What Jamie Evans Can Teach You About Wine and Cannabis

With the summer heat at its height and most of us still doing our socializing at home, we caught up with Jamie Evans, founder of The Herb Somm and author of the new book, The Ultimate Guide to CBD: Explore the World of Cannabidiol. Jamie’s combined expertise in wine and weed make her our favorite herb sommelier. Whether you want to throw an infused dinner party, perfect the art of making cannabis cocktails, or just make yourself some gourmet cannabis snacks, look no further!

 

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF! HOW DID YOU MAKE YOUR WAY INTO THE CANNABIS WORLD?

I’m the founder of The Herb Somm, a culinary-meets-cannabis blog and lifestyle brand that focuses on the gourmet side of the cannabis industry. I’m best known for my cannabis-infused dining events and my wine and weed experiences. But I’m also the author of the new CBD lifestyle book, The Ultimate Guide to CBD: Explore the World of Cannabidiol. Alongside my work in the cannabis world, I’m a Certified Specialist of Wine with over a decade of wine industry experience. 

My relationship with cannabis began back in college while studying wine and viticulture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, but it wasn’t until January 2017 that I began using cannabis for medical purposes, or with intention. I had witnessed a terrible car accident and couldn’t sleep. Instead of turning to alcohol or pharmaceutical drugs, I wanted to find a holistic way to heal myself, and started researching cannabis.

Sensitive to products high in THC, I quickly became passionate about its counterpart, CBD! By implementing a regimen using both phytocannabinoids, I was able to bring balance back into my life. Not only was my sleep improved, but cannabis enhanced my self-care, and I felt more connected with my body. 

The more I learned about cannabis, the more I realized there were so many similarities between cannabis and wine. But the way that  cannabis works with our internal systems is what ultimately led to my career change. 

When I launched The Herb Somm in 2017, it was before cannabis was recreationally legal in California. At that time, there was a growing movement of cannabis chefs, edibles companies, and infused drink brands popping up, which made the gourmet side of the industry appealing.

In 2018, I decided to take the next step and began organizing educational cannabis dinners in collaboration with some of the top cannabis chefs to teach people how to consume infused foods safely and responsibly. Since then, my work with The Herb Somm has transferred into two published lifestyle books, written to further educate the public on ways to incorporate cannabis and CBD into daily life.

CONGRATS ON YOUR NEW BOOK, THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CBD: EXPLORE THE WORLD OF CANNABIDIOL! TALK TO US ABOUT THE TOUGHEST PART OF WRITING A BOOK? ADVICE TO OTHER BUDDING AUTHORS OUT THERE?

Writing a book is an incredible experience! To do it, you must be very passionate about the subject and dedicated to meeting deadlines. This summer, I’ve just completed my second book, which is scheduled to release next spring 2021. During the writing process, remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, especially when creating a recipe book. It takes a while to figure out what recipes work best, so be prepared to hide away for several months and avoid distractions!

 

YOU HAVE SO MANY EXCITING PROJECTS GOING ON, HOW DO YOU STAY ORGANIZED? ADVICE TO THE ASPIRING CANNABIS ENTREPRENEUR?

As an entrepreneur, I wear many hats and have had the opportunity to work on several different exciting projects over the years. To stay organized, I heavily rely on my calendar and to-do lists, which are continually being updated. My advice to entrepreneurs looking to get into the cannabis world is to be genuine and to put the time and energy into building a community, which is something that I consider essential when creating a brand.

 

Entrepreneurship isn’t just about pouring money into a product and hoping it does well. You must connect with your consumer and industry in an authentic way. I chose to focus my efforts on building a community centered around culinary cannabis by hosting unique experiences, creating educational content, and supporting my fellow cannabis industry members who are also focused on this niche. Discover what you’re passionate about, and don’t be afraid to pursue it!

 

WE LOVE A GOOD THEME FOR ENTERTAINING AT HOME, AND WE’RE OBSESSED WITH YOUR TERPENE AND AROMA PAIRING GUIDE. WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO SUMMERTIME WINE AND WEED PAIRINGS?

