Hit & Miss: Peter Zemmer 2015 Pinot Bianco Punggl with Panko-Crusted Veal Picatta & Vietnamese-Style Chicken Salad with Vermicelli Noodles

Wine: Peter Zemmer 2015 Pinot Bianco Punggl
Origin: Alto Adige/Südtirol, Italy

Taste: Light and feathery in aromatics, this wine smells of heather, flax seed and yellow pear skin. Medium in body, this subtle white feels very closed when it served too cold. At cellar temperature, it offers up ginger, white pepper, almonds and white peaches.

Expectation: This pale and youthful white is neutral on both the nose and palate. That should make it versatile with flavorful, even pungent foods. Moreover, while many neutral white wines are light in body and alcohol, this one has more oomph with 13.5% alcohol and a light mouthcoating of glycerol. This should help it take on bolder fare rather than simply salads, fish and seafood dishes.

Hit: Panko-Crusted Veal Picatta
The idea of this pairing was to blend the wine’s subtlety with the delicacy of veal. It worked brilliantly! The chicken stock, garlic and panko played to the wine’s earthy, mineral tones, which were further emphasized by the salty capers. The medium body of the wine matched that of the main course and showed just enough lifting acidity to cleanse the palate along with the lemon spritzed on the picatta right before it was served.

Miss: Vietnamese-Style Chicken Salad with Vermicelli Noodles
I thought the bright tones of this salad – especially the cilantro and mint – would kick up a storm with this white. It did! In addition, the savory poultry notes of the chicken blended nicely with the wine’s substantial minerality. Unfortunately, the dressing’s anchovies overwhelmed the good stuff and created a sharp and funky fishy tone that dominated every morsel. I doubt any wine could have championed that fish sauce!