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Aphrodisiacs and their wine pairings. Do Valentines the Buon Vino Way

So, Christmas is over, and before you know it, card shops and florists galore are jumping on the Valentine’s bandwagon to make you and your loved one feel special for a day. We, as a wine shop, are no exception. But we would like to help you in your exploits by providing you with a guide to aphrodisiac foods and what to pair with them. Even if the sensual slime of an oyster can’t get your pulse racing, you are bound to be feeling amorous after a glass or two of bubbly. Sit back, relax and let us take care of the menu for you.


Oysters, served raw in the shell on ice. Perhaps the most famous aphrodisiac of all, oysters are loaded with zinc, which is closely linked to sperm production and libido. Not to mention the fact that there is something strangely erotic about the way in which you have to eat them. It is therefore no coincidence that Aphrodite the goddess of love was said to have been born from the sea. Serve these with a deliciously chilled glass of Resonance from Marie Courtin Champagnes, a perfectly poised Blanc de Noirs, named after the balancing energies of earth and sky, ying and yang: two halves of a romantic relationship….


Asparagus wrapped in Parma Ham. As far back as the 1600s writers extolled the aphrodisiac virtues of asparagus. Nicholas Culpeper once wrote that it ‘stirreth up bodily Lust in Man or Woman’. It’s not hard to see why when you see a spear dripping with butter…positively scandalous for a 17th century audience! But it’s also loaded with folic acid, which boots histamine production which is vital for both sexes to achieve orgasm. Who knew? Simply blanche the asparagus, drizzle with oil, lemon and sea salt, wrap in Parma ham and bake in the oven. Serve this with a delicious glass of Horsmonden from Davenport, a delicious aperitif wine, crisp and grapefruity with hints of grassiness and elder-flower!

Main Course

Basil and Tomato Pasta. There is something wonderfully alluring about the fragrance of basil, said to be very stimulating. The prevalence of this particular aphrodisiac in Italian cuisine may explain why the Italians have the reputation that they do. Basil and Tomato Pasta couldn’t be easier. Just make a basic sauce with olive oil, garlic, chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and a great big bunch of fresh basil. Stir through the pasta of your choice and top with plenty of grated pecorino. For this lusty linguine you can’t go wrong with a delicious glass of Sangiovese. The Chianti Riserva 2005 from Casale is absolutely spot on at the moment, though there are some excellent alternatives.


Chocolate mousse. If you’ve managed to keep your hands off each other this long, and you haven’t drunk yourselves under the table, chocolate is one of the greatest aphrodisiacs known to man. Chocolate mousse is also ridiculously easy to make and always tastes impressive. See Mary Berry’s recipe here. Cacao contains a myriad of compounds most notably PEA, also known as the love chemical which is the same chemical that activates the pleasure centres of the brain during orgasm, and induces feelings of excitement and attraction. There is only one really one wine fit to pair with such an indulgence and that’s Banyuls. This is a Port-like fortified wine made from Grenache on the French Mediterranean coast. It’s a little lighter than Port, with enough sweetness to balance the chocolate but undertones of mocha and spice.

So grab your significant other (or the person you want to be that significant other) and give them the Buon Vino treatment this Valentine’s for a guaranteed night of passion*. You’re welcome. Who knows, maybe in 9 months’ time there will be little babies running around named after me as thanks for writing this. Or maybe there won’t.

*We make no absolutely guarantees that following our suggestions will lead to a night of passion, but we think it will be fun to try.