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Is wine an aphrodisiac? Apparently it is, which is good news for all you winelovers.

We know that wine is a great way to relax but what is in wine that make it more than a social lubricante?

A study involving 800 women carried out at the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital in Florence, suggests that sexual desire is improved with moderate consumption of wine because it increases blood flow to women’s erogenous areas.  Anyone for a glass of Nero ‘Avola?

Alcohol contains ethanol which, in moderate quantities, stimulates part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which controls our basic functions and hormone levels, making us feel more relaxed, looser, slighted aroused with a slight buzz.  Too much alcohol has the reverse effect, no surprises there.

We have heard that chocolate has aphrodisiac properties just like red win red wine because both contain amines, which are natural organic compounds. Analysis of red wines have shown that Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc have highest levels of amines.

Histamine, one of the better known amines, they have a sedative effect that can compress receptors in the brain that cause anxiety and can also be a stimulant but too much the adverse effect if we have too is drowsiness and poor sexual performance.  One glass of Carmenere rather than four if you want to enjoy the full benefits.

According to researchers at Kingston University London, red wine can increase the amount of testosterone in men. The key ingredient in wine is quercetin which blocks the natural elimination of testosterone through the urine.  Too much red wine will have the reverse effect and lower the level of testosterone.

Memories of aromas are some of the longest lasting.  A date or evening with a partner over a particular style of wine may stimulate arousal next time.  Remembering the aromas of a glass of Argentine Malbec while gazing into the eyes of the person opposite! So start paying more attention to how the wine smells at it could bring back pleasant memories.

Wines have many aromas that can be stimulating but in different ways for women and men.  Aromas that appeal mostly women are spices, black stone fruits, earth, musk. In fact recent studies in the US suggests that pheromones, similar to those in males, have been found in Pinot Noir, which is characterised by these aromas.  I don’t know if there is the Pinot Noir is French or American or from Argentina but I suppose many winelovers are thinking ‘who cares, give me a corkscrew’!

Also, wine contained antioxidants, polyphenols, that can be responsible for increasing sexual desire in women. Small amounts of this antioxidant qualities are said to make the skin shine.

So when it comes to wine and sex choose carefully, take it slowly, smell the aromas, enjoy the moment and let the wine work its magic.

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I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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