Aphrodisiac food and wine pairings

February 13, 2009 4:32:22 PM PST
Create a perfect night of romance with aphrodisiac food and wine pairings.

Featured aphrodisiac wine pairings:

Jicima Slice (Or Tortilla Chip) With Guacamole And Serano Chile

Avocado: Called "testicle tree" by the Aztecs, the sensuous texture makes this a sexy fruit. The virgin daughters of the Aztecs were forbidden from going outdoors when avocados were harvested!

Chiles: The burn on your lips matches the burn in your loin, er, heart!

Wine Pairing: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough New Zealand 2007 (approximate retail $24.99). The grassy, green flavors and bright acidity match the green tones of the avocado and chile while cutting through the richness and spice


Ginger: People have deemed ginger root an aphrodisiac for centuries because of its heady scent and because it stimulates the circulatory system

Wine Pairing: The perfume of ginger matches the aromatics of Domaine Weinbach Muscat, Alsace 2006 (approximate retail $22.00)

Hard cheese slice with honeycomb and fig

Figs: Celebrated ancient Greek aphrodisiac- A man breaking open a fig and eating it in front of his lover was considered to be the most erotic act! Make sure to eat them with your fingers.

Honey: Egyptians used honey to cure everything from sterility to impotence. Medieval seducers plied their partners with Mead, a form of beer made from honey. Lovers on their "Honeymoon" drank Mead to sweeten their marriage

Wine Pairing: Doisy Vedrines Sauternes, 2005 (approximate retail $20.00) - the honey tones match the honeycomb while providing fresh acidity

Baguette slice with garlic/ pine nut spread

Garlic: The heat of garlic is said to stir sexual desires. Make sure you share it together, however. Tibetan monks were not allowed to enter the monastery if they had been eating garlic because of its reputation for stirring up passions. Garlic also increases circulation.

Pine Nuts: Like oysters, they are high in zinc, which has been associated with improving sexual potency in men.

Wine Pairing: Jordan Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2006 (approximate retail $30) - the creamy fruit notes match well with the rich garlic bread and nuts

Fresh berries with vanilla bean (pour the matching wine over before serving)

Vanilla: The scent and flavor are believed to increase lust. According to Mexican legend, the daughter of the goddess of fertility transformed herself into a Vanilla plant so that she could provide pleasure and happiness

Berries: Particularly, raspberries and strawberries. These are perfect for hand feeding your lover. They are described in erotic literature as fruit nipples.

Wine Pairing: Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d'Acqui 2007 (approximate retail $19.99) - this sparkling rose is slightly sweet and is delicious with fresh fruit and also with chocolate

J Winery Brut Sparkling Wine: (approximate retail $30.00) with a diamond ring in the glass Who could ask for a better pairing?

Additional wine pairings:

Asparagus: Three courses of asparagus were served to 19th century bridegrooms due to its reputed aphrodisiacal powers

Wine Pairing: Green flavored wine that matches the green bitterness of the vegetable - Sauvignon Blanc or Gruner Veltliner match nicely

Caviar: High in zinc, so it stimulates the formation of testosterone

Wine Pairing: Champagne can be delicious with it, however if it is too rich it buries the caviar. Sake is fantastic, as is chilled Vodka!

Chocolate: Contains a sedative which relaxes and lowers inhibitions - Also contains a stimulant to increase activity

Wine Pairing: Depending on the chocolate, different things work. Reds with some sweetness to them, like Zinfandel are good. So are port, madiera, Banyuls, and the like. Sometimes a really dark beer is delicious too.

Fennel: In the 30's fennel was found to be a source of natural plant estrogens. The Egyptians used it as a libido enhancer.

Wine Pairing: Viognier and Alsace Pinot Gris with their exotic flavor and rich texture match nicely. Raw Fennel is great with Sauvignon Blanc, which plays off of its herbal tones.

Oysters: Oysters repeatedly change their sex from male to female and back, giving rise to claims that they let one experience the masculine and feminine sides of love. Casanova ate dozens of oysters a day and once seduced a woman by sliding an oyster from his lips to hers.

Wine Pairing: High acid, clean wines are fantastic. Try Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Muscadet, and Albarino. Surprisingly, Guinness is great with Oysters too.

Peaches: The fleshy color and delicate fuzz are reminiscent of kissing the downy face of a lover. The act of eating one, rather than compounds in the fruit, is what makes peaches such an aphrodisiac

Wine Pairing: Peaches are great with Moscato d'Asti, which has a light, peachy flavor. Cooked peaches are good with sweet Riesling and Vouvray

Truffles: Due to their rarity and musky aroma, they are considered to arouse the palate and the body

Wine Pairing: Older White Burgundy, Barolo, and Barbaresco, Red burgundy, and Champagne

About Emily Wines, master sommelier, The Fifth Floor
It's amusing, and seems destined, that a woman with the surname "Wines" should become an acclaimed sommelier. A newly minted Master Sommelier, Emily Wines has helped make Fifth Floor's wine list one of the foremost in San Francisco. The list has won numerous awards, including Wine Spectator's coveted Grand Award.

Before arriving at Fifth Floor in 2000, Wines worked under Vivian Gay at Elka Gilmore's eponymous San Francisco restaurant, Elka. She then came to the Fifth Floor and refined her skills under the mentorship of Rajat Parr, quickly becoming Assistant Sommelier and then, in 2004, Wine Director. In spring 2008, Wines made history by becoming the second woman to pass the rigorous Master Sommelier Diploma Examination and win the prestigious Remi Krug Cup; the cup is awarded to the single highest scoring candidate who passes all three portions of the Masters Exam in the first attempt. The title of Master Sommelier is internationally recognized and Wines is one of only fifteen women in the nation to hold it.

Website: www.fifthfloorrestaurant.com