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article image'Pot' wine catching on in California

By Layne Weiss     Apr 17, 2012 in Food
Napa - According to The Drinks Business, a number of California wine growers have been producing wines laced with cannabis. Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape variety of choice as it pairs "particularly well" with pot.
"Pot wine is increasingly fashionable in wine country. Much of the marijuana used for the wine comes from California's weed capital, Humboldt County," Crane Carter, president of the Napa Valley Marijuana Growers said.
"Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stag's Leap district is thought to pair particularly well with pot," he added.
Carter says pot wine"will get you higher faster than pot brownies, and that the combination of weed and alcohol makes for an "interesting little buzz."
"People love wine, and they love weed," Carter says.
According to CalCoastNews.com, making wine with cannabis is actually nothing new. It became somewhat popular in the 80s, but it now appears to be gaining a new level of respect and notoriety.
In the 80's, pot was more commonly paired with rose, The Drinks Business reports. Due to the legal risk involved, bottles were sold for more than $100 each.
Today, possession of marijuana in the state of California is punishable by a $100 fine with no criminal record. Medical marijuana was legalized in California in 1996.
Cultivation of marijuana, however, is a felony, but people who grow for personal use won't necessarily get in trouble as long as there is no evidence that they intend to sell their pot.
Crane Carter believes that cannabis wine will become even more popular, but right now, producers are making the wine in small quantities to be shared in "convivial moments with like-minded people," according to wine writer Michael Steinberger.
Steinberger, who tried the wine at a Burgundy dinner in New York last summer, describes it as having a "pungent herbal aroma" that reminded him of hanging out in his college dormitory on a Saturday night-"that or a Grateful Dead concert," he joked.
One unnamed California wine producer told Michael Steinberger that the recipe for cannabis wine is simple. Just drop a pound of pot into a cask of fermenting wine. The producer says this will make about 1.5 grams per bottle. The fermentation process will convert the sugar in the grapes into alcohol, and the alcohol then extracts the THC from the marijuana, the wine producer says.
The vintner told Michael Steinberger that he considers pot wine to be "the only truly original style of wine created in the New World."
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