BRXTN GREEN, England’s first cannabis-infused sparkling wine gets launched today at the Harrow, Little Bedwyn, the Wiltshire-based restaurant run by Sue and Roger Jones, which is introducing it initially as part of a new sharing menu, before rolling it out to more on-trade venues. Controversially using THC rather than CBD, Jones claims that BRXTN GREEN is also the world’s first Blanc de Verts.
Because of the strength of BRXTN GREEN Jones is trialling it as a by-the-glass product.
We’ve had Blanc des Blancs and Blanc des Noirs, now make way for Blanc de Verts, a brand new category of English sparkling wine that is launched today through Jones Family, the wine label owned by Roger Jones, one of the UK on-trade’s most influential personalities.
BRXTN GREEN claims to be England’s first cannabis-infused sparkling wine and will be sold exclusively through Jones’ restaurant The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, before finding wider on-trade distribution. There are no plans to date for off trade distribution.
The wine is the brainchild of Roger Jones, globe-trotting chef, contributing editor to the Buyer and ambassador to The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships.
“Cannabis drinks are taking off worldwide and I think the timing is just right to be launching a cannabis sparkling. In fact I like to think of BRXTN GREEN as the most on-trend sparkling wine there is,” Jones says, “not only does it tap into the cannabis- drink boom, but this product is Vegan and also low in alcohol. Welcome to the world’s first Blanc de Verts.”
Controversially, unlike most cannabis products on the market, BRXTN GREEN does not use Cannabidiol or CBD as its main active ingredient but Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, one of 113 Cannabidiols in cannabis sativa, and the main psychotropic ingredient. Each 750cl bottle contains 20mg of THC or 5mg per serving.
It is here that the negligible alcohol level is key.
“Because it is classified as a health product and served as part of a meal, BRXTN GREEN is perfectly legit,” Jones says, adding that they do advise diners to have it by the glass rather than by the bottle.
“During trials some diners found it too strong. We had one couple who ordered two bottles. The poor man thought his langoustines had come back to life while it took half an hour or so to get his wife to stop laughing.”
With BRXTN GREEN only currently available to diners at The Harrow, Jones reveals that he has also had to make other wholesale changes to his award-winning 7-course tasting menu: those ordering BRXTN GREEN as an aperitif automatically get a sharing menu which has an extra three desserts.
“They just pass the plates around amongst themselves and by the time the munchies kick in they literally can’t get enough pudding. We’ve even had one table that ordered a portion of frites after coffee. We don’t even do frites but to be honest they didn’t know what they were eating.”
One person who is not a fan of BRXTN GREEN is Sue Jones who points out that the restaurant can no longer do two sittings in the evening.
“Once they’ve had a couple of glasses they literally take ages to do anything – just sitting there inanely or getting locked in the toilets. What used to be a two hours sitting sometimes takes five or six hours. We had one diner who came back at 11.30 wondering where his table was – he forgot he had already had dinner here.”
Roger Jones is keeping tight-lipped about who is producing the drink, preferring to think about the awards that, he believes, are sure to follow.
“At the moment there is no one else producing good quality English and Welsh cannabis sparkling wine so the nominees in the Blanc de Verts category are literally going to be just BRXTN GREEN – getting a gold is going to be a shoe-in.”
“We’ll be getting some interesting entries on Trip Advisor,” Jones adds.