For this dish, keep the red wine in its bin, except for a young Beaujolais-Villages perhaps, or an inexpensive, chilled pinot noir. They're both very low in tannin, which is the element in the pairing that you want to avoid augmenting. Like an artichoke or the vegetable broccoli rabe, arugula is a bitter green (especially if its leaves are longer than your pinkie finger) and no good partner to the tannin in most red wine.
Besides, the marked salt and fat in this sandwich is on the prowl for a crisp, lean, dry white in order to refreshingly sweep the palate clean.
The food: Upscale BLTs
Mix 1/4 cup mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil; spread evenly onto 2 baguettes that you have split horizontally. Arrange slices of heirloom tomatoes on baguettes. Top with cooked applewood smoked bacon and fresh arugula leaves. Place bread tops on each; slice on an angle to create 4 sandwiches. Makes: 4 servings
2010 Vincent Vatan Pouilly-Fume "Selection Silex," Loire, France: The "fume" of the name is said to refer to the scent or smoke of gun steel in this version of sauvignon blanc, a fine aroma match for smoked meats; what's even better for food is its minerally acidity. $20
2012 Wirra Wirra Unoaked Chardonnay "Scrubby Rise," McLaren Vale, Australia: Just a straightforward, cool-ferment chardonnay with a tad of spritz to the finish; all apples, pear and white fruit aromas and flavors. $10-$12
2012 Breggo Cellars Riesling, Anderson Valley, California: Like biting into a teardrop: The fat end impresses with its concentration of fruit (white peach, lemon), while a sip purses your palate to a snappy finish. $25-$27
— Bill St. John, special to Tribune Newspapers