Friday, December 23, 2011

Just in time for the Holidays - retail locator

Just in time for the Holidays!  You can find Fireside Winery wines at these fine retail stores:

Retail Store Address City 
Daily Bread Bakery 814 N. Roan Algona
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 108 8th Street SW Altoona
Ox Yoke Restaurant      4420-220th Trail Amana
Ronnenburg 4408 220th Trail Amana
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 640 Lincoln Way Ames
Hy-Vee Drugstore  849 S. Ankeny Blvd Ankeny
Bloomsbury Farm 3260 69th St. Atkins
Bancroft Liquor Store 107 Portland St. N Bancroft
Belle Plaine Drugstore (Phillip Pharm) 810 12th St. Belle Plaine
Country Foods 1206 7th Street Belle Plaine
Timbergate Gardens 204 13th Street Belle Plaine
See What We Got Shop 210 Main Street Bennett
Seaton Flag Foods 122 East Front Street Brooklyn
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 5925 University Avenue Cedar Falls
The Vintage Iron Company 104 Main St. Cedar Falls
Benz Beverage Depot 501 7th Ave SE Cedar Rapids
Hy-Vee 1843 Johnson Avenue NW Cedar Rapids
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 20 Wilson Ave SW Cedar Rapids
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 3235 Oakland Road NE Cedar Rapids
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 5050 Edgewood Road NE Cedar Rapids
Hy-Vee Drugstore 2405 Mt. Vernon Rd SE Cedar Rapids
Hy-Vee Drugstore 1520 6th Street SW Cedar Rapids
Hy-Vee Drugstore 4825 Johnson Avenue NW Cedar Rapids
Hy-Vee Drugstore 2001 Blairs Ferry Road NE Cedar Rapids
Hy-Vee 279 Collins Rd., NE Cedar Rapids
Tomasos Pizza 212 Edgewood Rd NW Cedar Rapids
Downtown Drug (Phillip Pharm) 207 2nd Ave. SE Cedar Rapids
Central City Family Pharmacy 402 E. Main St. Central City
Lake Coffee & Bakery 210 US18 Clear Lake
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 1914 8th Street  Coralville
Marriott Hotel (Edgewater Grille) 300 East 9th St Coralville
Hy Vee Wine and Spirits  3301 W. Kimberly Rd Davenport
Bart's End Zone P.O. Box 640 Denver
Hy-Vee 2540 E. Euclid Ave. Des Moines
Palma's Deli and Market 604 Main Dike
Custom Creations by Sheri 319 Main St. Dysart
Willow Creek Wine & Garden 104 1st Street SW Elkader
Cobblestone Creek 3445 Lafayette Rd. Evansdale
New Morning Coffee House & Wine Tavern 213 Main St. Grimes
Hy-Vee 320 W Street S Grinnell
McNally's Foods 1021 N. Main St. Grinnell
Northside One Stop 1208 4th St. NE Hampton
Koerner-Whipple Pharmacies 104 1st St. NW Hampton
Basket Bowtique  758 N. Center Point Road Hiawatha
The Farmers Daughter Market 495 Miller Road Hiawatha
Basket Cases 601 St Thomas Ct Iowa City
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 1720 Waterfront Drive  Iowa City
Hy-Vee 812 South 1st Avenue  Iowa City
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 1201 North Dodge Street Iowa City
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 310 North 1st Avenue Iowa City
RJZ Express 2 Escort Lane Iowa City
Casey's General Store 601 E Ave Kalona
Ampride 2205 Hwy 6 Trail Marengo
Big G Foods PO Box 261 Marengo
Cornerstone Apothecary 1099 Court Avenue Marengo
Phools Gold 1185 Court Ave Marengo
Hy-Vee Drugstore  2790 7th Ave Marion
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 3600 Business Hwy. 151 Marion
Ramsey's Metro Market 1120 7th Ave. Ste. A Marion
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 802 S. Center Marshalltown
J.T. Hadherway (Phillip Pharm) 419 E 1st ST Monticello
Hy-Vee 1501 1st Ave E Newton
North English Family Foods 114 N Main St North English
Johncy's Liquor Store 585 Hwy 965 SE North Liberty
Saint Avenue Stop 302 E School Olds
Kwik Serve 115 Main Street Osage
Sleepy Hollow RV Campground 3340 Blackhawk Ave NW Oxford
Trunck's Country Foods, Inc 606 Grundy Ave Reinbeck
Riverside Travel Mart 3070 Hwy 22 East Riverside
Strawberry Point Drug (Phillip Pharm) 104 W Mission St Strawberry Point
Kava House & Café 122 2nd Street SE Swisher
The Secret Cellar 1205 Curtis Bridge Rd NE Swisher
Hunt's Cedar River Camp Ground 1231 306th Street Tipton
Cornerstone Apothecary 122 Main St. Van Horne
Victor's Market 1001 3rd Street Victor
L Marie Boutique 915 W 4th Street Vinton
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 1004 W Madison St Washington
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits  2834 Ansborough Waterloo
Lena's Liquor 1544 Superior Webster City
Freeman Foods 268 8th Avenue Wellman
Casey's General Store 700 6th St Wellman
Ingersoll Wine Merchants 1300 50th Street West Des Moines
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 1725 Jordan Creek Parkway West Des Moines
Hy-Vee 1700 Valley West Dr. West Des Moines
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits 1990 Grand Ave. West Des Moines
Hy-Vee 7101 University Ave. Windsor Heights
Burg Spirits 813-1/2 S. Highland  Williamsburg
Casey's General Store #2528 602 South Highland Street Williamsburg
Casey's General Store #2769 130 West Evans St Williamsburg
Colony Point Convenience Store 333 East Evans Street Williamsburg
Star Drug (Phillip Pharm) 517 4th St. Williamsburg
Williamsburg Foods 1030 W Walnut Street Williamsburg

