The Trendy Wine That Pairs Perfectly With Hot Dogs

Pét-nat sparkling wine, short for pétillant naturel ("naturally sparkling" in French), has emerged as an unexpected yet delightful partner to, of all things, hot dogs. This charming couple is best understood through a sommelier's insights, so Mashed spoke with Troy Bowen, co-owner of Denver wine bar Noble Riot, about why pét-nats and franks are the ultimate match.

For starters, pét-nat's compatibility with hot dogs stems from its remarkable adaptability. While some wine fans may opt for robust red wines like Zinfandels or Barberas to complement the grill's char, Bowen champions the versatility of pét-nats. Unlike the overpowering nature of red wines, the bubbly variety offers a more nuanced approach, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Pét-nat wines are, according to Bowen, the vivacious "younger cousins of traditional method sparkling wines," crafted through a unique process that completes fermentation in the bottle. This unconventional technique imbues pét-nats with a touch of eccentricity, reminiscent of the spontaneity found in beer. This inherent playfulness aligns beautifully with the varied components of a beef frank — be it the relish and tomatoes of a Chicago-style hot dog or the classic mustard-and-ketchup combo. Pét-nat's slight funkiness and fizziness amplify this interplay of flavors and textures.

Pét-nat and hot dogs are a delicious duo

What truly sets Pét-nat apart as a stellar companion to hot dogs is its innate ability to cleanse the palate. "Pét-nats will add more flavor value and cleanse the palate at the same time," Bowen explains. How does this work, exactly? The carbonation and acidity of pét-nats cut through the richness of the hot dog, essentially resetting the taste buds with each and every sip. This cleansing effect prevents the mouth from becoming overwhelmed by the hot dog's fatty, savory, and sometimes spicy elements, allowing the diner to savor each bite with renewed enthusiasm.

Furthermore, pét-nats possess a refreshing character, acting as a counterbalance to the often hearty and indulgent nature of hot dogs. This contrast revitalizes the palate between bites, creating a more enjoyable, dynamic meal. The chemistry between the lighthearted, effervescent pét-nat and the iconic hot dog has firmly placed this partnership in the spotlight, offering a quirky, delectable twist to the classic American comfort food. Take it from Colorado-based vintner Troy Bowen, who knows a thing or two about fashion-forward wine and food pairings.