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Senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec has been with Wine Spectator since 1997. She tastes New Zealand wines and California Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc and "other" whites.
MaryAnn Worobiec

Kicking Off Tomato Season with an Oregon White

Erath Pinot Blanc Willamette Valley 2009

MaryAnn Worobiec
Posted: August 30, 2010

I saw an interview with Julia Child, filmed shortly before she passed away, where she was asked what dish she would choose to be named after her. Julia described a perfectly ripe tomato on a piece of white bread slathered with mayonnaise, dubbing it the Julia Child Sandwich. She suggested eating it with a knife and fork.

I’ve since developed my own version of the Julia Child. Mine is open-faced and starts with a slice of lightly toasted sourdough bread, with just a thin seal of mayo and thick slices of tomatoes from my garden. I top it with some crunchy sea salt and a couple of cranks from the peppermill. I don’t eat mine with a knife and fork—in fact, I’m usually so excited, I take my first few bites standing up at the kitchen counter.

The extremely cool summer in Napa has delayed my garden-to-table dinners, but I finally got to eat my first Julia Child, and enjoyed it with a simple cucumber salad (also from the garden), dressed with just some salt, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. To celebrate, I poured myself a glass of Erath's Pinot Blanc Willamette Valley 2009 ($14). The wine’s soft acidity was lovely—it really let the tomato stand out (and not interfere with the cucumber’s lemon juice topping). The citrus flavors were well-focused, and there was a slight toasty edge that I really enjoyed, especially on the finish. I rated it 86 points, non-blind.

As Julia would say, “Bon appétit!”

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Tim Sinniger
Bend, Oregon —  August 30, 2010 9:13pm ET
Sounds great! If you have not tried the Bethel Heights Pinot Blanc it's worth searching out. They just moved into the 2009 vintage and I think it would accompany your sandwich well.

Love Julia!!!

Bon Appetit
Russell Quong
Sunnyvale, CA, USA —  September 1, 2010 11:06pm ET
What a smashing idea....I'll have to discover my version of the Julia Child, staring from yours, now that the N Calif tomato crop has finally ripened. And it sounds like I'll have to experiment to find the right white to go along with it.

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