Romantic foods…Get in the mood this Valentine’s Day with foods that affect your hormones and the wines that match.
Honey, bananas, almonds and other foods can have a direct impact on your sex life, brain chemistry, energy and stress levels. We wanted to a.) make sure we have this list handy forever, and b.) offer you some ideas on the perfect evening with your significant other. Try out these seductive foods and don’t forget the wine.
And if it does not have all that aphrodisiac effect, at least it’s healthy and you have a bottle of Bordeaux.
[DIY wine cork heart]
Basil not only makes the meals smell and taste better, but it also has a lot of beneficial effects on human body. Basil has a fantastic aroma that is said to have an aphrodisiac effect; it is also very stimulating. In Roman times, basil was a symbol of love and the leaves contain a variety of libido-lifting nutrients.
Pair with: Château Mezain 2011
A pale yellow, shimmering with grey highlights. A powerful bouquet, complex and persistent with aromas of berries and grapefruit. An overall well-balanced palate, round and lively, with citrus notes. $11 [site]
Oysters are probably the food most associated with being an aphrodisiac, and most people are aware of their reputation for increasing sexual desire. And in addition to the powerful persuasion of its mere being, oysters have some scientifically proven potency.
Pair with: Lafite Réserve Spéciale 2011
Pale straw with hints of gold. Fresh and elegant with mineral notes on the nose. After a pleasant sweetness on the attack, this is a full-bodied wine with lots of flavor and a long, cool, aromatic finish. $12 [site]
This sexy fruit has long been thought of as an arousing stimulant, and are steeped in history and are one of the oldest-recorded fruits. They are mentioned in the Bible (Adam and Eve wore fig leaves to cover their private parts) and the ancient Greeks held them as sacred and associated them with love and fertility. This soft, plump fruit is a fine source of iron and potassium-minerals much needed in the horizontal pas de deux.
Pair with: Château Bonnet Rosé 2011
A clear rose color with bright strawberry highlights and a flattering nose of red fruits with hints of candies or sweets. A fresh and lively wine with good roundness. $13 [site]
Through antiquity, almonds were regarded as fertility symbols. The aroma of almond supposedly arouses passion in females — or so thought the poets and scribes. The scientists say that almonds provide high doses of vitamin E, magnesium and even fiber.
Pair with: Les Vigniers de Fontcailloux 2009
Aromas of mocha, tobacco, and milk chocolate, with a suggestion of roasted nuts. Red currant and milk chocolate flavors and sweet tannins linger impressively on the finish, which shows noteworthy energy and length. $13 [site]
Pure chocolate, the king of natural aphrodisiacs, contains a host of compounds including anandamide, the psyochoactive feel-good chemical, and PEA (phenylethylamine), the “love chemical,” which releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain and peaks during orgasm. PEA is said to help induce feelings of excitement, attraction and euphoria. Cacao also contains tryptophan, a key component of the neurotransmitter serotonin known to promote a sense of well-being and relaxation.
Pair with: Château Bonnet 2009
A powerful but balanced deep red wine. Very expressive nose showing blackberry, black cherry, and chocolate. The palate is rich with lovely fruit and excellent freshness. $16 [site]
Unlike most aphrodisiac foods, garlic is one that both lovers must eat for its magical properties to manifest powers of romance. Garlic is chockfull of allicin, an ingredient that will increase blood flow. So, whip up an extra-garlicky dish and keep the mints handy.
Pair with: Château de Bon Ami 2009
Incredibly ripe aromas and dominant scents of blackcurrant on the nose. Extremely fine on the palate with soft tannins and notes of red berries. The finish is fruity and long. $10 [site]
By it shape its connection with sexuality is quite obvious, but you’ll also find that bananas are loaded with potassium, magnesium and B vitamins. It also contains chelating minerals and the bromeliad enzyme, said to enhance the male libido.
Pair with: Château Lamourette 2005
Elegance and finesse to the fore. Displays a marked floral bouquet. Notes of peaches, pears, and bananas that make up a tropical flavor. $29 [site]
The nectar of Aphrodite, honey is one of the most seductive foods in the world. Even in its manufacturing, honey’s lore is that of pure romance. Culled by honeybees, it is created from the nectar of flowers, the ultimate emblem of sexual ripeness. In addition, honey contains B vitamins needed for testosterone, as well as other nutrients, enzymes and phytochemicals.
Pair with: Barton & Guestier Sauternes 2010
Intense, golden yellow color. Fine and elegant nose of cooked fruits and acacia honey. Well balanced, with a great concentration on the mid palate and a long fruity finish. $20 [site]
[images from Getty Images]