Wine with hot dogs? C'mon. The default adult beverage with the pups may be beer, but consider that a slew of wines are very beerlike indeed. They're the sparklers, the bubblies, the "Champagnes" of bottled beverages, from many lands and in a wide range of flavors and colors.
Three suggest themselves here, a white, a rosé and a red, from a trio of regions much better known for their wines than their wieners. But the aim is the same: When man bites dog, the drink merely needs to be cold, crisp, clean and refreshing.
The food: Dog night with zesty slaw
Combine 1 bag (16 ounces) shredded coleslaw mix; 1/4 cup each light mayonnaise and chopped cilantro; 1 teaspoon each red pepper flakes and salt; and freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl. Combine 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper in another bowl. Cook or grill 4 hot dogs; serve on toasted buns with the doctored ketchup, mustard, onions and relish, as you like. Serve slaw on top of dog or on the side. Makes: 4 servings
2011 Cleto Chiarli e Figli Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco Vecchia Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy: Few red wines are more alive of flavor and texture than Lambrusco; chilling well brings out its cherrylike aromas and flavors, and heightens its utility with food. $17
NV Mirabelle Brut, North Coast, California: Schramsberg Vineyard's second label and an always-great price for a well crafted, citrusy and apple-y bubbly; notable for its straightforward refreshment. $25
NV Reserve de Sours Sparkling Rosé, Bordeaux, France: A mix of 50-50 merlot and cabernet sauvignon, with a beautiful pale-pink color, waves of finely etched bubbles and cleansing acidity. $20
— Bill St. John, Special to Tribune Newspapers