Why that urge to buy wine and steak is more than just indulgence

Plenty of us celebrate the end of a busy working week by heading to our local wine merchant to buy wine for Friday evening, and pairing it with a slightly more indulgent meal than usual.

But as you head over to the butcher's for a slab of steak, you might not realise that there's more going on in your subconscious than meets the eye.

So what is it that drives us to buy wine and steak together so often? Scientists at Rutgers University and the Monell Chemical Senses Center suggest that it's not their similarities, but their differences, that makes them such a good pairing.

Wine, for example, can often feel 'rough' in the mouth, thanks to its astringent nature - and that's no bad thing.

Combine a sip of wine with a bite of fatty steak, which is relatively slippery on its own, and you have the perfect pairing.

Paul Breslin, one of the researchers, says: "The mouth is a magnificently sensitive somatosensory organ - arguably the most sensitive in the body.

"The way foods make our mouths feel has a great deal to do with what foods we choose to eat."