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Apple Blue Cheese Salad & Frontenac Vinaigrette

Last week I was invited to join Luann Alemao, an educator and speaker on topics of etiquette and conduct, skills and abilities, and food and nutrition, who hosted a cooking course at the new Hy-Vee store in Waterloo, called "Food for Fellows".  I was the local wine support.
During the very hands-on cooking class her students (mostly middle-aged gentlemen with little to no experience in the kitchen) were guided through a four-course meal preparation.  The students excelled and because the meal was so easy to prepare and tasty, I thought I'd repost the salad recipe:

Apple Bleu Cheese Salad
  • 1 bag mixed greens
  • 2oz Blue Cheese crumbles
  • 1 ripe pear or crisp apple, cubed
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • Directions:  Toast walnuts for about 2-3 minutes, over medium heat, using a flat saute pan - stir frequently to prevent burning.  Place the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss.  Serves about 4-5 people.
Frontenac Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup of oil (Canola or good vegetable oil)
  • 3Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Fireside Winery, Iowa Frontenac
  • 1/2tsp Dijon mustard
  • Directions: Mix ingredients together thoroughly.  Serve over the salad greens you prepared (above).  Enjoy!

Special thanks to Luann Alemao & Associates for permission to reprint the recipe.  Please visit her website to learn more:  Luann Alemao & Associates.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Celebrating our Holiday Open House

Our Holiday Open House (December 10th) was a tremendous success!  We wish to thank all of you who were able to make it out to the winery yesterday and share a special day with us.  

A beautiful day drove temperatures to the lower 30's and we stoked the fireplace on our patio and turned on the heaters.  Before long many friends began filling the space and by 5pm we were treated to the beautiful and familiar holiday renditions performed by the Williamsburg High School choir. 

Singing on our warm, back patio the choir students silhouetted by the setting sun provided pleasing entertainment for 2 hours. 

 Interspersed between sets Mrs. Jessica Claus and her associates shared stories from the north pole. 

We had a wonderful time and are thankful to all of you for your support.  Because we had such a great time we cannot wait until next year!

Your Fireside friends

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fireside Wines Earn High Praise at Jeff Cup!


The Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition, celebrating its twelfth year, selects great wines from across the United States for its prestigious competition.  “While many competitions insist upon selecting a preordained number of sweepstakes winners, our judges are allowed to find the top wines, whether there are only one, two or three, or even NO winners in some categories, as happened this year,” says Jefferson Cup Invitational founder Doug Frost.

Rather than emphasizing traditional awards of gold and silver, as many wine competitions do, the Jefferson Cup invites wineries with a proven track record of excellence in competitions and tastings.  Competition organizers stress the importance of bringing awareness to wines that are “extremely deserving of the nation’s attention”.

FiresideWinery, located between Marengo and Williamsburg, is fast becoming the premiere Midwest wine destination and crafting some of the best wines in the country.  “Identifying and growing the best grapes for our particular climate is crucial”, says Fireside owner William Wyant, “and combined with expert wine making knowledge and continued attention to detail are the cornerstones of our winemaking philosophy”. 

