Pairs Well With: National Hot Dog Day

Summertime means cookouts and baseball games, pool parties and backyard BBQs. And what do all of these things have in common?

Hot dogs.

Yes, hot dogs are often considered the quintessential summer food … so quintessential that July 23rd is known as National Hot Dog Day.

We’d highly recommend celebrating this holiday with a hot dog and a glass of vino. But what type of wine should you select? Red or white? Fruity or dry? Ribera or Rueda? Well, that depends less on the actual hot dog itself, and more on what you’re accessorizing it with. From sea to shining sea, different cities and states have some interesting takes on the hot dog — and we’ve got just the wines to drink with them.

The New York Dog:

All-beef dog with sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard. (Ketchup on a hot dog in New York is treason, unless you are a child.)
Pair with: RUEDA

Lunching with royalty. #papayaking #hotdog #summer

A photo posted by James Pomerantz (@jamespomerantz) on

Let’s start with a classic: the New York dog. The beefy flavor, coupled with the heat from the mustard and that distinctly tangy sauerkraut taste, is the perfect match for a bright, citrus-y Rueda. Look for a bottle with a brisk, bitter finish. What better way to wash down a backyard favorite?

The Texas Dog:

Chili, cheese and onions
Pair with: RIBERA

Grill out 😎. 📷: @skinnypignyc #forkyeah

A photo posted by Thrillist (@thrillist) on

This hearty, beefy, spicy dog is the ultimate comfort food in a bun. Settle down in a comfy lawn chair and enjoy this substantial treat with a nice summery Ribera. For tips on selecting a smooth, fruity and well-balanced Ribera, check out our guide to drinking reds in the summer time. Trust us, Ribera goes down easy with a Texas dog and a red solo cup.

The Chicago Dog:

Vienna beef, tomato, pickle, hot peppers, sweet onion and green relish
Pair with: RUEDA

We dragged this hot dog through the garden. Great #Portillos pic from @thisiscat. #Regram #chicagodog

A photo posted by Portillo's Hot Dogs (@portilloshotdogs) on

Biting into a Chicago dog, you get a little bit of everything: sweet, spicy, hot, cold, savory … And with such a complex dog, your palate deserves an equally complex wine. Might we suggest a Verdejo? The clean, bright flavor and fresh, tangy acidity of the Verdejo grape varietal provides the perfect balance to this dog’s onions and relish.

The Detroit “Coney” Dog:

Beef or pork dog with ground beef sauce (made with hearts and kidneys), raw onions and mustard
Pair with: RIBERA

How we end a busy day in the D. #dimestore #detroit #coneydog #detroitfood #detroitproud

A photo posted by Dime Store (@eatdimestore) on

A bit of a distant cousin to the Texas (and chili) dog, the traditional “Coney” – which gets its name from Coney Island, the headquarters of the original New York dog – is basically Detroit’s unofficial food (check out this handy guide to Coneys from Serious Eats). The Detroit style Coney has a bean-less chili-esque ground beef sauce often made with hearts and kidneys, raw onions and mustard. Once again, ketchup simply is not tolerated — though a glass of Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero on the side is encouraged.

The Seattle Dog:

Polish sausage, grilled onions, relish and a toasted bun with cream cheese
Pair with: RIBERA

Yes, cream cheese. On a hot dog. If you dare to try Seattle’s favorite street food this summer (and we think you should), we’d recommend pairing with an easy-to-drink Tempranillo. The full bodied flavor will pair beautifully with the smoke from the grilled onions.

The Corn Dog:

Hot dog wrapped in corn bread
Pair With: RIBERA or RUEDA

The old carnival and state fair tube meat of choice, the Corn Dog doesn’t necessarily have a regional flag to plant, but thanks to its ubiquitous abundance in the summertime it seemed our duty to pair it. The sweet fried cornbread coating mixed with the salty and savory hot dog basically makes it the kettle corn of hot dogs, which makes it a dealer’s choice in terms of wine pairings. If you opt for ketchup, Ribera should be your go-to wine. If you’re a mustard-on-dogs person, the spice and tang screams for a Rueda.

So grab a dog and glass of wine this National Hog Dog Day. You deserve it.

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