When it comes to wine and weed pairings, I consider rosé one of the most versatile wines to pair with. Because rosé wines typically have higher acidity and more neutral flavors, they pair exceptionally well with a wide selection of cannabis strains, particularly those that have pronounced limonene (citrus) or linalool (floral) terpene profiles.

 

Over the past few months, I’ve been drinking a ton of rosé! One of my favorite cannabis strains to pair with is Alpenglow Farms’ Rosaberry. Fresh, aromatic, and enticing, this unique CBD-rich cannabis strain presents aromas and flavors of wild strawberry and roses with bright citrus and huckleberry followed by hints of herbal tea. The strain’s distinct red berry and floral notes, with hints of citrus from the terpene limonene, pairs exceptionally well with a wide variety of rosé styles. Since it’s summertime, pair this wine and weed combination with a fresh strawberry goat cheese salad.

If you live in a state where you can only access hemp, I love pairing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with Sour Space Candy! I especially love Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc with Hudson Hemp’s version of this strain because the aromatics and flavors blend perfectly. Think passion fruit, pink grapefruit, and other bright citrus notes. It’s an incredibly refreshing combination that pairs well with a variety of fresh citrus salads or zesty fish tacos with tropical salsa.

GUESTS ARE ARRIVING IN 15 MINUTES, CAN YOU SHARE AN EASY GO-TO CANNABIS COCKTAIL RECIPE?

Spicy Melon Margarita, an infused drink by Jamie Evans

During the summertime, I crave everything watermelon, especially watermelon CBD margaritas! Made with fresh watermelon juice, fresh-squeezed lime juice, tequila Blanco, a hint of Aperol, and CBD-infused rich simple syrup, this is one of the most refreshing cannabis cocktais—it’s the perfect drink to celebrate summer with. Here’s a recipe to try at home.

 

THE HERB SOMM’S WATERMELON CBD MARGARITAS

Yield: 1 drink

Watermelon CBD Margarita Ingredients

⁣Salt Rim ⁣

⁣Lime wedge ⁣

⁣Your choice of salt or Tajin ⁣spice mix

3 ounces watermelon juice, pulp removed ⁣

⁣1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice ⁣

⁣1 ounce tequila blanco ⁣

⁣½ ounce CBD-infused Rich Simple Syrup ⁣

⁣½ teaspoon Aperol ⁣

⁣Ice ⁣

Watermelon CBD Margarita Instructions

⁣Beginning with the watermelon juice, add the watermelon flesh into the bottom of a blender or food processor. Puree for 1 minute or until the watermelon chunks turn into juice. Using a fine-mesh strainer, separate the pulp from the juice over a 16-ounce Mason jar. Discard the pulp and then set the Mason jar aside (save the extra juice for a second round!). Next, rim the glass with a lime wedge and then dip the top of the glass into your choice of salt or Tajin. Set aside. Add all ingredients into a shaker tin. Add ice, then shake for 15 seconds or until very cold. Carefully strain the liquid into the salted glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a small watermelon slice and a lime wedge, then enjoy!⁣

Note: If you don’t have time to make the CBD-infused rich simple syrup, substitute for non-infused rich simple syrup and add your favorite unflavored CBD tincture (at your preferred dose) in the shaker tin before shaking. Then, follow the directions as noted.

WE’RE BIG ON APERITIVO SPREADS, WHAT ARE SOME EASY CANNABIS SNACKS?

If you’ve been following my Instagram account this summer, you might have noticed that I love creating TH-Cheese Boards, which can also be made CBD. By incorporating an ideal balance of salty and sweet flavors with a pop of color and accompaniments, you can easily impress your friends with the perfect infused food platter.

