Seduced by wine
The elixir of Bacchus… The world’s last legal intoxicant… Wine has long been considered the liquid precursor to sensual pleasure. Popular thinking associates the loss of inhibition brought on by all forms of alcohol with wild, Bacchanalian revelry. But there just might be more to the powers of wine than simple, alcoholic stimulation. Read on to discover how to tempt a woman, or a man, with the mere aroma of wine.
According to the research of Australian 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.
But although Lake maintains that the entire sensory experience of wine, from appearance to lingering finish, is an act of temptation, the aroma is what can tempt a woman or man to thoughts of more sensual acts.
The best wines for seduction
And it is Champagne and sparkling wines that Lake deems the most likely to turn on a lover. There is much to love about Champagne. There’s the celebratory “pop” of a cork. Don’t forget the giddy sensation of the bubbles. And then there’s the fact that Champagne, for most of us, isn’t an everyday drink. These things could all contribute to sparkling wine’s power to seduce…But Lake thinks the key is its unique aroma.
Thanks to the research of serendipitously named Dr. John Amoore, we know that the primary female pheromones, thiethylamine and isovaleric acid, 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.
A complex beverage, Champagne produces aromatics that resemble a female pheromone. But it also produces a male pheromonal aroma proven in studies to influence female reproductive physiology. In addition, Champagnes and sparkling wines also often produce a “sweaty” note, said to tempt women and men. To capture these aromas and set the tone for passion, Lake recommends serving Brut or Blanc de Blanc sparkling wines–and they must be ones made in the Champenoise method.
Other wine styles are noted for producing “sweaty” aromas, including aged Semillons and some Rieslings. Some white Burgundies offer this aroma as well.
How red wine can tempt a woman or a man
Of course, it isn’t just white wines that tempt a woman, or a man for that matter. 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. Which means they are essentially the same as the smells associated with the primary male sexual 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.
Wine and happy hormones
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. Not only can scents trigger sexual excitement and attraction, they can 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 bran.
What wine should you buy?
If you want to put wine’s sensual promise into practice, you’re most likely to awaken the senses with wines generous in aroma. Champagne is always a great choice. But if you prefer still wines, try aged Semillons, Chardonnays that are oak-fermented and aged in oak, aged, dry Rieslings. To temp a woman or man with a red wine, look for musky Syrahs, full-bodied, American Cabernet Sauvignons and earthy Bordeaux and Burgundies.
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