For this week’s cannabis pairing, we’re trying Blackberry Kush with Louis Jadot’s Beaujolais-Villages, from a French company who has been producing wines in the Burgundy region since 1859. Paring wine with cannabis offers different challenges than pairings with beer. Most, (though not all) wine, packs a strong, fruity, and at least somewhat acidic flavor, calling for a strain with a distinctive, full bodied flavor for a balanced pairing. The taste of most cannabis strains would be lost alongside red wine.
That’s where Blackberry Kush comes in. This indica, bred from Afghani and Blackberry strains, offers a vigorously sweet, and slightly earthy berry flavor. The taste is distinctiveness and hard to miss. A well-loved strain for treating pain, Blackberry Kush has the sweet earthiness of its Afghani parent, mixed with a distinct fruity dimension inherited from Blackberry. Although helpfully relaxing for anxiety and insomnia, it is not the sleepiest indica in the world, and still leaves some room for the tranquilizing effects of wine. Furthermore, the effect is grounding and relatively clear headed, intended to pair reasonably with wine and its relatively high alcohol content.
Beaujolais is a type of wine from the historical region of the same name, north of Lyon. While it is officially part of the Burgundy wine region, it actually shares a more similar climate with the Rhône region in southern France, producing a wine close to those of the Rhône. Beaujolais wine is normally made with Gamay Noir grapes, and is normally known for a tart cherry or raspberry fruit flavor, with hints of smoke, earthiness, and banana. It is known for relatively low tannins (organic compounds from grapes that add to the dry taste of wine) and high acidity.
Louis Jadot’s Beaujolais-Villages sets a high mark for the pairing with a rich, full-bodied flavor that is fruity like berries or plums, while still noticeably dry and not sweet. There is an aftertaste that is spicy and the slightest bit earthy. The overall taste is bright, crisp, and little bit floral.
As far as the overall impression of the pairing together: the ripe sweetness of the Kush contrasts with the tart, dryness of the wine, bringing out the pleasant aspects of each. The rich full-bodied taste of the Beaujolais would clearly be enough to drown out the subtle aromas of most cannabis, but the intense berry taste of the Blackberry Kush manages to hold its ground, and bring out the fruity aromas of the otherwise fairly dry wine.
The effects make for a perfect combination, though one for later in the day, no doubt. Even though Blackberry Kush is not the sleepiest of indicas, it is an indica after all, so adding a beverage with a high alcoholic content (relative to beer) to the mix makes this a fairly sedating pairing. Add to this the fact that the skin of grapes used to make red wine contain the sleep hormone melatonin, especially once fermented. Since the skin of the grapes are removed in the process of making white wine, this makes reds the true culprit for sleepiness. Depending on your tolerance for the sedative properties of indica and red wine, this pairing is best left for a laid back evening – or possibly even the very end of the night if you’re trying to stay awake to socialize. In any case, this is certainly not a functional daytime pairing.
Beyond the sleep-inducing effects, the grounding sensation of Blackberry Kush pairs nicely with wine. Some strains result in a sort of aggressively spaced-out, extreme mental fogginess when paired with alcohol. While no cannabis/alcohol combination is great for say, doing your taxes, this Blackberry Kush minimizes this effect and offers a fairly clear headed buzz, even in combination with wine.
If you’re looking for a relaxing, mellow, tranquilizing buzz for the end of a long day – try Blackberry Kush with Louis Jadot’s Beaujolais-Villages.