Perfect Pairings for Romance
Wines to Match Aphrodisiacs
It's the most romantic month of the year. Everywhere you look, hearts will be all aflutter over candlelit dinners, soft music and extra helpings of amour. Of course, if you would like to give Cupid a hand, you could tempt the object of your affection with foods known to stir the soul and ignite passion. And adding a bit of wine into the mix certainly never hurt.
Oysters: Arguably the king of all amorous foods, oysters are nearly synonymous with having a lovely time. Loaded with zinc, which is a key ingredient in testosterone production, oysters are a reputed favourite meal of Casanova. To emulate the work of the famed 18th century Italian lover, pair a brut sparkling wine to the raw mollusk, for a tempting treat. Pair with: Cave Spring Blanc de Blanc Brut, VQA Niagara Escarpment, NV, $29.95.
Chocolate: Chocolate is a potent aphrodisiac with its alluring powers documented as far back as the Aztecs, whose most famous ruler, Montezuma, reportedly served his harem of 600 women by drinking 50 cups of chocolate a day. To avoid any bitterness, pair your sweet chocolate to an even sweeter wine, and this luxurious Framboise is the perfect partner. Pair with: Southbrook Farms Framboise (375 ml) $15.95
Chilies : Nothing will help heat things up faster than a jolt of spice. But alcohol accentuates heat, so to keep things at a manageable simmer and not an out of control inferno, pair with a low alcohol Riesling or Gewurtztraminer.
Pair with: Riverview Cellars Estate Winery Gewurtztraminer, VQA Niagara River, 2012 $18.95
Artichokes: With the soft heart protected by a wall of tough, thorny leaves, this vegetable, much like a worthy lover, takes some work to win over. And once you get to the delicate core, one wrong move can leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth. However, pairing a higher acid wine with herbaceous overtones like Sauvignon Blanc can be a match made in heaven. Pair with: Peller Estates Private Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, VQA Niagara on the Lake, 2012 $18.95
Figs: It's believed figs were Cleopatra's favourite snack and that the ancient Greeks associated figs with fertility and considered them sacred. A fruit of this stature needs an equally regal wine, so match it with a rose sparkling wine - the berry flavours and the fresh bubbles will offer a nice complement to the sweet and fleshy fruit.
Pair with: Casa Dea "Dea's Rose" Sparkling Wine, VQA Prince Edward County, 2011 $19.95
Erin & Courtney Henderson are The Wine Sisters, specializing in custom wine events and tours. Visit them online at thewinesisters.com