No idea why, but a glass of red wine is more sexually – relevant? – than a glass of white. Pouring a glass of white wine over a lovers’ dinner is kind of like putting on some Robyn, when Robyn isn’t your girlfriend, but wants you to call her (and also think it’s totally cool to roll around a lot).
White wine actually could make sense on Valentine’s Day, pending the pairing, though we tend to associate Valentine’s Day with chocolate, which is not quite white wine’s best friend. It’s romantically relevant, but a bit too acidic. But pour a glass of red wine and it’s all Marvin Gaye, all day.
The basic question is why—why is red wine more, blush, sexy than white? Honestly, and this seems probably true, it’s the color. Then again red wine also has tannins, fruit, even cocoa-y depth. And then there’s the supposed concept that red wine can help with (searching for a euphemism for erectile dysfunction) love pertness? Red wine can actually increase blood flow in a way that’s beneficial to, well, freaky stuff. (It supposedly stops testosterone from leaving your body.)
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There’s also the fact that red is an alluring, as in scientifically documented-ly alluring, color. Bulls aren’t the only ones who run to it. We all notice red stuff, especially at Valentine’s Day. According to Psychology Today, “We know that men all over the world are attracted to signals of you in a female (smooth skin, lush hair, generous lips, terrible taste in music and low self esteem*), to the “hourglass” figure (a waist to hips ratio of 0.7) and so on. Now, many studies point to another fundamental source of attraction: the color red.”
And it turns out women don’t at all suffer from (moderate) red wine consumption. According to a study published by the Journal of Sexual Medicine, and apparently ranking information per the Female Sexual Function Index (which is not, weirdly, measured in Tom Hardy’s or Idris Elba’s), women who drink red wine report higher sexual drives. Polyphenols also are good for skin health. You won’t have a “just married glow,” but you might have a “just intoxicated, kind of contemplating second base” glow. Those are our quotes, and also, yes we fully recognize the sexistness of plying ladies to drink red wine to increase sex drives and/or skin glow.
The basic conclusion: “compounds found in red wine may improve sexual functioning by increasing blood flow to key areas of the body.” It should be noted, women who drank more than two glasses a day were excluded from the study, as the inevitable intoxication factor would muck with sexual findings. And yes, we hope to never repeat the phrase “sexual findings.”
The real answer to why red wine is sexier than white is actually incredibly obvious, and the same reason red wine drinkers can be unfairly, annoyingly biased against white wine: red wine can have tannins, rich red ruby fruit, florals, spices, and many other complex, primal elements. White wine, while perfectly complex, has flavors that have way more to do with slate, citrus, apple skin, stone, lime, and yes, more stone. Not quite romantic. Thrilling and bracing, more like a thrill-ride of wine that refreshes your palate and sets you up on a much needed makeover montage—which will, potentially, yield some red wine lovin.’ Or just you lovin’ red wine.