Perfectly Paired: Matching Wine and Weed

Malcolm Freberg
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People often discuss wine matches with classic dishes like meats, pasta sauces, and desserts.

Occasionally, wine is creatively paired with less regular plates, things like girl scout cookies or breakfast cereal (FYI, Lucky Charms do not work with last night's Pinot Noir. Trust me.)

But it's understandably hard to find a professional opinion on how to pair wine with illegal substances, so, in honor of 4/20, that's what we're going to do.

With pot slowly spreading nationwide, a slew of new lifestyle possibilities are appearing. Livings are now being made by growing weed in the US. Your great-grandfather would roll over in his grave if he knew dispensaries were now legal in America. Marijuana cookbooks are already breaching the bestseller lists. So when you think about it, it was inevitable that someone would try pairing bud with vino.

The Summit Daily News recently interviewed Paul Yanon, a sommelier whose expertise doesn't end at the wine. He discussed this budding form of culinary artistry (PUNS!) — check out our biggest takeaways below:


Avoid Over-Indulging


There are occasions that call for getting smashed and/or stoned, but that's not pairing. Just like with food, you're trying to create a taste sensation, be it by complimenting flavors or unlocking brand new ones. Which can be difficult to do when hot boxing your mom's Prius while chugging a bottle of Barefoot in the rec center parking lot.

You wouldn't shove an entire block of cheese in your mouth, then chug a flagon of wine. Same concept here.


Consider Flavors


In a weird way, flavor profile pairing with weed is a more natural idea than it is with food. A wine derives it's flavors from the grape's genes and climate; the same is true of weed.

While detailed taste information on the latter is harder to come by — and, if we're honest, somewhat less professional — a little forethought can go a long way. For your first attempt, use a fruity wine (Cabernet Sauvignon), and a sweeter strain of bud. Less creative names like 'Blueberry Kush' and 'Strawberry Salvation' should help simplify the selection process.


Edibles Work Too


While smoking is the simplest and more obvious choice, dining on edibles can be just as interesting an experience. Whatever ingredients have been added, like chocolate in a pot brownie, should now be considered in proportion. Now, if you drowned the weed in chocolate to eliminate most of the taste, you match the wine to the brownie. But if you mixed a particularly flavorful strain of bud with only a light addition of cocoa, you can focus instead on that flavor, and create something more interesting than the sum of the parts. 

It's all about experimentation — spread out over time, of course.


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