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Friday, 13 February 2015

The Wine Lovers' Guide to Sexy Food!

Make your Valentine's night go off with a bang with the definitive guide to pairing up wines with aphrodisiac morsels.

In mid-February, the shopping basket tends to look a bit different than usual.

Gone are the utilitarian lamb chops and frozen pizzas, replaced with oysters, chocolate, candles and flowers. Valentine's Day can bring out the Nigella in the best of us, as we look for the perfect aphrodisiac recipe to feed our lovers. And, of course, you'll need the wines to match.

There's something undeniably sexy about eating an oyster. The rugged shell, the velvety, lush texture of the thing; it's overwhelming in a good way, that way where you have to give yourself over to the sensation. In short, it's a classic aphrodisiac.
I'm not usually one to brag, but the last time I had oysters it was on the north coast of France, near Honfleur, in a tiny fishing village fairly dripping with romance. The oysters came from a roadside shack a few hundred yards away from where they'd been pulled out of the ocean. They were magnificent, and washed down in the classic manner with a bottle of Lallier Grand Cru Brut. Sexy? Tout à fait.
These little puppies will stand up to more than just Champagne. Give them a crack with Manzanilla sherry, or pop a bottle of Premier Cru Chablis.

If there was a food on earth that deserves to be called ambrosia, it's probably chocolate – one of life's most ardent pleasures. And it has been associated with romance since the year dot, given in countless heart-shaped boxes and fed in various forms to potential love interests the world over. Scientifically speaking, chocolate releases dopamine into the brain, mimicking the euphoria of falling in love.
And, in terms of wine pairing, it's surprisingly versatile, and an almost foolproof way to seduce your Valentine after dinner. A rich, intense dark chocolate gateau will pair like a dream with a ripe, inky Argentine Malbec or a luscious Amarone from Italy. Hand-crafted chocolate truffles will be made even dreamier by adding a glass of vintage Port, or you could even get a little esoteric with a wee dribble of Banyuls.

Whether your Valentine choice is hot, succulent or simply tasty, the right pairing will improve your chances.
© Fotolia/Wine-Searcher | Whether your Valentine choice is hot, succulent or simply tasty, the right pairing will improve your chances.

Chillies are – in a word – hot. A dish served up to your lover this Valentine's Day will get their heart racing and their endorphins flowing, mimicking the sensation of arousal. If that's not an aphrodisiac, then I don’t know what is.
You can take a few different tacks with the spicy little fellow. A fresh, light, glass-noodle salad with chilli, lime, seared beef and cilantro will seduce, especially if you pair it with a honeyed off-dry Riesling from the Mosel. (Note: Riesling, regardless of what you serve it with, will probably be the key to any wine nerd's heart.)
If fresh and light isn't your bag, baby, then take the other route and go for sticky, spicy hot wings slathered in sauce. Forget what people say about wings being a bad date food – eating something messy with your fingers is quite the sensual experience (I would stick by the idea that it's probably not a great first date food though). For a full sensory overload, you could pair these wings with a big, spicy Shiraz from the Barossa Valley in Australia.
Big warning: Chillies are an aphrodisiac in the mouth but, for the love of God, not on your hands. If you've been chopping them, then make sure you wash your hands before things progress; you don't want to give your date a spicy surprise.

They may as well call a fig a tiny, edible Cupid; these yonic fruits have been helping would-be lotharios along since ancient Greek times. They were reportedly a favorite of Cleopatra, and some scholars have even suggested that it was a fig, not an apple, that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden.
They are sexiest – in my humble opinion – when paired with savory foods, maybe on a cheeseboard or in a salad with parma ham, basil and fresh mozzarella (a salad that Jamie Oliver has declared the sexiest in the world). Pair this with something rich but fresh – a South African Chenin Blanc would be a decadent choice, as would a top Prosecco from north Italy.

So, asparagus is plenty sexy; it's vaguely phallic, it's only available for a short time each year, and it's packed full of sexy vitamin E and potassium, increasing energy and libido. But – and this is a big but – it's notoriously difficult to pair with wines. How can you have an aphrodisiac that doesn’t work with wine, the biggest aphrodisiac of all?
Well, we love a challenge here at Wine Searcher, and so we will delve in with a few suggestions to impress your date. A sweaty Sauvignon Blanc works well with asparagus, especially if you serve the spears grilled with fresh herbs and vinaigrette. Savvy – as they call it in New Zealand – is arguably quite sexy in itself, famously described by an American wine writer as being "like having sex for the first time". An Alsace Silvaner will also work nicely with asparagus, as will a Muscadet from the Loire (which can be repurposed to match your oysters as well).
And just remember – if your Valentine's Day doesn't – ahem – quite go as planned, then there are 364 other days in the year to test these theories.

Source: http://www.wine-searcher.com/

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