Is Wine an Aphrodisiac?

We all know wine can make a good party even better, but did you know it also delivers a range of health benefits? From improved gut and liver function to better mood and cognition, it can be an ally to your mind and body.

But wine’s unexpected benefits don’t end there. As it turns out, the compounds specifically found in red wine can give you a little pep in your sexual step. That is, red wine can be a powerful aphrodisiac.

Common foods that inspire desire are chocolate, pistachios, and oysters. But if you prefer to drink an aphrodisiac, red wine gives you the most bang for your buck compared to its white counterparts. We’ll review how wine impacts your mind and its properties that contribute to potential more satisfying sex life. 

Before getting into the nitty-gritty, which includes a review of how wine impacts your mind and its properties that contribute to a potentially more satisfying sex life—we want to remind you to drink responsibly! Your safety and relationships can depend on it.

To reap the benefits of wine, you only need a little bit. Moderation is defined as one drink a day for women and two a day for men.

If you drink too much, you’ll experience quite the opposite effect; research confirms it. Now, let’s delve deeper into why a glass of Pinot Noir can make you feel a little frisky. 

Your Brain on Wine

Alcohol is classified as a depressant, which means it slows down the processes of the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is responsible for attention, thought, speech, perception, memory, and awareness. This effect also contributes to people being more outgoing, hence the liquid-courage sentiment that goes along with having a couple of drinks. 

Wine also contains natural compounds from the amine group. One you might be most familiar with is dopamine.

The brain’s reward center is activated when dopamine is released from doing pleasurable activities such as laughing with friends, enjoying a cup of coffee, listening to your favorite music, and sipping on your favorite red wine. In short, wine—in the right doses—can make you feel happy and relaxed. 

Wine Properties and Sex

Blood Flow

The circulatory system is essential for a healthy sex life. Blood flow to erogenous parts of the body makes for an enjoyable experience, but certain health conditions can contribute to poor circulation.

An Italian study concluded that, for women, the outcomes of regularly consuming one to two glasses of red wine were increased sexual arousal and better sexual function compared to a group of non-drinkers and those who chose other alcoholic beverages.

Likewise, for men, proper circulation is necessary for performance. However, a little too much wine can result in poor blood flow, making it difficult to… shall we say, perform. Before imbibing, check with your doctor to see if wine can help improve your circulation.

Hormone Management 

Balancing hormones could be as easy as drinking a glass of wine. A study found that the consumption of red wine increases men’s testosterone levels by inhibiting the enzyme UGT2B17.

Normally, this enzyme rids the body of testosterone through urination, but red wine affects your body’s natural process here. And because you’re losing less T when you pee, it means your keeping more stored in your bloodstream. However, researchers also show that anything north of two glasses a day can significantly lower testosterone levels and decreased sex drive. Case in point: moderation is key. 

Red wine also helps balance the female hormone, estrogen. An increase in estrogen levels creates the conditions for cancer cells to grow, putting women at risk of developing breast cancer.

Consumption of red wine is linked to decrease levels of estrogen among premenopausal women. A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health concluded that the protective properties found in grapes of red wine were not found in white wine grapes. The compounds found in skin and seeds give red wine it’s color but also helps manage hormones.

The Power of Flavinoids 

The American Journal of Nutrition published a study emphasizing that foods with flavonoids can improve sexual performance. Fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids, which give many varieties of produce their bright color.

The findings concluded that consistently consuming food and drinks high in flavonoids are associated with decreased erectile dysfunction. The study examined the habitual consumption of the top five flavonoid sources, which are strawberries, blueberries, red wine, apples/pears, and citrus.

Just by adding in these foods and wine to their diet, “men in the highest [quintile] compared with the lowest quintile of intakes of flavanones, flavones, and anthocyanins had a 9–11% reduced incidence of ED.” These sub-classes of flavonoids help improve sexual performance. To reap maximum benefits, researchers suggest combining consistent consumption of red wine in moderation with regular exercise. 

Histamines 

Typically, when one thinks of histamines, they think allergies and antihistamines. Histamines are a stimulant and involved in the inflammatory response when exposed to an allergen. They try to rid the body of the allergen, such as grass, by causing itching, sneezing, and watering eyes. But histamines can also maintain arousal and alertness.  

Those sensitive to histamines should be mindful of consumption because they may cause inflammation and high blood pressure. You might also notice a stuffy nose coming on when sipping on a red. The slight reaction is similar to being exposed to something you are allergic to and caused by histamines. 

Red is for Love

To recap: Red wine, in moderation, can help improve your sex life. So grab a bottle to split with your partner over dinner. One bottle is more than enough to get the juices flowing. If you want to stock up on local red wines to boost your sex drive, get your tickets to Wine on the Lake.