For centuries humans have used the power of aphrodisiacs to increases lust, desire and spice up their love life. The word comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. This Valentine’s Day become your own Aphrodite or Adonis with these aphrodisiacal food and wine pairings.
Cayenne Pepper- Dark Chocolate Brownies. Cayenne pepper gets its name from the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. Cayenne has been used for centuries not only for a variety of therapeutic purposes but also to boost the libido, particularly among men.
· Wine Paring: Renacer ENAMORE ($25). This blend of Malbec, Syrah, Bonarda and Cabernet Franc, dried and vinified in the Amarone style (hence the anagram ENAMORE!), offers supple aromas of ripe berries and plums with underlying notes of exotic spices and mocha, its silky mouthfeel and richness strike a great match with the spicy chocolate brownies.
Chocolate clove cookies: Cloves are one of the most powerful natural aphrodisiacs for both men and women. Contains eugenol; its smell is fragrant and aromatic, and has long been considered a method for enhancing feelings of desire.
· Wine Pairing: Allegrini Palazzo della Torre ($20). Deep ruby-red in color, this wine is brimming with notes of dark, dried cherries and blackberries, along with hints of fig and mocha which blend seamlessly with the sweet spice of the cookies.
Fresh Basil Pesto. For centuries, people said that basil stimulated the libido and boosted fertility. The scent of basil was said to drive men wild — so much so that women would dust their bodies with dried and powdered basil.
· Wine pairing: Tilia Torrontes ($10). This crisp white with notes of jasmine, lemon-citrus and apricot makes a harmonious companion to the flavorful, fresh basil toast.
Fish Fillets with Lemon and Coriander Seed. The Chinese used the coriander in love potions believing it provided immortality. The seed was known to have an euphoric effect, especially for women.
· Wine Pairing: Mastroberardino Fiano di Avellino ($22). The intriguing ancient wine manages to be both light and flavorful at the same time: Its layered profile, with delicate notes of hazelnut, pear and minerality, is perfect for this love-inspiring recipe.
Arugula Salad: Arugula or rocket as the saucy Brits call it, was a popular aphrodisiac among the ancient Romans and ancient Egyptians. It was quite often associated with Priapus, a minor Roman god of fertility.
· Wine Pairing: Yealands Sauvignon Blanc ($12). Lots of expressiveness is the key to this pairing. This classic wine boasts rich flavors of zesty citrus, nettle and ripe white peaches which can really hold its own against that peppery, flavorful ‘bite’ of the arugula.
Saffron rice pilaf. Historically, part of saffron’s magical property is the enhancement of “lust.” In late Hellenistic Egypt, Cleopatra used saffron in her baths so that lovemaking would be more pleasurable, it contains picrocrocin which is alleged to have the ability to cause erotic sensations
Wine pairing: Leyda Pinot Noir ($13). Leyda Pinot Noir is brimming with notes of plum, black cherries and savory smokiness. On the lighter side of red wine spectrum, with mild, silky tannins, this Pinot Noir makes an easy match with the rich, buttery profile of the saffron pilaf.
Wine: The consumption of wine is one of the most ancient forms of libido stimulation and is still one of the most widely used aphrodisiacs worldwide!
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