I’ve always been a big fan of wine, although my tastes have evolved slightly since my college days of carrying a bag of Franzia in my purse while going out, or being the only person to show up at a beer bash with an economy-sized jug of Carlo Rossi. Last year, my business partner Mike had an interesting idea that has since come to fruition, and is in my opinion one of the best things that has ever happened to grapes: CBD-infused wine. Because of my love of wine (and of drinking wine), I was naturally the perfect person to take over the Northern California branch of our new label, which we appropriately named Cannavines.
Douro region of Portugal
There are a great deal of regulations when it comes to mixing anything cannabis related with alcoholic beverages, and brings to attention the age-old debate of whether one should ever mix alcohol and THC. In my opinion, it’s fine in small doses, as long as you aren’t chugging wine or consuming way too many edibles (come on people, let’s keep it classy!)… as with anything, start low and go slow, and know your tolerance.
Branching into the wine business as well as the weed world has given me an opportunity to learn even more about my two favorite plants in the world (close third: tomatoes… I could eat tomatoes every meal, every single day). I’ve gotten the chance to educate myself further not only on flavors (and the chance to drink a BUNCH of different wines) but learn more about the growing process, and why different grapes and vintages taste the way they do. Living in Oakland, California, I’m very lucky in that I’m surrounded by wine country and wine makers, and have endless opportunities and mentors that have helped me learn about wine making.
We bottled our first harvest of wines with a small winery in Novato, California, which is also a part of our Wine & Weed tour. Thanks to Andy, the owner of the winery, I got a crash course in different styles of wine, and learned about the blending processes while we worked on our infusions. To start, we created two different ongoing blends, and did a tester with a rose as well. Our red blend is infused with terpenes from the CBD strain Headband, and our Chardonnay is infused with Sour Diesel— both conscious choices because of the rich flavor of the red and the light, crisp flavor of the Chardonnay. I’m not a buttery Chardonnay kind of gal, but this one is great, so perfect as a California summer wine.
One of the best things about infusing wine with CBD is the incredible effects CBD has on your body. Mike and I noticed that when drinking Cannavines (even a few glasses— we had to test the benefits!), we never felt sloppy drunk, and remained very clear-headed while being relaxed and giggly. We also never felt stoned, as there are 50 milligrams of CBD per bottle but no THC. The effect was only in our bodies and not head-heavy. We also noticed that the next day, we were completely devoid of a hangover… I felt chipper enough to pack, grab breakfast, and start the drive from LA to Oakland early, without even a coffee.
I know, I know… a lot of people in the cannabis community don’t want to consume alcohol, and I GET that totally… personally I’ve cut out all hard alcohol and beer from my life, and only drink wine because I love the taste, or an occasional cider. We’re also working on a completely non-alcoholic wine that just contains THC and absolutely no alcohol content, hopefully hitting shelves by the end of this year. I’m learning about the process of using grapes before fermentation versus actually removing the alcohol after fermentation, and we’re testing to see which options would be the most tasty for our consumers… thankfully, I love to drink wine, because there is a lot of taste-testing to be done.
At the moment, I’m actually in Portugal, having completed a 3-day wine and port tasting tour in Pinhao and Porto, in the Douro region, which is basically like Portugal’s Napa valley. I’m sitting on a balcony, overlooking Lisbon, writing about my two favorite plants in the world… and man do I feel lucky that I get to live this life. I am so excited to be able to continue development in Cannavines, especially the non-alcoholic THC version, because it’s an absolutely incredible safe alternative to consuming alcohol, and also a healthy option if you’re trying to cut down on your booze intake (like most of us).
Where can you get CBD-infused wine, you ask? It’s currently not yet available for sale, so the only place you can try it is on our Cannavines Wine & Weed tour, in either Denver or Oakland… or if you invite me over for dinner. You do the cooking, I eat EVERYTHING. I’ll bring the vino.
To read more musings to make you ponder, click here.