BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo-based sommelier Leo Schneemann knows his wine. Trained in Austria and France, Schneemann has worked in some of the finest restaurants, on a luxury cruise ship, and is now the sommelier manager at Hutch's in Buffalo.
Schneemann is now sharing his expertise with his top three wine recommendations for Thanksgiving dinner.
"Pairing wine can be very tricky. People don't know what goes with what, if it's too sweet or too dry, and what to serve with turkey,' Schneemann said.
"We are looking for a relationship that elevates not just the wine, but also elevates the food and elevates the whole experience."
To appeal to what Schneemann calls a broad spectrum of Buffalo wine consumers, his recommendations consider the east and west coasts of the United States, as well as the celebrated Mosel wine region in Germany.
All of the below recommendations can be found in most wine stores across Western New York.
1. Standing Stone Vineyards
Finger Lakes, NY
Price: approximately $13-$17
Leo's analysis: very straightforward, floral notes but with a nice hint of acidity. And what I like so much about it is that it is local, just two hours from here.
Pairs best with: turkey dinner
2. Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen
Price: approx. $21-$27
Leo's analysis: I came across the wines from Dr. Loosen many years ago. He is actually not just a Riesling producer, he is probably the Riesling rock star in Germany. This wine is a medium-dry Riesling
Pairs best with: appetizers, cheese, dessert
3. Au Bon Climat
Santa Barbara County, California
Price: Approx. $20-$25
Leo's analysis: red fruit notes like sour cherry, a little bit of acidity
Pairs best with: I think with the lighter meat of turkey, lighter reds go very, very well.
Above all, Schneemann recommends you pick wine based on your taste, not on societal rules.
"There's no shame to have red wine with fish or white wine with meat," Schneemann says.