“Mmmmm, that is a wine, but how did you do it?”
A sleekly striking black-and-chrome grille pulls in to the sound of tinny parlor piano; cut to a pristine cream flower arrangement, and the sparkle of a cocktail party reflected in a gilded mirror.
As the camera pans in, we discover to where we’ve been transported; it’s an invitation to Dinner at Julia’s. An invitation to table, an invitation back in time. Checked sportcoats and mustaches abound as Julia herself lopes to center-screen with that singular combination of confidence and ungainliness that helped make her so beloved to so many. As that queerly pitched and somewhat strangled (yet somehow sonorously pure and delightful!) voice begins to sound out, welcoming us to what promises to be a delightful duck dinner (christened “Designer Duck”), the camera cuts to guest #1 — Chef Yves Labbe — who can be seen gesticulating firmly with index finger in the air, no doubt weighing in on some culinary debate of great importance, as Julia describes the dish he has prepared.
As Julia introduces guest number #2, the camera bring us in, then up, in tandem with the northern sweep of a wine glass, as it carries its precious liquid onto the palate of none other than Paul Draper himself; striking in goatee and decidedly lengthy sideburns; crisply pointed collar, perfectly assembled tie.
Cut to a new scene; seated in easy chairs laid out in front of wine racks, their conversation begins with Julia rubbing her hands together excitedly, and asking, “Paul, what have you brought us?”
As they talk on about the dishes to be served and the wines Paul has selected, Julia clearly delights in the conundrum she’s pitched Paul to pair; artichokes with lobster! Older zinfandels? For the most part, “too rich, and too full.” The solution? 1977 Paso Robles, a “light vintage” that provides “good acidity” and good “clarity of character.” Julia giggles with pleasure.
Paul continues on, describing the Monte Bello, his choice for the the duck entrée. Julia interrupts, “Can we taste it?” Paul pours. She sniffs. “Mmmmm, that is a wine, but how did you do it?”
To find out the answer to this question, and to find out what Paul selected to pair with dessert — crepes & strawberries; and to hear Julia announce the Monte Bello at table, and to see Chef Yves Labbe applaud, and to enjoy the aerial shot of the pre-meal toast, you’ll have to watch the whole film. Enjoy!
To see more videos from Ridge Vineyards, please visit the Ridge Vineyards YouTube Channel.