Hemp Flower Strains that Pair Well with Wine
Hemp flower and wine pairings are becoming increasingly popular events among both herb-lovers and wine enthusiasts. As breeders create more and more exciting boutique-quality strains, consumers are beginning to think of hemp flower as a gourmet product like a fine wine.
Wine and cannabis have much in common. The soil where they’re grown and how they’re cured or aged makes a huge difference. Descriptions of hemp strains and wine varieties look surprisingly similar. Perhaps the most significant thing that wine and cannabis have in common are aromatic oil molecules called terpenes.
How Terpenes Affect Both Cannabis and Wine
Terpenes are the compounds responsible for giving both wine and cannabis their distinct flavors. In fact, terpenes provide all of our fruits, vegetables, and aromatic herbs with their taste and fragrances. Scientists have isolated over 20,000 known terpenes, and there are likely many more that we haven’t identified yet. So far, we know that hemp plants contain at least 200 different terpenes.
You can start understanding hemp flower and wine pairing by getting to know some of the most common terpenes in cannabis and hemp plants.
- Myrcene has an earthy aroma with hints of tropical fruits. The most abundant terpene in hemp plants, myrcene is well-known for its ability to aid in physical relaxation.
- Beta-caryophyllene imparts spicy flavors like black pepper, cinnamon, and clove. Beta-caryophyllene has potent antioxidant properties.
- As the name suggests, limonene gives citrus fruits like lemons and limes their characteristic taste and smell. Hemp strains with high limonene content have an uplifting effect.
- Found in eucalyptus trees, eucalyptol has a minty aroma and cooling nature.
- Refreshing pinene is a common terpene in evergreen trees, parsley, and rosemary. Pinene is thought to aid with mental clarity.
- Common in flowers like lavender and lilac, linalool has a fragrance that fosters relaxation and calm.
- Alpha-bisabolol has a subtle floral aroma similar to camomile and may be responsible for the herb’s calming properties.
Pairing Cannabis and Wine According to Effect
Another way to pair wine and hemp flower is by their effects. You’ll have to experiment for yourself, but you can follow some simple guidelines to get started.
You may want to pair a sativa-hybrid like Lifter with sparkling white wine for an energizing and mood-elevating effect. A heavy, tannin-rich red wine, such as Cabernet sauvignon, may go better with an indica-dominant strain like Special Sauce. Rosé pairs well with almost any hemp strain, although many connoisseurs prefer rosé wines with fruity-tasting hemp flowers.
How to Conduct a Wine and Hemp Flower Pairing Session
While you can enjoy wine and hemp flower pairings alone, it will be more fun and cost-effective to invite a few friends. We suggest that you purchase at least one bottle of wine and 2-3 grams of hemp flower per person.
You’ll also need to have plenty of large wine glasses on hand for both the wine and the hemp. Placing the hemp flowers in wine glasses allows you to distinguish the distinct aromas of the terpenes. You’ll also require a journal to write down your observations. Small individual journals for guests make fantastic party favors. If you’re serious about hemp and wine pairings, you may want to invest in a dry herb vaporizer. Smoking destroys terpenes that evaporate at lower temperatures.
Before you taste the wine or hemp, you’ll need to smell each a few times and take notes. There are a few things you should look for and note in your journal:
- Terpenes: See if you can identify the dominant terpenes in both the wine and the hemp flower you’re comparing. Do they taste similar or complementary?
- Weight: Heavier wines will have more body, tannins, and residual sugars. You should look for a balance when pairing wine with hemp flower.
- Effects: How does the combination of the wine and hemp strain make you feel?
Some of Our Favorite Hemp Flower and Wine Pairings
Everyone has different tastes, so you’ll have to decide what combinations you like the most. Here are some of our favorite hemp flower and wine pairings to get you started: