Wine Wednesdays – 2014 Peter Zemmer Punggl Pinot Bianco

I keep a note in my phone with a run-on list of restaurants by neighborhood that I want to try.  It seems like every time I cross one off, another is added, there’s a never-ending supply!  I recently made it to Gato, which has been on my list for quite some time now.  
Over dinner we enjoyed a bottle of the 2014 Punggl Pinot Bianco by Peter Zemmer.  Located in the Alto Adige region in Italy, the family has been producing wine since 1928.  This particular Pinot Bianco is harvested from some of the winery’s best vineyards located on the valley floor of the region.  The wine is fermented in a mix of stainless steel and oak, but does not pick up that overly oaky or buttery flavor.  Instead, it remains extremely clean and bright, a result of the cooler growing climate and stony soil.  It drank very similar to a Chablis, one that balances tart green apple, fresh acidity and minerality, and a smooth medium-bodied finish.   

The menu wasn’t what I had expected, I thought it was more tapas/small plates focused.  But it was overwhelmingly delicious!  We started with their version of tapas or a “bar sampler” where you can choose 3 small bites from the top section of the menu.  Fair warning, these are literally 1-2 bite morsels and would be hard to share with more than 1 other person.  In that sense, I would suggest skipping this section of the menu and focusing elsewhere to get more bang for your buck.
From front to back:  piquillo filled with raw tuna, beef crudo, and eleven layer potato.
Next we split the charred carrots and roasted octopus.  The carrots may have been my favorite dish of the night.
We ended with the kale a mushroom paella, not your typical paella, this was not a large-format dish but was fine for sharing with 1 other person.  After watching Bobby Flay recreate this dish on my favorite TV show The Chew I plan to try this one at home!

We skipped dessert in favor of a walk around the block to Morgenstern’s Ice Cream, but I think I’ll have to come back to try their famous cheesecake!

Wine:  2014 Peter Zemmer Punggl Pinot Bianco
Purchased:  Gato NYC
Price:  $17 retail

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