Wine is one of the greatest gateways to sensual pleasure in history. And true, all forms of alcohol are associated with reducing inhibitions, not just wine. But there just might be more to the powers of wine than simple, alcoholic stimulation. I spent some time with Dr. Max Lake, a physician and noted Australian vintner, who has some fascinating theories on the power of wine to whet sexual appetites.
Evidence-based reasons wine is the best alcohol for romance
According to the research of winemaker and surgeon Dr. Max Lake, the scents of certain wines replicate the smells of human pheromones, those tantric body scents said to excite sexual instinct. “The very act of tasting a wine can start a cascade of sensations likely to trigger at least a dribble of happy hormones,” promises Lake.
Lake maintains that the entire sensory experience of wine, from appearance to the lingering finish, is an act of temptation that he likens to sexual temptation. But the aroma of wine is what can tempt a woman or man to thoughts of more sensual acts. In other words, it’s the scent that makes wine a turn-on.
What is the best wine for sex?
There’s a popular notion that red wine is best if you’re going to try to seduce someone with wine. But when you examine Dr. Lake’s findings, the answer is actually a lot more complex than just popping the cork on any old bottle of red.
And the wines most likely to pique sexual interest? It’s actually Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and other sparkling wines. But there is so much to love about sparkling wine that might lead to a night of passion. First, there’s the celebratory “pop” of a cork. That is the sound of a good time. Next is the pleasure of Champagne’s texture. Sparkling wine has such a distinctive, bright and fun texture. And those bubbles are known for producing a giddy sensation. And then there’s the fact that Champagne, for most of us, isn’t an everyday drink, it’s something for a special occasion, a celebration.
It is likely that these things all contribute to sparkling wine’s power to seduce. But Lake thinks the true link between sparkling wine and seduction is actually the wine’s unique aroma and that aroma alone may increase desire and sexual arousal.
Thanks to the research of serendipitously named Dr. John Amoore, we know that the primary female pheromones are linked to the smells of seafood and soft, ripe cheeses. And it just so happens that the delicate aromas of soft cheese, such as Camembert, is an aromatic often associated with Champagnes and other sparkling wines made in the Méthode Champenoise.
But Champagne is a complex beverage. And it may not just produce scents that resemble a female pheromone. It appears also to produce an aroma not dissimilar to a specific male pheromonal aroma that is proven in studies to influence female reproductive physiology. (In other words, according to Lake’s findings, the act of simply smelling Champagne could jump-start a woman’s sex drive.)
Why you should look for a “sweaty” wine
Another aromatic often found in Champagnes and sparkling wines is something referred to as a “sweaty” note. And this aroma is also said to tempt women and men. According to Lake, the sparkling wines most likely to offer these aromas are ones made in Brut or Blanc de Blanc styles.
Other wine styles are noted for producing “sweaty” aromas, including aged Semillons and some Rieslings. Some white Burgundies offer this aroma as well.
Red wine and sex
Of course, it isn’t just white wines that are the best wines for men or women, when the objective is fanning flames of sexual desire. The scents used to describe many red wines – leather, sweat, spice, musk – are nearly identical to the scents emitted from the glands of a man’s hair follicles. This means they are essentially the same as the smells associated with the primary male sex hormone, androstenone.
In addition, Dr. Lake asserts, androstenone smells a great deal like the scent new oak imparts on fermenting grape juice. “The mature Cabernet Sauvignon has an essence which is as close to this natural sexual turn-on as one could hope for,” he adds. Perhaps this is the hidden explanation for the ever-rising trend toward full-bodied, oak-enhanced reds.
Can wine improve mood?
Although it might sound like a flimsy plot from an Anne Rice novel, a well-planned wine selection could just spell “sure thing.” You see, the scents we introduce to our bodies have the power to release more than just sexual hormones.
According to Lake, not only can scents trigger sexual excitement and attraction, but they can also alter mood. It is believed that pheromonal scents can improve mood, promote relaxation, self-assuredness and feelings of well-being. Dr. Lake’s research asserts that not just actual pheromones but those scents – like the ones in wine – that replicate pheromones, can trigger the same results in the brain.
What wine should you buy for your next date night?
If you want to put wine’s sensual promise into practice, you’re most likely to awaken the senses with wines featuring generous aromas. Champagne is always a great choice. But if you prefer still wines, try aged Sémillons, Chardonnays that are oak-fermented and aged in oak, aged, dry Rieslings. If you’re wondering how to temp a woman or man with a red wine, look for musky Syrahs, full-bodied, American Cabernet Sauvignons and earthy Bordeaux blends and red Burgundies.
So next time you’re thinking of serving a drink to improve your sex life, skip the cocktails and reach for that bottle of wine!
The information in this article is for entertainment purposes. If you struggle with sexual health, please consult a medical professional.
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