Aphrodisiacs, or foods that arouse sexual instinct, have been historically considered the foods of love. The popular libido-lifting ingredients are said to create feelings of desire and, when paired with wine, will make for a delicious evening worth remembering.
If you’re planning an intimate night with mouth-watering aphrodisiacs and excellent wine for Valentine’s Day, Winebuyers has the perfect selection for the right balance of passion and culinary delight.
1Oysters and English Sparkling Wine
Let’s start with the most classic aphrodisiac pairing: Oysters and bubbly.
Oysters are one of the foods most commonly thought to have aphrodisiac effects, owed to the fact they contain zinc, which is necessary to produce testosterone, as well as amino acids and serotonin, which enhance the body’s response to pleasure.
Similarly, so much about sparkling wine is sensual; from the sound of the cork’s pop, the putter and fizz as the wine trickles into the base of the glass, to the release as the wine arrives on the palate.
Together, they make for an unrivalled sensual pairing.
Grapes: Pinot Meunier
If you’re looking to impress the wine lover in your life, we recommend this Blanc de Noirs from East Sussex showcasing the rarest grape in Champagne, Pinot Meunier.
Currently the only English Blanc de Noirs from Pinot Meunier, this wine captures the black fruit romance of the grape and creates a rich, rounded wine, filled with blackberry and blueberry flavours, elegant mousse and a clean finish.
This sparkling wine really needs nothing alongside it, but Valentine’s Day isn’t about need. Shucked rock oyster with a squeeze of lemon juice will make the match.
2Black Truffles and Portuguese Red
Truffles are often considered an aphrodisiac as it’s believed their musky scent replicates the scent of male pheromones. While both white and black truffles are thought of as an aphrodisiac luxury, it is the rarer blacks that have the most concentrated aphrodisiac potency. Their rarity and short season make them among the most elusive, luxury goods of the culinary world.
For those that love truffles little can equal them. Their earthy and musky scent wants a premium wine that’s rich without being simple.
Grapes: Alicante Bouchet
This Portuguese Bouchet is an intense garnet in colour, with aromas of black fruit jam, ripe olives, mint and spices.
Its structure is distinct and possesses a clear freshness, alongside solid and exuberant tannins that guarantee its longevity; a mark of high quality wine.
Look for simple preparation in terms of the food. A fresh tagliatelle with grated fresh truffle ought to earn the chef huge credit.
3Steak and Les Amoureues
There’s nothing so deliciously decadent as a hearty steak accompanied by a glass of perfectly paired wine, especially when the protein-rich red meat boosts levels of dopamine to increase the heart rate.
Steak and red wine are perfect partners, but the ideal wine pairing can depend on the cut and the way you cook your meat, as well as sauces and sides served alongside.
Below we share both our red and white pairing suggestions.
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Earthy, woody and cherry like aromas are known to arouse women and these can all be found in this premium French Cru.
Pair with simply prepared, high-quality, lean steak or, if you’re looking to go the extra mile, Beef Wellington makes an exceptional pairing.
Grapes: Aglianico, Montepulciano
If you’re looking for an option that’s fuller on the palate and lighter on the wallet, this blend from the Adriatic coast of Italy flourishes alongside red meat, albeit not a Les Amoureues.
Owed to time spent ageing in both barrel and bottle, this white wine is aromatic and seductive with aromas of cherry and flora.
On the palate, you will find the deep richness of plum and liquorice, along with a silky texture, mellow tannins and a gentle, rounded mouthfeel.
4Figs and Viognier
Figs have long been considered an aphrodisiac, in large part because they’re mentioned in the Bible as one of the fruits in the Garden of Eden. For wine pairing look to fresh, dry but fruit lead wines that won’t overwhelm the delicate sweetness of figs.
Produced in the United States, Oregon, Alexana Estate Riesling is lees aged for four months in oak, allowing the distinctive character of ripe Oregonian Riesling to shine through.
Alexana Estate Riesling boasts a creamy complexity along with the texture and fruit to marry with fresh figs.
5Vanilla Panna Cotta and Elderflower Sparkling Wine
The luxury scent of vanilla combined with the velvety texture of just-set panna cotta is certainly a seductive treat, especially when paired with something sparkling.
Renegade and Longton have applied serious winemaking acumen to making elderflower sparkling and this delicious wine is evidence of that.
Their original experiment showed that when it comes to sparkling wines, grapes aren’t always best. Instead, this sparkling wine is created for elderflower enthusiasts.
Renegade and Longton use the traditional champagne method to produce wines that are dry, and counterpoint the natural flavours of the fruit.
When paired with a panna cotta, the bubbles work to lift the richness of the cream.
6Chocolate and Red Fortified Wine
Not for nothing is chocolate’s Latin name, Theobroma, or “food of the gods.” Chocolate and serotonin is a relationship that many of us are aware of and powerless to resist. The sweet treat also contains phenylethylamine, similar to the chemical released when you fall in love. If you’ll be serving a chocolate dessert, pairing a rich, satiny, fortified wine is an absolute must.
Grapes: Tempranillo, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional
Created in traditional granite lagars and aged in old casks, this Portuguese tawny port is elegant, rich and complex.
If you’re feeling confident in your ability in the kitchen, this port pairs perfectly when served chilled with a chocolate fondant dessert.
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