Pairing wine with aphrodisiac foods sparked a passionate debate on CTV’s Canada AM this morning. (It’s never to early too think about it.)

We’ll match libido-lifting dishes with different wine types to stimulate all of your senses.

Many ingredients have historically been considered aphrodisiacs, sometimes because the food physically resembled male private parts (avocados, which according to the Aztecs, grew on the testicle tree) to their female counterparts (oysters and figs).

Other foods, such as chili peppers, provoked the fiery passion of love, with its increased heart beat and sweating.

Yet other foods may have contained minerals that increase energy, stamina and blood flow throughout the body (as well as to vital organs), such as Ginkgo Biloba.

chocolate and wine valentinesHere are 8 matches we explored and I’ll fill in the wines after our segment airs:

1. Oysters

- Ancient Romans name oysters as an aphrodisiac based on promiscuous women gulping down lots of them. (They also thought the same of turnips so perhaps it was a guessing game.)

- Casanova, that 18th-century Venetian lover ate 40 oysters a day for breakfast with his mistress in a bathtub built for two

- Oysters have vital minerals such as copper, iron and zinc, all of which are essential for male fertility.

Oyster Wine Pairing: crisp, dry white wine or sparkling wine to cleanse the palate of the iodine, fishy taste.

Fresh oysters2. Asparagus

- Those long green stalks are best served lightly steamed, and still firm, bathed in melting butter or a hollandaise sauce.

- They’re tough on wine due to natural organic compounds that make wine taste bitter

Asparagus Wine Pairing: a zesty herbal sauvignon blanc, especially those from New Zealand.

aparagusstalks3. Soft Cheeses

- Soft, creamy cheeses, such as camembert and brie, ooze sensuality when they flow like lava over a crusty piece of baguette and coat every crevice in your mouth.

Soft Cheese Wine Pairing: a buttery chardonnay if you like to layer your richness, or a steely riesling or sauvignon blanc to cut through it as a contrast.

4. Pine Nuts

- Pine nuts, like oysters, are also high in zinc.

- They’ve often been part of potions prescribed to the love-sick, but they work just as well in a pesto.

Pine Nuts Wine Pairing: sauvignon blanc works here as well, as does a zippy pinot grigio.

5. Acai berry

- Brazilian acai berry, called “natural Viagra”

- Acai is the the most concentrated botanical source of iron in the world, improving blood flow throughout the body.

- Tastes like chocolate and dark berries.

Acai Berry Wine Pairing: a full-bodied red with mocha and dark chocolate notes like an Australian shiraz or grenache.

6. Strawberries and Whipped Cream

- Shape and texture come into play here again.

- This dessert is not as sweet and rich as chocolate, but it does require a medium to sweet wine that has citrus notes.

Strawberries and Whipped Cream Wine Pairing: Icewine

7. Chocolate

- Casanova also loved chocolate, drinking a cup of hot chocolate a day.

- Chocolate ignites similar positive endorphins to being in love.

- The wine match depends on the amount of sugar and milk solids in the chocolate: the less of these, the drier the wine can be, such as amarone and dark chocolate, which also has a higher concentration of cocoa.

- For milk chocolate, that’s sweeter with more milk solids, go for a richer, sweeter dessert wine such as port.

- Passionfruit caramels blend both the sharpness of the fruit and the toffee richness of the caramel. Try a tawny port.

8. Bacon

- Yes, bacon. The smell of food can stimulate desire, as studies have shown that certain aromas increase blood flow to strategic areas (for men, pumpkin pie and lavender, and for women, cucumber and licorice). Conversely, those who lose their sense of smell also diminish their sexual appetite, and conversely.

- So bacon hasn’t been scientifically proven, but I’m nominating it as one of the most potent aphrodisiacs on the planet: there’s nothing sexier in the morning when someone is cooking it for you (and does the dishes afterwards).

Bacon Wine Pairing: A full-bodied red wine with a savoury, meaty note … and a very long finish!

Posted with permission of CTV.