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Wine lovers score

So what was it that first attracted you to short, balding millionaire Paul Daniels?" Mrs Merton asked Debbie McGee. Clearly women find, money, power and eh, magic tricks, a turn on. But guys, if you lack any or all of these assets, could food and drink work as an aphrodisiac for you on St Valentine's night?

The answer just might be yes. Googling reveals a myriad of claims that all sorts of food and drink, including oysters, bananas, avocados, beef, chillies, ginger, asparagus, figs, dark chocolate and wine enhance libido.

I suspect a pinch of salt is required with all this but the last two do seem particularly interesting. Eating chocolate, especially the dark sort apparently, releases four times as many endorphins, the body's natural opiate, as a steamy kiss does, according to a University of Sussex study.

Wine, of course, contains alcohol, which reduces inhibitions, and sparkling wine on a romantic date can make the moment a bit more magic, but several studies have found that resveratrol, found in grape skins and hence red wine, affects the balance of estrogen and testosterone in our bodies in favour of the latter, which increases sex drive.

So, for that romantic dinner, why not start with oysters matched with Chablis, follow with stir-fried beef with asparagus, ginger, garlic and chilli served with Shiraz, and, finally, a chocolate mousse washed down with Asti Spumante. And, in case none of that does the trick, perhaps you could learn a few card tricks.