When pairing wine with food, we often think first of table wines made from grapes. But fruit wines can be absolutely delicious with hors d’oeuvres and entrees when paired appropriately. For Valentine’s Day why not enjoy a glass of fruit wine with an aphrodisiac or two?
1. Chocolate Partnered to Elderberry or Raspberry/Chocolate Dessert Wine
Eating chocolate leads to higher levels of desire, arousal, and sexual satisfaction, according to a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Chocolate is the queen of aphrodisiacs, containing the ‘feel good’ chemicals called anandamide and PEA (phenylethylamine). PEA releases mood-altering dopamine into the pleasure center of the brain, thus enhancing one’s romance. Cacao also possesses tryptophan, an important part of the neurotransmitter serotonin that allows us to feel relaxed.
Pure, quality dark chocolate (85 %cocoa or higher) complements Elderberry/Chocolate or Raspberry/Chocolate dessert wine. Make sure the wine has more sweetness than the chocolate. Always make sure that the wine is sweeter than the chocolate. Hence choosing chocolate with 85% or higher cocoa.
2. Honey Partnered to Peach Off Dry
Calling one’s romantic partner ‘honey’ will certainly stimulate the libido. The food ‘honey’, however, is also known as the nectar of Aphrodite. Lovers on their “Honeymoon” drank honey wine called mead and it was believed to help sweeten the marriage. The Kama Sutra and The Perfumed Garden also mention nutmeg spiced honey.
Sweet, sticky honey has boron, a trace mineral that we use to metabolize estrogen, the female sex hormone. Research has also revealed that boron enhances testosterone levels to promote the male sex drive. This makes honey a potent aphrodisiac. A natural affinity exists between peaches and honey, making this partnership ideal for Valentine’s Day.
Smother slices of toasted baguette with ricotta cheese. Tear salty prosciutto into feathery pieces and drape a few slices over the ricotta on each. Top with a slice of sweet, ripe peach. Drizzle the toasts with warm honey and add freshly ground cracked black pepper. Make sure the wine has more sweetness than the sweetness in the fresh peach slices. A sweeter peach wine is ideal.
3. Pumpkin Pie Partnered to Pumpkin Off Dry
It may be hard to believe but new research conducted by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago found that the scent of the Thanksgiving was found to increase penile blood flow by 40 percent. Pumpkin pie is the new aphrodisiac and is definitely in season in the month of February. The scent of pumpkin was also found to increase sexual desire in women.
This pie also contains cinnamon and vanilla, which are also considered aphrodisiacs. Pumpkin wine is the perfect complement to this pie. The wine must have greater sweetness to have this partnership harmonize.
4. Pizza with Gooseberry Dry or Off Dry
Yes, pizza is the new aphrodisiac! It’s the cheese! In this same Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation study it showed that the smell of cheese pizza increased male blood flow by 5 percent. How about a thin crust pizza with salty prosciutto, garlic (aphrodisiac), healthy tangy goat cheese to pair to gooseberry wine? This gooseberry wine has notes of flowers and maple and its hint of sweetness nicely offsets the saltiness of prosciutto. Be sure to smother the pizza with mozzarella to get that libido going!
5. Garlic Partnered to Rhubarb Off Dry
Despite our first reaction to this smelly food, garlic is a powerful aphrodisiac for men. On Valentine’s Day I wouldn’t over due it! Garlic is loaded with allicin, which increases blood flow, along with antioxidants, which are good for your heart and immune system.
Rhubarb is just as healthful. It is also loaded with antioxidants, vitamins C and K, as well as calcium, potassium and magnesium.
How about creating a candlelight dinner featuring spicy chicken thighs accompanied by rhubarb, cucumber and garlic salsa partnered to rhubarb wine? In a bowl toss together 1 ½ cups of cubed rhubarb 1 ¼ cups cubed English cucumber (skin on), ½ cup of chopped fresh cilantro, 1 clove of minced raw garlic, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, juice for half a fresh lime and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Grill the chicken legs with season salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve the chicken with a large dollop of this salsa and pair the dish with a chilled glass of rhubarb wine. Make sure the rhubarb wine has some sweetness.
6. Cranberry Wine Partnered to Raw Oysters
Cranberry wine can be bone dry and tart or fruity with balanced sweetness. The bone-dry version has loads of natural acidity that complements the briny saltiness and splash of fresh lemon juice in a plate of oysters on the half shell! Oysters are high in zinc and amino acids that trigger the production of sex hormones!
If you prefer cranberry wine with balanced sweetness, then add a pinch of horseradish to your raw oysters. The wine’s sweetness will nicely offset the heat in horseradish.
From a health perspective, cranberries act as a homeopathic remedy for urinary track issues. This berry is helps to wash pathogenic bacterial from the urinary tract, thus helping in the prevention and remedy of urinary infections. Cranberry wine also possess almost 99% less headache-inducing histamine than red wines, a recent Canadian study found.
7. Apple Wine Partnered to Avocado
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but an apple and avocado based evening can certainly get the sparks flying. The Aztecs determined that the avocado was an aphrodisiac, perhaps due to its pear shape that resembles a woman’s body. This fruit is also high in Vitamin E, which keeps us youthful and invigorated! The fatty mouth feel of avocado demands a wine with viscosity, like apple wine with balanced sweetness. Sweetness adds viscosity to wine. Pair Apple wine with a spinach salad tossed with slices of avocado, fresh apple and bacon. Just make sure that the wine’s sweetness supersedes the sweetness in the fresh apple slices.
8. Bananas Partnered to Japanese Plum Wine
Its phallic shape is one reason why the banana is considered a libido enhancer. While packed with potassium, magnesium and Vitamin B, bananas also contain chelating minerals and bromeliad enzyme believed to support the male libido. Try sushi with avocado and banana drizzled in a spicy mayo sauce paired with plum wine. The fruit flavour in this wine naturally complements sweet banana. The wine’s sweetness also offsets the spicy mayo sauce.
Peach, Prosciutto and Ricotta Crostini Paired with Peach Wine
12 slices French multi grain baguette
1 ripe peach
1 tablespoon fresh ricotta
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 thin slices of prosciutto
Kawartha honey (as needed)
Using a Panini press or toaster oven, grill baguette slices.
Halve, pit, and thinly slice peach.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon ricotta onto each toast. Tear prosciutto into feathery
Inpieces and drape a few slices over ricotta on each. Drizzle each with honey and top with 2 peach slices. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Suggested Wine: Any off dry peach wine
THE PERFECT VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT FOR YOUR WINE LOVING LOVER!
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