For some of us, mixing wine and cannabis might sound like gilding the lily. Here in the stunning Napa Valley, people think differently. For one thing, wine tasting isn’t about going overboard. It’s about investigating the complex blends of aromatic compounds—the esters and aldehydes and terpenes that create truly great bottles.
Are you asking: Wait a moment. Did you really just mention wine terpenes?
You better believe it. We’ve written before about the terpenes in cannabis, the “essential oils” that contribute so much to a given strain’s flavor and aromatic profile. As it turns out there are wine terpenes as well. In fact, some of them are the very same terpenes present in cannabis!
In today’s post, we’ll share some of the reasons cannabis and wine pairing can be so mind-expanding, as well as highlighting some wineries near our Napa dispensary for you to tour.
Ready? Warm up your tastebuds!
Botanical Terpenes in Cannabis and Wine: Why They Matter
Whether you’re discovering them in cannabis or wine, terpenes are crucial players when it comes to the subjective experience. Whether a strain (or wine) is piney, earthy, musky, or citrus-like comes down to its terpene profile.
Because there are so many botanical terpenes in cannabis—thus far, scientists have identified over 100 of them!—it’s difficult to quantify their characteristics and effects in a single sentence. There’s some terpene crossover with the world of wine, which makes for some truly fascinating pairings.
Becoming a connoisseur comes down to identifying the individual botanical terpenes present in the nose of a bud or a bottle, and using your tastebuds to guide the art of describing the notes you taste.
For instance, linalool—a main component of the calming herb lavender—is present in many white wines where it contributes aromas reminiscent of orange blossom, bay leaf, and lily. It’s also present in the blockbuster strain Grandaddy Purp, an indica-dominant powerhouse known for imparting calming relief and a gentle mental stimulation.
And geraniol, a terpene associated with a strong rose-like scent, can be found in some white wines as well as in Harlequin, a strain renowned for its naturally high CBD content.
Wine Pairing with Cannabis in Napa: A Curated List
Given that wine and cannabis share some of the same botanical terpenes, it follows that combining the two might lead to some delightfully heightened flavor combinations.
Where do we recommend you begin your search for wine and cannabis in Napa? Stop by en route to one of our favorite nearby wineries. You can even order online so your selection is ready when you swing through our shop.
Eleven Eleven (5 min, 1.7 miles)
- With an emphasis on full-bodied reds such as Syrah and Malbec, try an equally flavorful flower such as the Red Vines strain from Gold Standard Pharm.
Vintner’s Collective (3 min, .6 mile)
- Serving a select group of family-owned wineries, this delightful tasting room always features something surprising to please the palate. Surprise yourself with Crystal Skull OG, a top-shelf indica strain.
Roots Run Deep (5 min, 1 mile)
- This vineyard’s renowned and heavy-hitting Cabernet would pair well with an equally stout strain such as pungent, funky Gush Mintz.
Andretti (4 min, .9 mile)
- The place for Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio! Pair with a terpene-rich Granddaddy Purp cartridge from Absolute Xtracts.
Whetstone Wine Cellars (7 min, 3.3 miles)
- This charming family affair is all about presence and patience. Brush up on yours with a calming pre-roll such as Dosilato from Papa’s Herb!
Of course, don’t imbibe and drive! And always start low and go slow with any pairing. Less is more.
Have any other questions about our products and local recommendations? Reach out! We’re always here to help.