You can smoke it, you can eat it, and now you can drink it in the form of a Cabernet Sauvignon. Whatever your opinion is on the controversial plant, cannabis laced wine is back in fashion (where have I been the last 27 years?). In California at least. But don’t go to Napa Valley expecting a lot of superficially happy, friendly, drowsy or paranoid wine drinkers. Well, no more than anywhere else in the world. This is something that’s being conveniently kept off the radar and behind the closed doors of a small group of cheeky rogue winemakers.
How do they do it? Marijuana is dropped into fermenting wine and the alcohol from the fermentation process extracts the major psychoactive compound from marijuana. Some producers opt for maximum extraction, keeping the wine in barrel for nine months before bottling it. In the 1980’s this was typically done with rosé, although today red wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon is the vessel of choice for those happy chappy winemakers.
Due to the legal risk involved, the wines are going for $100 or more per bottle. Technically, if caught in possession of marijuana in California, the maximum fine is $100, with no criminal record. Whether that incorporates marijuana hidden within a chocolate brownie or a bottle of wine, I’m not entirely sure, but the chances of getting done for possession are pretty slim either way. California’s laws are relatively relaxed around the substance. Medical marijuana was legalised in 1996, and people can grow it for themselves without any invention from the law.
Crane Carter, president of the Napa Valley Marijuana Growers, claims it delivers a quick high and “an interesting little buzz”. Offered a cannabis cuvée at a Burgundy dinner in New York, wine writer Mike Steinberger described it as having “a pungent herbal aroma that called to mind a college dormitory on a Saturday night – that, or a Grateful Dead concert.”
Momma said I’m never allowed to take pot…
Source: The Drinks Business