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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Wine with Hot Dogs?

July is National Hot Dog month. I don't know if Hallmark has greeting cards for your favorite hot dog eater or not. July 4th is a big hot dog day plus there's a hot dog eating contest sponsored by Nathan's where, for some reason, people actually volunteer to compete in.

So this leads to an important question: What wine goes best with hot dogs?

There are some obvious things to mention first:
(1) You should have Coke or beer with hot dogs.
(2) As with other food/wine pairings it depends on the preparation.
(3) Hot dogs are cheap food so you better not open a $40 bottle of wine

Let's start with the easiest version--the Coney Island or chili dog. Since there's a bit of spice here I'll go with a fruitier Syrah, Zinfandel or possibly a rosé.

It gets more complicated with the other toppings: mustards ranging from sweet to hot, ketchup, onions, relish, kraut, cheese, coleslaw, bacon, tomatoes, etc. And these can be in any combination as some folks swear by onions and mustard while others load up with mustard, ketchup, and relish. There are definitely regional styles of hot dogs.

Another thing is hot dogs contain a lot of sodium and sparkling wine is often best with salty foods.  I believe mustard only or mustard and kraut should be an off-dry bubbly or gewurztraminer. And probably the same wines if you have tomatoes, pickles or relish, or peppers. For the "death on a stick" corn dog I'd say definitely a Brut sparkling wine.

Detroit style
Image from yelp.com