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  • The Herb Somm

3 Wine & Cannabis Pairings for the Holidays

Treat your party guests to the ultimate gourmet experience this December

With Christmas and New Year's Eve just a few weeks away, holiday party planning is in full gear. Your average soiree will, of course, feature festive cocktails, finger foods, and tasty desserts, but what else can you do to create an unforgettable event? Treat your party guests to the ultimate gourmet experience by offering a signature cannabis and wine pairing.

This week, I hosted an event with Eaze at Gracias Madre in Los Angeles that explored the similarities between wine and weed. In partnership with THC Design, a leading cannabis company that is focused on advanced cultivation practices and growing sustainable cannabis, guests were guided through a sensory aroma experience that perfectly paired the two.

During this exercise, we highlighted pairings that were balanced meaning the weight of the wine matched the weight of the cannabis. As described in the B.I.T.E philosophy, weight in wine is determined by body and richness. Weight in cannabis is determined by the strain’s side effect and potency, or in other words, the cannabinoid and terpene profile.

To take this one step further, a golden rule to remember is refreshing white wines pair best with uplifting, energizing strains rich in limonene, ocimene, or pinene. Big bold red wines often pair best with relaxing and sedating strains rich in myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, or linalool. Hybrid strains that offer a wide variety of aromas, flavors, and effects often pair well with Rosé. As many wine lovers know, Rosé has an incredible tendency to pair well with just about any flavor and occasion including cannabis.

Great pairings are also created by matching terpene profiles. To determine the best combination, identify the most prominent character in the wine and match that characteristic to the cannabis.

Now for the top three wine and cannabis pairing recommendations to feature at your next holiday party featuring THC Design’s signature strains.

Pairing #1: Sauvignon Blanc x THC Design XJ-13

Why this works?

I’d recommend a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a light-bodied white wine with bright acidity and no oaky characteristics. Sauvignon Blanc often presents refreshing notes of citrus, guava, lemon, and lime plus green, grassy undertones which makes it a perfect match with THC Design’s XJ-13. This Sativa-dominant strain, which is THC Design’s most popular strain, is fresh and uplifting with notes of lemon, lime, tangerine and pine needle combining perfectly with the white wine’s bouquet. Lemon (or citrus) is the primary aroma and flavor to match with this pairing due to the strain's prevalent limonene notes. White wines also naturally display a lot of citrusy characteristics, which makes this a perfect match.

Pairing #2: Rosé x Strawberry Banana

Why this works?

Rosé wines typically have soft notes of strawberry and red fruits. I’d recommend serving a crisp, light-bodied Rosé sourced from the Central Coast of California. Look for a blend of Grenache and Syrah. Rosé wines produced from these varieties often display bright acidity with ripe red fruit on the nose followed by soft citrus, but can also reveal some savory undertones due to Grenache and Syrah’s bold flavors. This type of wine is a perfect match for THC Design’s Strawberry Banana. This strain exhibits bright strawberry aromas that later morph into subtle banana-like characteristics. It’s the sweet, savory combination that works well with this pairing. Similar to Rosé’s slight citrus notes, Strawberry Banana is high in limonene which ties the two together.

Pairing #3: Syrah x Kosher Kush

Why this works?

For this pairing, look for a Syrah sourced from the Santa Ynez Valley in California. Syrah wines typically display notes of dark red fruit, black pepper, and earthy undertones. This big, bold red should be paired with a big, bold strain rich in myrcene such as THC Design’s Kosher Kush. With this pairing, the earthiness of the wine and cannabis compliments each other, while highlighting other complex fruit flavors on the palate. Keep in mind that some Kosher Kush samples have been tested with over 29% of THC, so this pairing is something you’d want to enjoy in a relaxed environment.

Looking for additional pairing ideas? Explore my Terpene Aroma & Pairing Guide for more holiday recommendations. Remember to be adventurous with your palate! There are so many incredible pairings out there. Have fun, be safe, and enjoy the holidays.

Peace, Love & Cannabis,

The Herb Somm

December 5th event with Eaze at Gracias Madre, West Hollywood

Gracias Madre, West Hollywood



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