Pot Pairing

Every fall the Emerald Magazine hosts the annual Emerald Pot Pairing which highlights the best wine, cannabis, chocolate and cheese within the Emerald Triangle. Attendees experience a unique and sophisticated atmosphere of cannabis, culture, food and wine. Join the fun by showcasing your brand and becoming a vendor or sponsor today.

Photo by Carrie Mayfield

The 2016 Emerald Pot Pairing
by Mackenzie Brotzman

With heaping bowls of cannabis on every table, you could smell the enthusiasm of the guests in the air almost as strongly as the Loleta cheese and Sunrise Mountain Farms’ Lemon Kush at The Emerald Magazine’s Second Annual Pot Pairing.

The pairing went off without a hitch on Saturday, September 10, 2016. With an array of wine, beer, food and of course copious amounts of cannabis. Ladybug Estates in Ferndale, California was the perfect setting for such an event. Picturesque hills served as the backdrop for the tasting tent and vendor stations. The outdoor venue struck the scenic balance for the intimate gathering and airy garden party. The gorgeous California weather and the boutique cannabis made for a perfect pairing, and an event to remember.

The event exuded community and local collaboration, and was a meeting of like- minded individuals coming together to celebrate the bounty of the area.

Wanting to keep the event as intimate a possible, the event was limited to 150 attendees. A white tent housed the pairings, with a live band, and food demonstrations to add to the festivities. Every detail and pairing was given remarkable attention and careful consideration.

Each table was divided into three different pairing stations, each more delicious than the last. Pairings consisted of cannabis, beers (or wines), chocolate and cheese. From sweet to savory, all culinary bases were covered. The pulled pork was smothered in Humboldt Hot Sauce and paired with Mad River beer and Mendocino Generation’s Blue Fire OG. On the sweeter side, Humboldt Chocolate’s truffles were topped with NorCal Confections Pineapple Gummies and paired with Mendocino’s Girasole Vineyards Sangiovese.

Every entrée and beverage was perfectly paired with an appropriate strain of cannabis. Guests were informed as to which strains were Indica or Sativa dominant through each pairing menu. Careful consideration went into which cannabis would best compliment the food and beverage items.

At each tasting table, mounds of cannabis were elegantly placed and paired with a suitable food and beverage item for guests to try with their Emerald goodie bag complementary chillum.

The assortment of cannabis at the event was nothing short of impressive. With strains from across the Emerald Triangle; every region was well represented. The Pot Pairing featured 21 strains of cannabis, and the cohesiveness amongst a vast range of Indicas, Sativas and hybrids was perfectly coordinated. From Girl Scout Cookies and King Louis Indica to Afghan Kush and nearly every variety in between — it was certainly a colorful and flavorful blend.

First as a guest of the event, and later as a Brie, Pale Ale and Real Cali Cheese pairing hostess, I can attest that the gathering flowed effortlessly the entire afternoon. The rectangle setting of the pairing tent allowed for easy tasting and conversation. And, well, let’s be honest, so did the amazing beer, wine and weed.

Outside of the main tent, vendors were set up with an assortment of hemp and cannabis products. All of the vendors surrounding the tent had their food and beverages involved in a pairing. Humboldt Hot Sauce, Humboldt Beverage Company, CMG Deliveries and True-Humboldt were just a few of the vendors lining the outside perimeter. Contributors had staff-manned booths ready to answer questions, dispense products and provide more pairing goodies.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing stops at the gathering was the cooking demonstration by Jeff the 420 Chef. Jeff has been dubbed the ‘Julia Child of Cannabis Cuisine.’ He lived up to his title with his flaky Honey Bee-Buzzed infused Apple Roses.

From grandparents showing pictures of their home grown cannabis to young adults decked out in cannabis couture, there was every kind of personality present at the Pot Pairing. The varied faces of cannabis culture in California were on full display.

The Pot Pairing is one of the first events of its kind in northern California, and occupies a growing niche. The Emerald Pot Pairing was truly an exquisite showcase of what the region has to offer. It was a cannabis culinary experience new to the region. The gathering is sure to pique the interest of many for years to come. Join us next year!