This is how the morning was spent: searching through restaurants' online reservation systems in vain trying to secure an increasingly elusive Valentine's Day reservation at a reasonable time.
Clicking through the time slots at about 10 different restos, it appears all that's available are the 5:30 or 9:30 seatings -- if anything is available at all. And as we are trying to squeeze in a larger V-Day group of about four to six, and not the standard Feb. 14 deuce as is so customary, we are, as they say, S-O-L.
What's that, you say? Why would we be looking for a larger group to dine out on a Tuesday evening? Well, for starters, the rest of the dining world does not go into hibernation on the day the day the lovers come out to play. And further to that, it's Erin's birthday, and every year she gets snubbed by those doing something more romantic, so we thought we'd celebrate like the rest of the human race and go out in style.
Alas, foiled again. But the more we think about it, the more we wonder, is staying in on Valentine's Day really such a bad thing?
We've worked a long time in restaurants and have grown a bit weary of the hoopla that surrounds Feb. 14. The pricey prix fixe menus for two, the cheesy decorations, the embarrassing practice of giving a single red rose to all the women dining in the place and the boatloads of couples who don't normally dine out, but feel some sort of obligation to do so, because, well, it is Valentine's Day, after all.
Now before you accuse us of being haters, we are not. We think it's a hard world out there, so any chance people are given to celebrate something good, they should take it and go crazy. But just like three-hour lineups at an amusement park for a 30-second roller coaster ride, at some point the fun has jumped the shark.
So instead of fighting for a reservation and ultimately accepting whatever leftover time slots are available, and the relatively high chance of getting a server who mentally checked out a few hours ago, we're staying in and celebrating with our favourite wines paired with some really delicious food to be shared with some of the people we love the most.
If you find yourself in the same boat, consider throwing a themed V-Day party of your own. Include foods that are know to ignite passion and serve these amourous goodies with wines to really set the senses ablaze.
Because of its phallic shape, asparagus fall under the law of similarities. That in addition to its ability to <a href="http://www.alternet.org/health/132846" target="_hplink">boost histamine production</a>, necessary for orgasm, means is considered a powerful motivator for romance. Authors throughout time have given it a shoutout for its sensual properties. <strong>Pair with:</strong> New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr
The Aztecs referred to the avocado tree as “Ahuacuati” which means “testicle tree.” ‘Nuff said. <strong>Pair with</strong> Austrian Grüner Veltliner
Sweet basil has been used to stimulate sex drive for centuries. Women used to <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/aphrodisiac3.htm" target="_hplink">stop their men from straying</a> into the arms of another by powdering their bosom with dried basil -- apparently it drove the guys wild. <strong>Pair with</strong> Ontario Unoaked Chardonnay Photo credit: Rob Cardillo
Um, duh. Scientifically speaking, chocolate contains chemicals that affect neurotransmitters in the brain and make you want to, ahem, study chemistry. <strong>Pair with</strong> French Banyuls Photo credit: Chocolate Reviews, Flickr
For those with one-track minds, the insides of figs are said to resemble female sex organs, and a man breaking one open and eating it in front of his female lover is considered a strongly erotic act. <strong>Pair with</strong> Italian Vin Santo
In ancient Egypt, honey-based medicines were used to cure sterility & impotence. In modern day porn, it’s a useful edible prop. <strong>Pair with</strong> Alsatian Off-dry Pinot Gris Photo credit:Waugsberg
Leave it to the Italians, but oysters' aphrodisiac properties were documented by the Romans as far back as the second century A.D. <strong>Pair with</strong> French Muscadet
A libido stimulant since Medieval times, pine nuts have been a key ingredient in love potions through out the ages. <strong>Pair with</strong> French Chardonnay (Burgundy) Photo credit: Paul Goyette
Again, this is an Italian discovery. The heady scent of the rare truffle is rumoured to heighten skin’s sensitivity to touch. <strong>Pair with</strong> Italian Barolo
Wine in itself is an aphrodisiac. It relaxes us, loosens us up. Just make sure you pace yourself, as <em>Girls Gone Wild</em> is not exactly the picture of romance. Unless that's your thing. Then give 'er.
Follow Erin and Courtney Henderson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheWineSisters