Fact or fiction: is wine really an aphrodisiac?

Evidence shows that wine and passion can indeed be a powerful pairing. Specifically, red wine, like an aromatic Chianti, may help turn up the heat on an amorous evening.

However, there is an important caveat.  Too much wine – – more than a glass or two – – can quickly turn the romantic temperature from hot to hopeless.

The link between wine and sexual desire

It’s no secret that alcohol can lower your inhibitions and make you feel more relaxed.  But researchers here in Tuscany found that there is more to the story.  A survey of almost 800 women revealed that those who drink moderate amounts of red wine have a better and more active sex life than those who don’t drink wine.

Why? The theory is that drinking red wine increases blood flow to a woman’s erogenous zones.  Alcohol is said to stimulate the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that regulates basic human functions, like hormones and sex drive.

For men, it’s been shown that red wine may boost the testosterone levels they retain in their bodies.  Studies have also discovered that the histamines in red wine can make you feel aroused, as long as you don’t have too much. Otherwise, things won’t go as planned.  You’ll get sleepy and wake up with a headache.

The sensual scent of wine

Most people associate smells with certain memories.  If you enjoyed a particular wine on a romantic evening in the past, chances are that a similar wine might conjure up the same feeling again.

Researchers have looked at what scents stimulate the sex drive.  As luck would have it, many of them are found in wine.

It’s not surprising that men and women prefer different scents. Women tend to be turned on by musky, earthy, woody, licorice, and cherry aromas.  If you’re planning a special evening with the woman in your life, we suggest Chianti Classico Docg, 2018, Vallone di Cecione, a fruity wine with scents of cherry.

Men say they’re aroused by aromas of lavender, caramel, butter, orange, licorice, baking spice and vanilla. In this case, you may want to try Chianti Classico Riserva, Drugo, 2016 Fattoria Santo Stefano, which has a luscious berry and vanilla bouquet.

At the end of the day, of course, it all comes down to the right chemistry and a good Chianti!