Is wine an aphrodisiac?
One of the most hyped members of the food and beverage world, red wine is best known for fighting free radicals. But wine has a seductive history that dates back many centuries before the discovery of antioxidants. So we’re exploring what makes wine aphrodisiac.
Wine was associated with love and lust since the time of the ancient Greeks, who linked this beverage, as well as grapes in their fruit form, with Dionysus, the god of fertility and procreation. And not only does this seductive drink offer an alluring history but it also offers aromas that may actually be arousing all on their own.
The scent of wine may be arousing
According to the research of Dr. Max Lake, the mere scent of certain red wines can be arousing. In his book Scents and Sensuality, he writes on his research in the field of scent and arousal. Lake discovered that compounds in wine (as well as several foods) replicated those of human pheromones.
Which red wine is an aphrodisiac?
All red wines are aphrodisiac from a historical standpoint. But in the game of seduction, musky, masculine reds are best. The kind of wines that Dr. Lake found worked best when the goal was seduction and or foreplay include earthy Pinot Noirs like those from Burgundy and Oregon. (Here’s more on Pinot Noir wine regions.) Some even have a truffle-like aroma similar to the scent that makes truffle pigs go wild. Burly Cabernet Sauvignons can also work, particularly when they offer aromas of leather, tobacco and earth. When wine is used as an aphrodisiac the scent is key (although the alcohol in the wine always helps knock down emotional walls).
Red wine for heart heart and sexual health
It isn’t just history and aromas that make red wine aphrodisiac. As you’ve probably already heard, red wine is beneficial, to some degree, to heart health. According to the Mayo Clinic, the link between the antioxidants in wine and heart health is not completely understood. But it is suspected that these antioxidants, called polyphenols, protect the lining of the blood vessels in your heart and thereby promote greater heart health.
And what’s good for the heart is also good for your sex life. Why is that? The antioxidants in red wine that are good for vascular health are essentially helping promote blood flow. And you can’t get sexually aroused or reach sexual climax without healthy blood flow. So by supporting your body’s effort to have healthy blood vessels and optimal blood flow, you are improving your chances at sexual satisfaction, given the opportunity to perform. There are indications that Champagne and other sparkling wines can benefit heart and sexual health for similar reasons.
Red wine and women’s sexual desire
According to an Italian study in 2009, red wine may have some additional benefits for women’s sexual health. Among other things, this study indicated that women who drank red wine regularly had increased blood flow to the erogenous zones. (There was no indication of how white wine might affect women’s sexual health.) But these preliminary results are fascinating and part of the reason we included it in our list of the best foods (and drinks) for women’s sexual health.
Is white wine an aphrodisiac?
White wines also offer heart-healthy antioxidants but since most of the important antioxidants are found in the skin and seeds of the grapes. And white wines generally spend less time with skin contact than do reds, whites offer less of the heart-healthy benefits of reds. But whatever wine you choose, know that it offers something good for your heart and for your sexual satisfaction. So, cheers to your health!
This article was first written in 2010 and most recently updated in March 2021.
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