June 20, 2011 3 Comments
It’s a timeless truth – Wine and Romance just seem to go together. No less a sage than Ovid, in his 17 A.D. treatise entitled “The Art of Love” wrote:
“It warms the blood, adds luster to the eyes, and wine and love have ever been allies.”
Ancient Roman poets aside, I wonder, is there really a link between wine and romance?
In support of this moonstruck mandate I offer the following hard science: According to the online research firm Cyberpulse, in a survey of over 500 women, 59% of the ladies would like their sweethearts to give them wine, rather than chocolates, on Valentine’s Day. (Sorry, gentlemen, flowers are de rigueur, even if they must come from the grocery store.) The women were reported to feel than wine was “more adult and romantic than chocolate,” and that they prefer wine because “wine signifies sharing and spending time together.”
One reason – I suspect – that wine is linked to successful romance is that people seem more attractive after a glass or two of wine. In my wine tasting classes, I always admit that after first sip of Sauvignon Blanc I feel 10 degrees cooler, and other people appear 10% hotter. I am relieved to have my suspicion, and that of generations of party people, affirmed by no less an institution than theUniversity of Glasgow in Scotland. According to their research, another person will appear 25% more attractive after one glass of wine. Unfortunately, that’s where the research ended…they failed to report if that other person appeared 100% more attractive after four glasses. (I believe this to be true.)
Then there is the subject of pheromones; those pesky little chemical messengers that can cause havoc in our minds and bodies. Many people believe that pheromones are the reason that some foods and beverage possess aphrodisiac qualities. Pheromones respond to certain odor stimuli and pass that information on to the brain, which may affect one’s state of mind, emotions, or mood. Lucky for us, there are some wines that mimic the pheromones that are released by both men and women when they are, shall we say, interested.
If one were interested in using the reputed aphrodisiac affect of wine to arouse the interest of a certain woman, one would reach for a glass (or a bottle) of Riesling or Chardonnay. According to the research of Dr. Max Lake, reported in his book “Scents and Sensuality”, Chardonnay produces “neck blushing, pupil dilation, and other signs of sexual interest in a woman”. The good doctor believes that Riesling evokes romance on the very first sip. You must admit, Riesling is somewhat mysterious in its aromas of peach, pear, vanilla, perfume and wild flowers…like a bottle full of belly dancers waiting to be unleashed upon the unsuspecting world.
Men, according to Dr. Lake, respond in a romantic way to red wine. Your best bet for the wine-based seduction of a manly man is a hearty red wine that mimics good male cologne…look for a wine with earthy tones of truffle, spice, herbs and licorice. I like to describe such wines as having a wild, untamed, character. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Sangiovese are good choices.
As in all things, remember to enjoy wine and romance in moderation. Besides the usual reasons for avoiding excess, such as avoiding public intoxication and not wanting to embarrass yourself, one would do well to heed the advice of William Shakespeare himself, when Porter, in Act III of “Macbeth” proclaims:
“Ah, wine…it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.”
How true, Porter…how true.