Date: 28 January 2016
Location: Farra di Soligo, Veneto, Italy
Wine: Gottardi 2012 Blauburgunder Mazzon Südtirol
Cuisine: Forward-Thinking Treviso Italian

Wine List: It’s rare to see wine lists in wine-producing European countries that bother with wines outside their own country, sometimes even outside their region. This was not the case at Locanda Marinelli, which offers some excellent grower Champagnes and top-notch Burgundies, among others.

Pick: My hosts tasked me with picking the wine, always a bit tough to undertake as a guest even if the offer is kind. Luckily, as I browsed the list, one mentioned a Pinot Noir the two had discovered there. I’m always game for a Pinot Noir, especially one I’ve never tried. There aren’t many Blauburgunders from Südtirol (or, Alto Adige in Italian) in New York, and I thought I’d tried them all. Happily I was wrong, and Gottardi Blauburgunders are imported to the USA!

We ordered an abundance of dishes, from shrimp to fish to risotto. As expected, this lithe, cool climate Pinot Noir was flexible with each thanks to its lilting acidity and lacey tannins. What did surprise was how rapidly the juice changed in the glass. Reticent at first with little more than earthiness and red berries to offer, it exploded into a bouquet of roses and hyacinths. Had it been a lazy weekend afternoon, I would have suggested we order another bottle to sip on the porch overlooking the valley. This Pinot also would pair perfectly with good conversation and a gorgeous view.