining a heady cerebral edge, perfect for edible extraction.
The strain you choose for your pairing is important as an indica, sativa or hybrid will affect the ultimate high and flavor profile. For non-weed aficionados the general rule of thumb is if you want calm, use an indica, and if you want giggly, use a sativa. Consult your local dispensary Eeny meeny mini moe.
Dinner with Canna-Oil
So you’re planning a dinner party with some friends. Though everyone ‘blazes’, coughing, cottonmouth and smoke bring the party down. Canna-oil is the answer. Building on the already established knowledge of wine and food pairings, the following recipes include the Canna-Oil flavor profile as a component in the ultimate pairing choices.
|Dominant Flavor Profile||Best Pairing||Suggestions|
|Shredded Kale Salad with Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds||Green Vegetable, Sour Fruit, Nuts, Olive, Grassy, Earthy||Sparkling, Rich White||Try a Viognier, or Chardonnay to round the big flavors with creamy/nutty. Try a Cava to keep things floral and light.|
|Hawaiian Pizza||Cured Pork, Acidic Fruit, Creamy Mild Cheese, Olive, Grassy, Earthy||Medium Red, Sweet White||Try a fruity Riesling to compliment the pineapple and pork. Try a fruity Merlot or Zinfandel to round out the acid and compliment the fat/rich of cheese and meat.|
|Grilled Lamb with Chimichurri Sauce||Roasted Lamb, Gamey, Grassy, Earthy, Allium, Herbal||Medium Red, Bold Red||Lamb takes on the flavor of the sauce and chimichurri has some big flavors. Try a smooth red with higher acidity such as Malbec, Syrah or Côtes du Rhône.|
Your experience with homemade edibles has most likely been with oversweet desserts. It might have been at a drum circle, post college orientation party or given to you in someone’s mom’s basement. You probably got so ‘god damn, what happened knocked-out stoned’ that you thought I’m never doing that again. Fortunately those college ‘cooks’ are now experienced chefs, chemists, and know-it-alls who can legally sell high quality cannabis products and you can finally expect some control over dose.
Weed edibles are synonymous with dessert.
|Extraction Used||Dominant Flavor Profile||Pairs Best With||Suggestions|
|The Pot Brownie||Weed Butter||Chocolate, Creamy/Butter, Sweet||Dessert, Bold Red||Chocolate is a strong flavor and overpowers many wines, so try with a fortified red like Ruby Port or a nutty dessert wine like Sherry. Try a big spicy red like Australian Shiraz.|
|Chocolate Truffle With Cayenne||Phoenix Tears||Chocolate, Creamy/Butter, Herbal, Hot/Spicy||Sweet White, Sparkling||Cayenne dominates the chocolate flavor. Try Muscat for a big sweetness to cut through cayenne. Try a Demi-Sec for a sparkling wine with sufficient sweetness.|
|Stoney Banana Bread||Weed Butter||Earthy/Fruit, Sweet, Creamy/Butter, Earthy, Herbal||Rich White||Definitely a buttery and well oaked Chardonnay. A light herbal Sauvignon Blanc would accentuate the grassy flavors of weed and banana.|
|Coconut Almond Trail Bar||Cannabis Honey||Nutty, Creamy/Fruit, White Starch, Earthy, Sweet, Grassy||Sweet White||The high acid/sweet of an Alsacean Riesling or Gewürztraminer allows the herbal/nutty flavor keep its integrity.|
If any of the wild claims or assumptions aforementioned offended any sensibilities I can only apologize later. Photo credit linked to each picture. Look for more of the Dopest Wine Taster‘s upcoming Weed N Wine: Cannabis Pairings series.