After many years of working in some of Napa's finest restaurants and then in my own private catering business, I noticed that at the end of a meal many people returned to their glass of red wine craving something sweet but not necessarily wanting something as rich as a dessert. So, about five years ago I started to play around with different types of dark chocolates that could work to fill this need.
I have always had a passion for dark chocolate so I continued to work on my recipe for many years. Just like with my passion for food, I focused only on the finest bittersweet dark chocolates. I wanted to create something that could compliment even the most powerful of red wines. I tried many different kinds of chocolate with varying percentages of cacao and experimented with many ingredients looking for the right match. I found that roasted almonds smoothed the flavors in the chocolate and that little extra crunch added to its complexity on the palate. I decided to add a little pinch of salt to the batch and I was thrilled with the result. Salt is my favorite ingredient, in the right balance it complements and enhances the characteristics of any dish. I knew that I had found the perfect balance and my recipe was complete.
I began making it for my catering events and before I knew it I was making it by the pound. The chocolate became so popular that people would ask for seconds and then thirds, some would even take it home with them. I was getting requests and follow up phone calls from so many people that I decided to finally start Bark No. 72 and take it to the next level.
I have had my share of chocolate and red wine. Being married to a winemaker helps with my supply of great wines. Before I created Bark No. 72, I had never found a combination that really complemented both the wine and the chocolate. The flavor in Bark No. 72 plays on the wine's strengths and builds a totally new chocolaty experience. Bark No. 72 compliments the fruity characteristics of red wines, coating the palate with the cacao butter and oils from the roasted almonds, enhancing the elegance and softening the mouth feel of the wine. The salt is my favorite part; it ties everything together and helps to lift all the best characteristics and flavors to a whole other level.
I invite you to try my Bark No. 72 with your favorite red wines. it's also pretty good next to a tall glass of milk, according to my kids.
Photography courtesy of Celia Carey www.glassworldfilms.com