Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
There are some folks who might think it a bit much, pairing wine with hot dogs - but think about it. 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.
Of course, as with all proteins, what you slather on the meat itself makes a big difference when it comes to what wine you might want to drink with it. And hot dog toppings definitely have their partisans: the kraut-and-mustard fan will look with scorn upon the Chicago-dog aficionado; the chili-cheese-and-jalapeño lover will consider the Coney Island dog adherent (chili, chopped onion, yellow mustard) a tiny-brained nit who ought to be living on a barge; and no one has any respect for the corn dog eaters, despite the fact that the corn dog is one of the genius inventions of the 20th century. (Like many genius inventions, it’s of disputed origin: Some claim the Krusty Korn Dog baking machine in the 1920s as the Ur-source, others say the corn dog originated at Pronto Pup in Portland, Oregon, in the 1930s, and still others argue for the Texas State Fair in 1938, where it was called a “corny dog.” Anyway, we’ll be announcing the date for the cage fight soon.)
New York Style Dog (kraut & deli mustard)
Chicago Dog (tomato, pickle, onion, mustard, sport peppers & celery salt)
Chili-Cheese-Jalapeño Dog (chili, melted cheese & jalapeños)
Coney Island Dog (all-beef hot dog, chili, chopped onion and yellow mustard)
Corn Dog (deep-fried corn-battered dog-on-a-stick, plus mustard)
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