Hot Diggity, Dog Diggity: What Wine to Drink with Hot Dogs — Yes, Hot Dogs!
In The Pride of the Yankees , Gary Cooper (L.G.) asks Teresa Wright (his wife-to-be) what she wants to eat after he wins an overflowing armful of prizes for her — at a batting game, of course! — at Brooklyn's Coney Island Amusement Park. In a celebratory mood, she replies, "Hot dogs and Champagne!”
Well, that’s one possibility! But may I recommend hot dogs and crémant d’Alsace, a more affordable and appropriate pairing?
My husband, hot dog aficionado Alan Pesetsky, and I recently had the opportunity to try some Alsace wines with hot dogs at Yankee Stadium to see how the French wines fare with good-old Yankee — well, Hebrew National, in this case — frankfurters. They did very well indeed.
And it’s really no big surprise. They say what grows together goes together. In Alsace that would be the delicious sausages and wonderful wines the Alsatians produce. The best-known Alsatian dish is choucroute garnie, sauerkraut with sausage and other meats. (According to Wikipedia, the sausages include three kinds: Frankfurt [aka hot dogs], Strasbourg and Montebéliard.) With choucroute, the Alsatians typically drink white wines, including Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. I’d also recommend sparkling wine for those, like me, who love bubbles. As a rule, whatever foods go with beer go with sparkling wine. The bubbles in both do the same job: cleanse and refresh your palate.
Of course, the topping you put on your hot dog — whether mustard, sauerkraut, relish, onions, ketchup, or any of the 486 other toppings likely to appear on Chicago dogs — will affect your choice of wine, so, as always, a little experimentation is in order. This is, however, a good place to start.
Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace, $16
Albert Mann Crémant d’Alsace, $19
Pierre Sparr, Crémant d’Alsace, $18
Trimbach Riesling 2004, $13
Albert Boxler 2004 Pinot Gris, $30
Domaine Zind Humbrecht 2005 Pinot Gris, $22
Hugel Gewürztraminer 2005, $14
Alsace Producers to Rely On:
Lucien Albrecht, Albert Boxler, Paul Blanck, Hugel, Albert Mann, Ostertag, Pierre Sparr, Trimbach, Weinbach, Zind-Humbrecht
Award-winning author and certified sommelier Sharon Kapnick has written about food and wine for many magazines, including Time, Food & Wine and Hemispheres, and many newspapers, thanks to the New York Times Syndicate. She contributed several entries for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America.