Take me out to the hot dog

The good people at Wines of Alsace held a press event in the Bronx yesterday. It allowed me the opportunity to ponder a question I have long overlooked: which wine goes with hot dogs?

The venue was in fact the venerable and soon-to-be-demolished Yankee Stadium. Bud Light be damned–the wines available were, naturally, from Alsace!

So for you, dear reader, I broke a decade-long fast and had my first ball park dog, loaded with sauerkraut and mustard. It’s a crazy food that comprises of salt, fat, some meat-like product, nitrates, and probably much more. I wasn’t about to eat 66 of them like that American who brought home the glory earlier this month in other “sports” news. (As a point of interest, there was a hot dog afficionado present who informed me that, indeed, the hot dogs consumed in such a contest have to “stay down” and if they come back up, it is a violation known euphemistically known as a “reversal.”)

Hot dog in hand, I surveyed the Alsatian wines. With their good acidity and minerality, they seem like a good pairing overall for the dawg if you’re not doing the classic beer pairing. The most effective was the Albert Mann, cremant d’Alsace, brut nonvintage (about $19; find this wine). It has bubbles, like beer! But more importantly, I found the zesty citrus notes worked really well with the dawg.

Moving up the wine richness scale, I found the heft of the Domaine Ehrhart, “Rosenberg,” geurztraminer, 2004 (about $20; find this wine) to work well too. The faint spice of the wine was somewhat overwhlemed by the “zesty mustard” but the refreshing core of acidity and minerality remained a good complement. The Albert Boxler 2004 pinot gris (about $30; find this wine), a rich, sweet and powerful wine seemed a little too flabby with the food.

The Hebrew National dog was great going down but an hour or so later I found it had an unpleasant, um, “finish” (safe for work: no “reversal”!). The finish of the Boxler wine lingered longer and was much more pleasant.

Maybe this should be an “impossible food pairing” post, too. A double-play, if you will. So which wines do you like with hot dogs? Vega Sicilia?


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4 Responses to “Take me out to the hot dog”

  1. I’d go for:
    Colonia de las liebres Bonarda. It should have enough acidity to stand up to the grease and bitterness of all components.
    Nora Albariño, if we want to keep things on a lighter note.
    A nice Chianti should also do the trick. Trust me, give it a shot.

  2. I know it isn’t easy to find but Albana for white. Little indigenous varietal from Emilia-Romagna. It is a white wine with a nice depth of fruit but heavy on the acidity. I believe it is normally made as a spumante but Cesari makes a still one. Basically when people come into the wine bar asking for beer I give them an Albana and they are quite happy. And for red I would stick with the cold stuff and do a sangue di giuda from Oltrepo Pavese. It’s a naturally sparkling red from uva rara and croatina; both od which, I believe are rlated to bonarda. Not sure though.


  3. Vega Sicilia would go with, um… felt.

  4. Riesling Kabinett, but the real problem in pairng them is the kraut not the dog. And beer still works better.


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