“This competition underscores the increasing appreciation for Iowa wines by a panel of internationally recognized judges”, says Wyant.  Three Fireside wines entered into competition fared very well; two earning Medals of Excellence (Gold): BLU and 2010 IowaSeyval; and one recognized with a Medal of Merit (Silver): Iowa Frontenac.

We encourage you to stop by the winery to try these (and our other wines) for yourself.  You can find many of our wines at these fine retail stores: Locator.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Punching Down the Cap

Red wine production tends to begin in open-top fermentation tanks called micro-bins.  Once the red wine grapes are destemmed and crushed (actually, the skins are broken to release the juice) we pump the "must" (the grape skins, seeds, and juice) into these bins to ferment.

HOW DOES FERMENTATION WORK?  Wine yeast have the ability to convert sugars into alcohol (with carbon dioxide and heat as by-products). Fully ripened wine grapes tend to be very sweet, upwards of 25% sugar, and we in the wine industry refer to this percentage as degrees-Brix, or 25 Brix.  Generally speaking the yeast can convert about one-half of the sugar into alcohol, thus a 25% sugar grape juice can yield about 12.5% alcohol wine. The fermentation process creates a lot of carbon dioxide gas!

Once fermentation takes off, with the addition of a specially selected commercial yeast strain, the grape skins rise to the surface because of all that CO2 gas.  Because the grape skins contain important properties, such as anthocyanins (color pigments), tannin, and other good stuff, we want to make sure it is incorporated into the fermenting wine.  Additionally, it makes for good practice to avoid any bad micro-organisms.

So, two or three times daily we "punch down the cap" to make sure all that goodness is in the wine! :)  The following video shows the process in action.

Monday, November 7, 2011

FALL FOR WINE - Coming Soon!

Just in time for the Holidays! Join us for our annual Fall for Wine case sale. Save 20% off our regular prices when you purchase a case (12+ bottles) of your favorite Fireside wines (cases may be mixed).

NEW RELEASE - FRONTENAC (our award-winning signature dry red wine) will be released and available during the Fall for Wine event.

The 20% case discount does not qualify for enrollment in the Fireside Winery case club; however, renewals at 20% are accepted if expiration date is within one month of the event dates.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tasting Room Associate - Help Wanted

We are hiring (2 positions).  Fireside Winery, the the premiere Midwest wine destination, is building capacity and seeks two highly motivated and enthusiastic wine fans to join our team.  If you are passionate about locally produced Fireside wines and have a way with people, then we encourage you to consider applying for this position.

Reports to: Onsite Manager
Schedule:  30-36 hrs/week – 4 days/week (weekends) – 2 positions.

The Tasting Room Associate is responsible for ensuring the highest standards of winery tasting room service though excellent customer service; sees to exceptional visitor/tourist experiences though knowledgeable social/educational interactions; and positively contributes to Fireside Winery’s focus on attention to detail.

  1. Welcomes and assists winery customers with wine tastings/samplings, and purchases.
  2. Able to sell wine, general merchandise, and knowledgeable of onsite programs (e.g., Fan Club and benefits).
  3. Operate cash register, Point-of-Sale register, program register, and print reports.
  4. Assists with winery special events, concerts, weddings, receptions as needed.
  5. Provides information, education and tours to visitors as appropriate.
  6. Periodically assists with off-site winery events/tastings.
  7. Other functions as needed.
  1. Restock wine and general merchandise, label and price retail inventory.
  2. Periodic office work to include: filing, computer data entry (MS Word, Excel), laminating, and printing.
  3. Cleaning: tasting bar area, general winery up-keep and cleaning, as necessary.
  4. Kitchen: prepare and serve appetizers, and clean kitchen area, as necessary
  5. Other duties as needed.
  1. Loves working with customers and tourists.
  2. Enjoys and thrives in a fast-paced work environment
  3. Passionate about local wines
  4. Knowledgeable of wine, winery operations, and/or willing to learn
  5. Strong office skills and ability to communicate effectively and clearly.
  6. Works independently and within a close team environment.
 Compensation: Dependent upon Experience.

APPLY: Send resume and letter of introduction to Cassie Bott (Onsite Manager):

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Retreat at Fireside

Have you heard about the new Retreat at Fireside Winery?

