“Wine is the only artwork you can drink.” Luis Fernando Olaverri The pairing of food…
Are you and that special someone thinking of staying in on Valentine’s Day this year? Not only will that be refreshing – you’ll also skip the pressure to pick the perfect restaurant, scrambling to get a reservation and paying an arm and a leg to be served dinner that might come out lukewarm (uh-oh!) by a less-than-enthused waiter. But that doesn’t mean the upcoming day has to be anything less than sexy! In food, as in love, the best matchups often happen when you least expect them. Skip the caviar and Dom Pérignon. This is our guide to an easy, but still romantic, night in of libido-lifting dishes paired perfectly with local wines.
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APPETIZER: MCC AND OYSTERS
The wine: Sprankel Methode Cap Classique Bru 2014
Where to buy it: From the very gorgeous vines of Babylonstoren for R630.
Tasting notes: This is an aged chardonnay a la MCC with fresh apple and tropical tones. It’s smooth and light with all the passion fruit notes you need for a passionate Valentine’s Day.
Why it’s a sexy wine: Synonymous with luxury and celebration, sparkling wine is undoubtedly one of the most powerful natural aphrodisiacs – no wonder it was Marilyn Monroe’s favourite drink. Thanks to its delicate, bubbly character, this wine hits the bloodstream far quicker than still wine would lending to an instant flush. But its sex appeal extends further than its delightful fizz and it’s actually the aroma of champagne that acts as an aphrodisiac by replicating female pheromones.
The food: Oysters
Why it’s a sexy food: When it comes to oysters the majority of their aphrodisiac appeal comes from the sensual process and experience of eating them.
The perfect pairing: We love how the tight bubbles of Sprankel refreshingly awaken the senses. The cleanness of the MCC’s lifted fruity flavour works so well with the briny body of the oysters. A big platter on ice is usually a great idea – throw in some caviar and lime wedges and embark on a truly sensual taste journey.
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MAIN COURSE: PINOT GRIGIO WITH SALMON
The wine: Anthonij Rupert Protea Pinot Grigio 2018 (Darling & Franschhoek)
Where to buy it: All major bottle stores for an RRP of R55.
Tasting notes: Enticing fresh notes of pear, nectarine and honeydew melon with a gentle lemon undertone. This wine provides a medium body glass with a delicious fruity scent that ends dry and clean. You’ll also pick up subtle hints of grapefruit zest, flint and white pepper that lend to a light and refreshing mouthfeel.
Why it’s a sexy wine: The Anthonij Rupert Protea Pinot Grigio is characterised by its zesty citrus flavour. Notes like Grapefruits, oranges and lime are known to boost confidence which has a major impact on your performance in bed. Add a powerful boost to your cardiovascular system, an abundance of antioxidants for improved mood and that all too familiar decrease of stress hormones that comes along with a delicious glass of vino to the mix and you have a recipe for romance.
The food: Salmon
Why it’s a sexy food: Like most seafood, salmon has a rich history as an aphrodisiac. Not only is it an excellent source of protein which is essential for stamina but it’s also jam-packed with vitamins A, B, D and calcium which are known to provide that all-important libido lift. Pair all that with a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids that elevate serotonin levels and get you in the mood and you’re in for treat.
The perfect pairing: To experience the most out of this pairing, serve your chilled glass of Pinot Grigio alongside a silky salmon pasta. Nothing says passion more than twirling your fork through a luxuriously creamy dish filled with rich flavours and a decadent texture.
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DESSERT: A RED BLEND WITH CHOCOLATES
The wine: Vrede en Lust Boet Erasmus Vinted 2012 (Franschhoek)
Where to buy it: From www.bottleshop.co.za for R199 a bottle.
Tasting notes: It’s a medium-bodied wine with pure fruit, bright acidity and fine tannins, and a long and savoury finish. On the nose, you’ll pick up red and black fruit, tobacco and vanilla, plus a little earthiness.
Why it’s a sexy wine: The Boet Erasmus, Vrede en Lust’s flagship wine, is an elegant new world-style Bordeaux blend that incorporates Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. The red blend makes you feel warm, glowy and chilled out, but beyond its relaxing capabilities, it’s a healthy dose of resveratrol – red wine’s chief antioxidant that helps loosen things up by stimulating blood flow in essential areas.
The food: Bittersweet chocolate (the darker, the better!)
Why it’s a sexy food: Chocolate gives you the same positive endorphins that you get from being in love, so when you pair wine, chocolate and being in love together, it’s a deadly combination. Scientists ascribe the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate to two chemicals it contains: tryptophan AKA the building block of serotonin a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal as well as phenylethylamine, a stimulant related to amphetamine that’s released in the brain when people fall in love.
The perfect pairing: To get the most out of this pairing, pair the wine with bittersweet chocolate wine brownies that are made with the same wine that’s in your glass. The wine is big enough to stand out in the chocolate batter and is the perfect sip as you cosy up together. Plus, baking up these fudgy squares is so quick and easy!
Tell us about your favourite sexy food-and-wine pairing in the comments below!
Candice is the coffee-drinking, fashion obsessed editor behind Hello Joburg Magazine. She’s a self-confessed foodie and champagne enthusiast who also loves all things beauty, travel and home and décor.