Screaming Eagle Wines is hands-down the most luxurious wine brand in the united states. It was founded in 1986 and already had vintages scoring 99’s from reputable critics by ’92. Its reputation hit a fever pitch in 1997 when they created the “perfect” bottle and scored 100 out of 100. Since then they’ve put another five perfect scores and have seen their wine’s demand skyrocket to untold levels while becoming a bucket list drink for wine connoisseurs the world over.
Wine and Weed Have A Lot In Common
The waiting list for their wines is years long and single bottles range anywhere from $2500 to over $10,000. This product’s exclusivity doesn’t represent the wine market as a whole, just the highest shelf of the proverbial cellar. Cannabis also has a wide-ranging buyers’ market, all the way from $5 pre-rolls to $10,000 golden cannagars. Grapes are grown and turned into wine while cannabis is grown and processed into goods like pre-rolls, edibles, and tinctures. Cannabis and grapes are both grown, processed and sold for the main purpose of altering consciousness. And maybe not so surprisingly their subcultures share quite a few similarities as well.
Crop In, Crop Out
Grapes and cannabis are both delicate agricultural crops. This makes strain choice and climate incredibly important for the final product of wine and cannabis. The grapes grown for wine are only viable in a select warn and sunny climates across the world like eastern Washington, the Napa Valley California, Spain, and France. Indoor cannabis can be grown anywhere, but outdoor cannabis has environmental factors that must be met. Growers need to be much more select about their strain menu when operating outdoors. Plants that are hearty enough to resist wind, rain, and pests are going to be the choicest options.
Screaming Eagle’s perfect scoring wines come from grapes grown in four separate wineries, three in California and one in France. The best grapes are combined and processed into vintages like the Sauvignon Blanc.
Terp Chasers and Tannin Assassins
Cannabis and wine each share an incredibly nerdy subculture centered around mastering the aromatics and consumption experience. In wine, becoming a sommelier is a big deal. It’s indescribably hard to gain the distinction and the title holds a lot of prestige and value in the wine world.
While cannabis lacks anything officially close to a sommelier’s market worth or prestige, there are a ton of obsessed cannabis consumers that seek out a cannabis experience in many of the same ways as avid wine nerds. The totality of the experience is what’s important, not just the psychoactive or ambition lowering effects.
Aromatics, growing regions, textures, brands, vintage (strains) and other factors are all considered. Budtenders, like bartenders, may encourage selections to consumers to try one of these products based on terpene flavor. The term “cannasseur” has become more common in weed-head circles. While it’s used in a tongue-and-cheek way, the term is comparable to wine’s equivalent. “Terp chasers” is my favorite nickname for the weed-snobs among us, would the wine equivalent be a tannin assassin? In particular, cannabis concentrate users tend to focus on terpene profiles and strain genetics. Wine Cellar Insider describes Screaming Eagle’s 2013 Sauvignon Blanc as having flavors akin to fresh flowers, honeydew melons, and green apples. Describing tasting notes in this way is incredibly similar to the way cannabis consumers describe terpene profiles.