Sommeliers may soon need to learn the difference between Bubba Kush and Sour Diesel.
Cannabis-infused wine is gaining traction in California as celebrities such as Melissa Etheridge sing its praise. After surviving cancer, Etheridge became an advocate for medicinal marijuana and is particularly fond of the wine tinctures made by Lisa Molyneux, founder of Greenway Compassionate Relief in Santa Cruz, California.
Molyneux, also a cancer survivor, tells VICE that “a lot of vinters make this kind of wine for themselves.” She ferments California grape juice and homegrown, organic cannabis together in French oak casks and then ages them for at least six moths. Supposedly the process reduces the drug’s psychoactive effects because the cannabis is never heated. So far Molyneux has infused a variety of cannabis strains into reds and whites including Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet.
Etheridge says the high-end drink has a “slight herbal taste that doesn’t change the structure of the wine, or overpower the taste of the grapes.” She suggests unwinding over a single glass and then calling it a night. VICE sampled the wine and says the taste is “not at all unpleasant, just unfamiliar when delivered by a glass of wine.”
Alyson Sheppard is the resident hangover specialist at Playboy.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amshep