Hot dogs on the grill, cans of beer chilling in a nearby cooler — it's all you need to set the stage for a classic backyard barbecue. But what if, instead of the beers, there were stemmed glasses and bottles of wine at the ready?
In a recent article for Eatocracy, Food & Wine's executive editor Ray Isle is determined to prove that the pairing of wine and hot dogs isn't as much of an odd couple as one might think. As he explains, "What is a hot dog, after all, but a subspecies of sausage? And sausages, in all their varied everything-but-the-squeal wonderfulness, go great with wine."
To prove his point, Isle singles out five classic styles of hot dog, from kraut and mustard-slathered New York-style dog to the topping-loaded Chicago dog, and matches their defining characteristics with a variety of wines. (Try a dry riesling with that Chicago dog, he says, and perhaps a "substantial white" to stand up to the New York dog's bold toppers.) His biggest piece of advice, it seems, is to consider the flavors of your hot dog's topping and use that to guide the pairing.
Click here for his full hot dog and wine pairing suggestions. And if you're curious about more unexpected wine and food pairings, check out the stories below.