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Two-time James Beard Award-winning authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg know a thing or two about matchmaking. They have been coupled both personally and professionally for the past two decades researching and writing their bestselling books such as The Flavor Bible, What to Drink with What You Eat, Culinary Artistry, and their latest The Food Lover's Guide to Wine.
While they are happy to share a few pairing tips on what underlies great matches, they insist that the real beauty is in experiencing these peak pairings for yourself to see how they work their magic for you and your palate.
And what better time to give a few (or all) of them a try than the days leading up to (or even following) Valentine's Day? After all, it's impossible for aphrodisiacs to do their thing if they're paired with the wrong partner - so there's plenty of motivation to find the right matches for your Valentine's Day repasts.
Here are a few of Karen and Andrew's favorite aphrodisiac food and wine pairings and why they work:
Pairing tip: Consider a match's pH level (i.e. acidity vs. alkalinity) - and counterbalance saltiness (which has a higher pH) with acidity (which lowers the pH).
2. Asparagus + Gruner Veltliner
Pairing tip: Green loves green - pair green veggies with a Grüner Veltliner or grassy Sauvignon Blanc.
3. Cheddar Cheese + Ice Cider
Pairing tip: If the flavors are compatible on a plate, they'll also work together from plate to glass.
4. Dark Chocolate + The Holy Trinity
Pairing tip: Trust tried-and-true classic pairings, which are classic for a reason - they work.
5. Breakfast + Bugey
Pairing tip: When in doubt, opt for a rosé sparkling wine - a rosé can morph from a white to a red as need be, and bubbles go with virtually everything.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.