If you’re as interested in the food as the possibility for romance on Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up the best aphrodisiacs and matched them with their perfect wine or spirit.
1. Oysters and Chablis
Slurping a plate of half-a-dozen oysters may not sound all that sexy, but the shellfish is thought to increase libido. Whether you believe that or not, they work like a dream with a minerally chablis, but if you’re eating oysters with shallots, red wine vinegar and a squirt of lemon juice, we recommend the sharper flavours of a Sancerre.
2. Strawberries and sparkling wine
In ancient Rome, these little red hearts were a symbol of Venus (aka Aphrodite), goddess of love – and there’s plenty to love about this juicy red fruit. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, love birds should forgo the cream and dip them in sparkling wine. A demi-sec (slighter sweeter style) will complement the sweet, red berries.
3. Avocados and Pinot Grigio
Avocados, with their smooth, rich, buttery taste and good fat that helps lower cholesterol, has a reputation for being an aphrodisiac that can be traced back to the Aztecs. Ditch the toast, slice the sensual pear-shaped fruit into a salad and pour a glass of pinot grigio. This light, Italian white wine and its delicate lemony flavours are a perfect match.
4. Asparagus and Sauvignon Blanc
Asparagus is packed with vitamin E, which can boost sex drives. On their own, these tender green spears love the grassiness of a New Zealand sauvignon blanc. In a salad with a vinaigrette, try a manzanilla dry sherry served ice cold. With salmon and a hollandaise sauce, pull the cork on a Bordeaux white – ideally a blend of sauvignon blanc with a smidgen of Semillon.
5. Apples and Pinot Noir
Is there anything apples aren’t good for? This versatile fruit can be matched with a variety of wines but as it’s Valentine’s, we think it’s a great excuse to open a plush, silky pinot noir from Burgundy, which will arouse the senses with its black cherry fruit and earthy flavours.
6. Dark chocolate and Carmenere
A box of dark chocolates can boost our mood and sense of wellbeing, and 70% dark chocolates suit medium-bodied reds, such as a lip-smacking bottle of Carmenere from Chile, which offers plums, spice, bitter chocolate and a toasty finish.
7. Honey and Whiskey
The tradition of gifting honeycakes has been linked with the rituals of courtship since ancient times. Pair this liquid gold with a fragrant, smooth, mellow whiskey such as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, or even better, make a frisky whisky and honey cocktail – 25ml whiskey, 10ml lemon juice, one teaspoon liquid honey. Mix the ingredients in a shaker, pour into a glass and garnish with a lemon wedge. Cheers!