I learned this recently when I finally had the chance to taste one of California's most legendary illegal products: marijuana-infused wine.
A winery which I won't name opened a bottle of high-quality estate-grown Pinot Noir infused with what the winemaker said was high-quality medical marijuana. (I believe it was OG Kush, but sorry, I don't remember for sure.)
I felt lucky. Though pot-infused wines did spark a well-read story in The Daily Beast, this is precisely the sort of wine experience that wineries don't normally invite journalists to share, just because I might blog about it. Prophecy!
Unfortunately, I really like this winery's red wines, but not with marijuana in them. It tasted a lot closer to bong water than Burgundy. The powerful skunkiness of the pot overwhelmed any charm from the Pinot.
Imagine my surprise when the winemaker claimed that she makes it not for the psychological effects, but for the flavor and the novelty. And because it's popular at wine club dinners. Dude. Seriously. I understand not drinking wine for the psychological effects, though if you don't like a little buzz you probably shouldn't be drinking wine. But marijuana? For the taste? That's just, like, not getting the concept.
I wish I could tell you I tested the infusion effects under strict scientific conditions, drinking enough of it on an empty stomach to see if I would consider Pink Floyd totally awesome. But I disliked the taste so much that I couldn't drink enough to get a buzz. So I had some Armagnac and lost patience with a guitar solo.
UPDATE: A day after this blog post ran, I got an email from a winemaker that said, about marijuana-infused wines:
I’ve tasted a few (never made one) and they’ve not only tasted no good, but make no sense as a substrate to deliver THC. Cannabinoids are large, fat soluble compounds that are not particularly soluble or extractable in low alcohol solutions. That’s why people use butter (heated to break down the cellulose fibers of the plant), and subsequent baked goods or chocolate as a superior final product.
While I will be voting to legalize marijuana once California comes to its senses and puts it on the ballot again, I cannot condone this particular taste combination. Just because something is legal, like mayonnaise soda, doesn't make it right.