The Retreat at Fireside Winery awaits you!  Whether your get-away is a night away or an entire week away, The Retreat at Fireside Winery is the perfect destination for the wine enthusiast who desires elegance and comfort—along with all the conveniences of home!

Located within walking distance of Fireside Winery and just minutes from the AmanaColonies, Tanger Outlet Center and the University of Iowa, The Retreat is perfectly situated, just off I-80, for a getaway, reunion, or romantic vacation with the wine lover in your life.

The Retreat at Fireside Winery is a fully furnished residence adjacent to the winery and includes these amenities:
  • Three bedrooms, all with Queen beds in the lower level plus a queen sofa sleeper in upper level living room and extra twin rollaway
  • Two and one half baths, one full bath on each level
  • Fully equipped kitchen, including pots, pans, towels and table settings for 30 guests
  • Dining area seating for 24
  • Laundry facilities (detergent not included)
  • 3 large flat screen Televisions (Dish Network)
  • WIFI Internet access
  • Multi-level patio with outdoor seating, grill and fire-pit
  • Central Air/Heating
Click to learn more about The Retreat at Fireside Winery or call 319-662-4222


Thursday, August 18, 2011

I-80 Wine Trail Uncorks Potential for X/C Tourists

 10 Million Vehicles Travel on New Iowa Wine Trail
I-80 Wine Trail Tempts Cross-Country Travelers to Sample Iowa Wines

Marengo, IA (August 18, 2011) – A new wine country is emerging amongst the rolling hills of corn and soybeans in Iowa tempting cross country travelers to exit the Interstate and to sample the new fruits of the land – Iowa grown and made wine!

The Iowa (and Midwestern) wine industry is growing by leaps and bounds in recent years and many wineries have banded together to help tourists identify local wineries by creating wine trails.  However, for cross-country travelers finding conveniently located wineries, in close proximity to I-80, has proved difficult.  The I-80 Wine Trail was developed in response to this tourism need.

More than 10,800,000 vehicles pass through central Iowa along I-80 each year!
(Statistic based upon the 2008 Iowa DOT Vehicular Traffic Map)

“One of our goals, says Fireside Winery owner and an I-80 Wine Trail organizer, Rona Wyant, was to make it easy for travelers to find wineries that are relatively close to I-80 (within 10 miles of an exit)”.  She adds, “We frequently have visitors from states like California, Illinois, and New York tell us how wonderful it is to find a winery in the Iowa and are pleasantly surprised by the high quality wines they taste and purchase”.

A colorful and informative I-80 Wine Trail brochure, including a map, winery contact information and exit number, is available at all State of Iowa Interstate Welcome Centers.  Visitors planning a trip through Iowa, via I-80, are encouraged to visit the I-80 Wine Trail website: to plan ahead.

Current members of the Iowa I-80 Wine Trail, include (from east to west):
·         Brick Arch Winery (West Branch)
·         Fireside Winery (Williamsburg)
·         Jasper Winery (Des Moines)
·         Penoach Vineyard and Winery (Adel)
·         Dale Valley Vineyard and Winery (Stuart)
·         Danish Countryside Vines & Wines (Exira)
·         Breezy Hills Winery (Minden)

Down the road, organizers of the I-80 Wine Trail envision working with other I-80 connected states and adding them to the trail, until ultimately, tourists traveling coast-to-coast can visit I-80 Wine Trail wineries from New York to California.

The colorful and informative I-80 Wine Trail website serves as an illustrative guide and links to I-80 proximate wineries.  Visit: for additional information.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Creative Contest - Deadline Aug. 15th

Fireside Graphics Contest

Fireside Winery is seeking creative and graphically endowed artistic wine fans to help us create fun, eye-catching, and interesting images we can use on our website, wine displays, and on our social media sites.

Image: JPEG or PNG, no larger than 4MB, (to use as badge or button or as Display Rack eye-catcher).
Conceptual:  preference for images with Flame icon present
Possible Tag Lines:  1) “I Buy Fireside Wine”, 2) “I Love Fireside Wines”, 3) “Ask for Fireside Wine”, 4) “I Work for Wine” (suitable for a t-shirt design too), 5) other creative tag-lines are welcome.

Contest: The top three winning images, as judged by the Fireside Winery staff, will be selected to receive a $50 Fireside Winery Gift Card.  All entrants whose images are used, electronically disseminated, or printed shall be awarded a complimentary glass of wine and a tour of the winery – and our deepest appreciation!

Deadline:  August 15

Submit your art or questions to