Rebel Coast Winery produces award-winning wines with Sonoma-grown grapes, but the SoCal-based vintners are changing the game with the world's first cannabis-infused sauvignon blanc. The newly released wine features 20mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per bottle, and it is already a retail hit, but does it deliver? Rebel Coast actually does… if you set expectations and know how to enjoy it.
If the phrase "stick something in that bunghole" prompts you to look for a cork, it means you're an experienced vinophile, and you need to understand that this is a different type of wine-drinking experience. Per state law, producers who wish to add cannabis to wine must first remove the alcohol content, so the flavor profile is more akin to an alcohol-free sauvignon blanc (e.g., British producer Eisberg) than it is to a Grgich Hills Estate Essence or Lail Vineyards' Georgia. This has its advantages and disadvantages: On the minus side of the ledger, the infused sauvignon blanc is a bit bitter and sweet, but on the plus side, it's light, refreshing and perfect for summer.
Nevertheless, PRØHBTD spent several days exploring different ways to make the most of an infused sauvignon blanc experience, and the following are some recommendations:
- Utilize an aerator to expand the aromatic profile and soften the tannins
- Blend it with another sauvignon blanc to add alcohol content and complexity
- Drink it on the rocks and possibly add a splash of soda water
- Leave it out for 10 minutes before drinking for a smoother finish
- Make it part of the early non-red meat courses in a tasting dinner
- Experiment pairing it with different foods for enhanced flavor
Regarding the latter point, we found that this wine paired better with prosciutto, shellfish and salads than it did with cheese. This could make it a fun (albeit risky) bottle to bring along to an oyster joint with a BYOB policy. Still, our favorite way to enjoy the infused sauvignon blanc was over ice at the beach. And if the police ask if you're drinking alcohol, you can honestly say no.
Rebel Coast infused sauvignon blanc is available at select dispensaries with a suggested retail price of $59.99.