To enhance a cheese and charcuterie board with CBD, I recommend making CBD-infused honey that can be drizzled on top of soft cheeses, fruits, and crackers. To infuse honey at home, add 1 tablespoon of unflavored full-spectrum CBD oil, 1 cup honey, and 1 teaspoon liquid sunflower lecithin (optional) to a blender. Blend on high for a couple of minutes, then empty the infused honey into an 8-ounce Mason jar. Seal tightly, then let your CBD honey settle for 24 hours, giving it a good stir before serving it on your cheese platter. If separation occurs, re-emulsify the CBD honey by blending it again or vigorously mixing with a spoon.

If you’re more of a THC person, use this same recipe, but incorporate an unflavored THC oil. Just be sure to calculate the precise dosage per teaspoon before serving to others and consume responsibly.

YOU’RE A CERTIFIED SPECIALIST OF WINE AND AN HERB SOMMELIER, WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WINE OF THE MOMENT? WHAT KIND OF CANNABIS WOULD YOU PAIR IT WITH?

During the warmer months, I crave crisp and refreshing white wines. Last summer, while visiting Portugal, I fell in love with Vinho Verde. If you’re new to this style of wine, Vinho Verde is extremely popular in Portugal and is considered “young wine,” where the wine is released three to six months after the grapes are harvested. Due to the quick bottling/aging process, this wine often presents a slight effervesce on the palate. 

Vinho Verdes are typically spritzy and bright with citrus, fruity, and floral aromas and flavors. This wine is also an incredible value, which means you’re not going to break the bank when purchasing a bottle (or a case!).

 

An excellent CBD-rich strain to pair with Vinho Verde is Harle-Tsu. This strain bursts with citrus and grapefruit notes followed by some tropical fruit aromas and flavors, which come from the terpene myrcene. There are also hints of pinene, which is a terpene that complements the wine’s greener notes. 

 

FAVORITE CANNABIS PARTY YOU’VE EVER HOSTED?  

Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to host several parties, but there are two that really stand out. The first was an infused dinner party that I hosted last year in San Francisco called Feast of the Flowers. During this extravagant dinner, I collaborated with Chef Coreen Carroll of the Cannaisseur Series to host an interactive dining experience that took our guests on a sensory journey highlighting the complexities and similarities between food, wine, and cannabis. Our four-course tasting menu featured infused foods, but also cannabis and wine pairings (both in flower and vaporizer options). We also featured a terpene oxygen bar and wine tasting before the event started. It was truly over the top!

 

My second favorite event was a brunch I hosted in West Hollywood called Buds, Brunch & Bliss. The venue was a spectacular home in the West Hollywood Hills overlooking the Los Angeles skyline. My guests started their morning with either an elevated yoga session led by Dee Dussault of Ganja Yoga or they could attend a CBD/THC mocktail making class with expert cannabis mixologist, Rachel Burkons. After the morning activities, we enjoyed an infused brunch featuring a variety of cannabis snacks and wine and weed pairings prepared by celebrity cannabis chef Holden Jagger of Altered Plates. There was a DJ, CBD massages, infused Bloody Marys, dancing, and so much more. It was the ultimate Sunday Funday!

 

THE FOOD SCENE IN _______ IS ________.

The food scene in the San Francisco Bay Area is vibrant and influential. This is where the farm-to-table movement began, and it’s the region that’s currently leading the crop-to-kitchen movement (working towards legalizing cannabis cuisine across the US). If you love great food, wine, and cannabis, the San Francisco Bay Area is where it’s at! 

 

DO YOU HAVE A DREAM COLLABORATION?

One day, I would love to collaborate with Charles Heidsieck, one of my all-time favorite champagne houses in Reims, France. I especially love Charles Heidsieck, not only for their amazing bubbles but also for their legendary chalk wine cellar, known as the Crayères, located underneath the city of Reims. These chalk cellars house several million bottles, and since 2015, the cellars have been inscribed on the Unesco world heritage list. If you haven’t seen the Crayères before, it’s truly a wonder. Also, let’s face it, there’s nothing better than champagne and cannabis!

Up your gourmet cannabis game by following Jamie @TheHerbSomm

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