My love affair with Baco Noir began back in the 90’s. I was waiting on tables in various casual and formal dining spots in downtown Toronto and the west end. The Gipsy Kings emanated out of every speaker within ear shot and Abba seemed poised to make an unfortunate come back.
My occupation afforded me a bittersweet learning environment. Upselling more interesting wine was the order of the day. Gently peeling back the curtain of this varietal showcase was almost dizzying but the audience demanded a different performance; mediocrity.
It seemed as though if the grape didn’t come from a particular bin number or a bottle that was adorned with some winged creature plastered in amber you might as well just tell your customers that you were out of wine.
However stubbornness mingled with my new found passion for unapologetic wines from the Okanagan and Niagara allowed me the honour of introducing these new nectars to the curious and mostly delighted few. And the one that stood out for me was the most unabashed of them all; Baco Noir. The dark, rich, pluminess made me think I had discovered what it was like to drink velvet.
It wasn’t until a couple of careers later that I was able to marry my old passion with a new one; chocolate. The fruit forward, earthy full mouth feel or Organic, Fair Trade chocolate from the Dominican seemed like the perfect fit for a sauce featuring Baco Noir.