Wine & Pot..What’s the difference?
Have you ever wondered if all the talk, debate, careful swirling, sniffing, sipping and the following ratings and reviews of wine is really just about justifying an excessive "love of of the buzz"? A way of putting an intellectual cover on regular intoxication?
I think a lot of people who see wine geeks do things things and talk the way we do have this suspicion about us. I know I had the same suspicion when I read an article in Canada’s MacLeans magazine by Julia Mckinnell entitled, "The Cannabis Connoisseur".
Being a swirler and a sniffer I’m willing to indulge the idea that there is a small cadre of pot connoisseurs concerned with the aroma, taste and character of the "high" that different strains of pot embody. I’m particularly interested in this last element of a weed’s character: the high.
One thing you NEVER hear a wine critic or reviewer discuss is the kind of buzz that different wines deliver when drunk in excess. There can be only two reasons for this. 1) it’s of no concern to critics or 2) it hides the pedestrian idea that part of our love for wine is the buzz.
You’ll never read anything like the following in a discussion of wine or wine connoisseurship:
Chris Bennett is a Vancouver-based producer at
Pot TV and an expert on the history of cannabis. Not only can Bennett
differentiate by scent pot strains such as Blueberry and Timewarp, he
has a very particular preference for the type of buzz he’s after. And
we’re not talking potency here…No, what Bennett cares about is whether the buzz causes a "high" or a
"stone": two very different things. Bennett describes a "high" as a
"bubbly situation brewing up with lots of thoughts and ideas," and in
general arrived at by smoking the cannabis subspecies sativa.
"A good working daytime thing," says Bennett. This, as opposed to a
"stone," a more "meditative, focused, stiller mind," most often
achieved by smoking the subspecies indica. Bennett prefers to
get stoned. More specifically, he likes a strain of stone-inducing pot
known as God Bud, which, incidentally, did Canada proud at last year’s
17th annual world Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, where in years past
Bennett has acted as a celebrity judge in the category of hash."
Now, I know that drinking a 15.8% alcohol cab is going to get me buzzed faster than drinking a 9% alcohol German Riesling. What I don’t know is if there are varying types of alcohol that deliver a different "type" of buzz. But I can tell you this: I’d like to know that. (Perhaps some chemistry pros in the audience can explain.)
We talk a lot about "terroir" in this business as a way of addressing the "mystery of wine". Many of us see the transference of character from soil and vineyard to the wine as a near mystical occurrence grounded in science. (And it turns out that pot connoisseurs discuss the same thing.) However, because it is not discussed much, wine drinkers tend to forget that the one important element of the "magic" of wine is in its intoxicating potential. If you’ve never experienced this aspect of wine, well, you just aren’t a real wine drinker. There is a purity and honesty I admit to appreciating in the way a "pot connoisseur" discusses the "quality ands character" of their high. Perhaps there is room for incorporating this same quality into wine reviews.