Valentines Day is the sweetest of holidays, but for the restaurant business, it’s also one of the most competitive. The best way to get couples into your restaurant this year is to celebrate the pairing of couples with the pairing of romantic desserts and wine. We’re sure you’ve already decided on your Valentines menu offerings, so we’re spreading the love by giving you four dessert and wine pairings you can use on your menu. Lavender, honey, figs and basil will bring love to your menu, and pairing them effectively will make your customers fall in love all over again–this time with your restaurant. The weather may be cold (and with that polar vortex it’s getting colder every day), but the inside of your restaurant will heat up when you serve these fun Valentines Day aphrodisiac dessert and wine pairings.
1. Lavender Crème Brûlée and Riesling
Lavender is an aphrodisiac that has been used to drive men wild since the beginning of history. In Ancient Rome, women would keep a sprig of lavender near their bed to keep their man excited, and Josephine is said to have given Napoleon Bonaparte a lavender tea every night before bed to make the night more enjoyable. Lavender helps with blood flow, relaxation and stimulation, so it’s a natural aphrodisiac. A great wine to pair with Lavender Crème Brûlée is Riesling. This wine has a sweet taste and flowery aroma, and its subtlety lets the lavender’s fragrance grow on the palate.
2. Honey-Vanilla Budino and Demi-Sec Champagne
Honey isn’t just the name you call your sweetheart, it’s also a historical aphrodisiac with a long tradition. In medieval times, couples would drink mead (main ingredient: honey) to get steamy, and the term “honeymoon” comes from a tradition in ancient Persia in which couples would drink mead every day for a month following their marriage so that they could properly consummate their union. Honey helps increase testosterone production and estrogen use, so its aphrodisiac properties are also clear. Honey budino (Italian for “pudding”) can be tough to pair with wine because it’s just so darn sweet, but Demi-sec is the second-sweetest champagne category, so this champagne pairs with the budino deliciously and decadently.
3. Grilled Figs with Sweetened Marscapone and Moscato d’Asti
Figs have been considered as aphrodisiacs since at least the time of the Ancient Greeks, but there is absolutely no scientific data backing up the claim that figs enhance desire. Figs are considered to be stimulating these days because of their, ahem, resemblance to certain parts of the female anatomy, but we think that aphrodisiacs are based in the mind, and if you’ve been told that a fig will get you hot, a fig will indeed get you hot. So, get those couples hot by pairing this dessert with Moscato d’Asti, and the bright, fruity, floral and fizzy wine will make those grilled figs shine like the eyes of your beloved.
4. Basil Ice Cream and Sauvignon Blanc
Basil is another aphrodisiac that doesn’t actually have any scientific backing, but that hasn’t stopped the stories throughout history of women dusting basil over their bodies as a perfume to attract men and drive them wild. Basil is purported to boost fertility and stimulate men’s and women’s sex drives, so you should definitely have this classic on your Valentine’s Day dessert menu. Basil ice cream’s creamy texture pairs well with the Sauvignon Blanc’s creamy texture, and the basil brings out the grassy, fresh taste of the wine, making each the perfect palate-cleansing complement to the other.
Here’s to you and your restaurant’s Valentine’s Day success—may your pairings work well, and may all your Valentine’s customers fall madly in love with your food.
- Why Your Wine Menu Is Scaring Your Guests - February 27, 2015
- How to Host a Better Restaurant Week and Get More Customers - February 23, 2015
- Choosing Your Restaurant Wine Glass – 3 Approaches - February 16, 2015