In absence of a bona fide "love potion," try including an array of arousal-boosting aphrodisiacs on your Valentine's Day menu. Be sure to loosen the mood with a glass of wine that complements the flavors of your meal.
Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, known as the World Wine Guys, share their favorite aphrodisiac foods and expert wine pairings:
- Aphrodisiac qualities: Caviar contains high amounts of zinc, which boosts testosterone levels and, in turn, libido.
- Wine pairing: Taittinger Brut La Francaise NV, Chardonnay blend, Champagne, France
- Tasting notes: Delightful mini bubbles give way to subdued flavors of pear and peach, and mineral overtones pair perfectly with the sharp salinity of caviar.
- Aphrodisiac qualities: Forget their appearance -- asparagus stalks contain folic acid, which is said to increase histamine production.
- Wine pairing: Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough, New Zealand
- Tasting notes: The tropical fruit and light herbaceous tones of Sauvignon Blanc complement the grassy green notes of asparagus.
- Aphrodisiac qualities: Similar to caviar, the zinc in oysters provides a shot of testosterone, increasing desire.
- Wine pairing: William Fevre Chablis Champs Royaux, Chardonnay, Chablis, France
- Tasting notes: The bright, citrusy minerality of un-oaked Chardonnay is a wonderful match for oysters or raw seafood.
- Aphrodisiac qualities: Chocolate contains a number of compounds associated with pleasure, well-being, and excitement, such as phenylethylamine and anandamide.
- Wine pairing: Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port, Blend of D.O. Port Grapes, Douro Valley and Porto, Portugal
- Tasting notes: Concentrated black plum and spice with slight licorice notes are not overpowered by a rich, dark chocolate.
- Wine pairing: Taylor Fladgate 20-Year-Old Tawny Port, Blend of D.O. Port Grapes, Douro Valley and Porto, Portugal
- Tasting notes: Rich caramel notes, with a slight nutty sweetness, bring out the creamy quality of milk chocolate.