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  • The Herb Somm

Herbal Romance: An Evening of Bites, Bubbles & Buds

Herbal Romance | Photo credit: Monica Lo of Sous Weed

(Photo credit: Monica Lo of Sous Weed)

On Saturday, February 10th, TSO Sonoma and The Herb Somm hosted Herbal Romance - an evening of bites, bubbles, and buds. This special event was created with the vision of bringing together some of the Bay Area’s best purveyors in the cannabis space including Pot d’Huile, Higher Confections, Flow Kana, Kiskanu, Chron Vivant, and Kikoko. Guests also enjoyed elegant bubbles provided by Laurent-Perrier Champagne, local wine produced by Ellipsis Wines, and a four-course dinner prepared by Chef Jamil Peden.

While pleasure and decadence was an obvious theme for the night, cannabis education was also a focus as we highlighted how to incorporate cannabis into a dining experience and how to pair weed with wine.

Having worked in the wine industry for over ten years, there are actually a lot of similarities and synergies between the two. Much like wine, quality cannabis is nurtured by focusing on the concept of terroir where the land, microclimate, soil type, and growing techniques all play an essential role in the plant’s wellbeing.

By using regenerative farming practices, cannabis strains can also be grown to showcase unique terroir. If you are not familiar with regenerative agriculture, it is a holistic farming practice that leverages photosynthesis in plants to build soil health and crop resilience. This technique is known to improve soil nutrients by increasing organic matter. Growers are fond of this type of farming because it produces cannabis strains with mature and expressive terpene profiles.

As a reminder, terpenes are organic compounds that are produced in the same gland as cannabinoids THC and CBD. They are the strong smelling oils that give cannabis the variety of aromas and flavors that we know and love. Terpenes also provide many therapeutic benefits including anti-anxiety, anti-stress, and anti-inflammatory properties. Many different fruits, vegetables, and flowers also produce these fascinating organic compounds which leads to an impressive spectrum of scents that can be used to pair wine with herbal products.

Herbal Romance | Photo credit: Monica Lo of Sous Weed

(Photo credit: Monica Lo of Sous Weed)

To highlight these similarities, we compared cannabis from two artisan growers provided by Flow Kana with Ellipsis Wines. If you wish to create a wine and cannabis experience at home, below are two pairing recommendations that were featured at the event.

Pairing #1: 2016 Ellipsis Rosé of Pinot Meunier & Sour Pineapple grown by Water Dog Herb Farm

Why this works?

This wine begins with notes of juicy strawberry, papaya, and red raspberry followed by soft hints of lemon-lime and tropical pineapple which adds bright acidity. The wine is light bodied and refreshing, making it a perfect addition to a four-course meal due to its versatility. When pairing with cannabis, look for an invigorating strain that has high levels of Myrcene to match the Rosé’s tropical notes.

Flow Kana’s Sour Pineapple matches this criterion. Like the name suggests, this uplifting strain merges two all-time favorites, Sour Diesel and Pineapple Kush. This Sativa hybrid has beautiful aromas and flavors of fresh fruit, pineapple, and citrus which compliment the Rosé’s profile perfectly due to Myrcene (1.28%) and Ocimene (0.53%). Ocimene is a terpene that is recognized by its sweet, fragrant, and herbaceous undertones. This terpene is also commonly perceived in mint, basil, mangoes, and orchids.

Pairing #2: 2014 Ellipsis Pinot Noir & Royal Kush grown by Earthworks Healing Farm

Why this works?

Pinot Noir is one our favorite wine varietals to pair cannabis with. Due to the grape's natural earthy undertones, many cannabis strains high in Myrcene make a great match. While Myrcene can depict some tropical aromas as noted in Pairing #1, this terpene's signature scent is known to be very earthy and herbal, much like Pinot Noir.

Ellipsis Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley begins with aromas of dark black and blue fruits, plum, pomegranate, and black cherries. With soft tannins, this light-bodied wine is structured and balanced with a wonderful earthiness that lingers on the palate. This wine is an excellent match with Royal Kush, an Indica-dominant strain grown by Earthworks Healing Farm in Mendocino County. Boasting high levels of Myrcene (3.31%) and alpha-Pinene (.92%), this relaxing strain blends well with the Pinot's profile. This flower is great to wind down with after a long day, just like a glass of red wine.

Herbal Romance | Photo credit: Monica Lo of Sous Weed

Photo credit: Monica Lo of Sous Weed)

Looking for more pairing ideas? Explore our Terpene Aroma & Pairing Guide.

Many thanks to all who joined us for Herbal Romance. We are so grateful for your support, interest, and canna-curiosity.

Peace, Love & Cannabis,

The Herb Somm

Images provided by Monica Lo of Sous Weed


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