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Five Wines to Set the Mood

5 wines to help set the mood

I remember my favorite first date (hopefully my last first date) began with a bottle of wine. He came to my door armed, not with flowers, but with a bottle of cabernet sauvignon. As our relationship progressed, I had come to learn that he didn’t even like wine, instead my beau prefers a cold Budweiser or a smoky reposado over red or white. Regardless of his personal taste, he chose wine because he “wanted to be romantic.” For what romantic tableau would be complete without a bottle of wine?

Some turn to science when trying to explain the association between wine and romance. Scents and Sensuality, a book by Dr. Max Lake, explains that wine can ignite passion because the aromas they give off are reminiscent of human pheromones, molecules that signal physical attraction in the brain.  In addition, there have been numerous studies that describe the positive effects of wine on the cardiovascular system. Conclusion? Wine literally helps get the blood flowing.

Whatever your reason for adding wine to your special occasion, here are five varieties to choose from.


Champagne is the standard wine for romantic occasions and special celebrations. When paired with oysters (another aphrodisiac), champagne covers the rich and salty bivalve with tiny bubbles that pop­­ against the roof of your mouth. The whole experience is like taking a delicious bite of the ocean.


Syrahs or Shiraz (the Australian version) are a study in contrasting flavors, spicy pepper with mellow vanilla, dark berries with bright mint, to name just a few. It’s one of the darkest and full-bodied wines on the market. Because of its full flavor and high tannin levels, Syrah pairs well with soft, stinky cheeses like gorgonzola and camembert.


If you could bottle intensity, passion, and sun-drenched Italian afternoons, it would be a bottle of Amarone. To create a more complex and bold wine, Italian wine makers began to store grapes for weeks and even months in warm, low-humidity rooms, effectively drying the fruit before they are pressed. This process produces fruit with a higher sugar content, which means they have a potential to have higher alcohol levels. The typical Amarone is 15 – 16% alcohol by volume.


Renowned wine critic Robert Parker confesses to having a crush on Chataeuneuf-du-Pape. Tobacco, herbs, and leather aromatics supporting fruit and floral notes is just a small sample of what you can find in a bottle of Chataeuneuf-du-Pape. The combined experience provide what Parker described as “immediate gratification both intellectual and hedonistic in nature.”


Sauternes is a dessert wine best enjoyed with subtle sweets like Madeleine cake cookies or by itself. The full-bodied white Bordeux has a bright gold color and tastes like honey and exotic fruits. The wine also has good acidity which helps to balance the high sugar level.

Thanks to the folks at for presenting this post.  

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  1. D Johnson says:

    The Sauternes sounds really good! I have still not found a nice dessert wine that both hubby and myself like.

  2. Christian Alejandro says:

    I really like Chardonnays, but Champagne is great!!

  3. Sherry Compton says:

    I try to drink more wine – especially red – but I don’t know much about them or what they go with. A nice selection, and I really want to try the Chateauneuf-du-Pape. I like a subtle fruit flavor but nothing overly sweet.

  4. Amber Dempsey says:

    Mmm, I want to try the Sauternes. Will have to put it on my grocery list πŸ˜‰

  5. I love Shiraz! I am not a big fan of Champagne though. I have never tried the Amarone or Sauternes. I typically enjoy a good Merlot or Cabernet! I love hearing about these other types of wines. πŸ™‚

  6. Cinny says:

    Amarone sounds like a new wine that I’d love to try out

  7. Jenna Wood says:

    Shiraz is my personal favorite for a nice gourmet meal at home. I’m not familiar with Suternes, but they sound like something I’d enjoy as well.

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