Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Simple Pairings: Lunch

Considering that the picnic season is about to kick off with Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, our luncheon suggestions can be loaded up and carried to your favorite sanctuary. That is not to say, however, that these recipes wouldn't be just as tasty on your deck or in your kitchen!

Be sure white and blush wines are thoroughly chilled and remain in a cooling device. They may not spoil as your main course might, but keeping them at a lower temperature will greatly enhance flavors.


BLU, a refreshing blend of Geisenheim and Seyval Blanc grapes, is reminiscent of a German Riesling. This semi-sweet white wine will pair well with all recipe suggestions.

Seyval is made with Iowa-grown Seyval grapes and is Fireside's driest white wine. For those who prefer something less sweet than the sandwich, it will pair well with the chicken salad.

Storyteller is one of our sweeter whites. Made from Vignoles and Chardonel grapes, it offers tropical aromas and will pair with the sweet-sour flavor of the strawberries and the dessert.

Firefly, our semi-sweet blush, is blend of Cayuga and Catawba grapes with some of our red wine added for color. It finishes with a little tartness which is unlike most blushes.

Spark is our Iowa blush made using Edelweiss and LaCrosse grapes with a splash of Zinfandel. With floral aromas and juicy, melon flavors, it is considered sweet.

You can view all of our wine selections at .

LUNCH RECIPES (and pairing suggestions)

Chicken Salad Sandwiches (BLU, Seyval)

A green salad of baby spinach, Mandarin oranges and sliced almonds tossed lightly with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing just before dining makes a tasty accompaniment.
Tropical Salad (BLU, Storyteller) 

These wines complement this salad and picnic additions such as freshly cut pears and apples and the strawberries as prepared below. Add a double cream Brie cheese and water crackers to round out your meal.
Balsamic Strawberries (BLU, Storyteller)   with-balsamic-vinegar/ 
Fruit Cup or Slush (Firefly, Spark) frozen fruit cups consisting of dark berries, strawberries, tart cherries and purple grapes mixed with a small amount of juice of choice ahead of time. You could choose to add wine when assembling them to make slushies, or add a splash of wine to help thawing when you are ready to enjoy this tasty treat.

If you want a more typical dessert that would pair with these wines try a galette, a portable, rustic fruit pie-style dish. A sample recipe is below.
Photo by
Strawberry and Brie Galette (Firefly, Spark)  

Fireside Winery hopes you enjoy this weekend and all the picnic days in 2013.

And, remember: if you don't want the hassle of making an outdoor meal, order your picnic lunch, a bottle of wine and water to enjoy at our Second Sunday Picnic in the Vineyard. The next one is June 9; call by Thursday, June 6, to make your reservation with Cassie 319-662-4222.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Night Sky Adventure at Fireside Winery

If you love stargazing, have an urge to learn more about astronomy or are just looking for a unique experience, then join us on this special evening.   Astronomy Club members will be on hand to answer questions and guide our eyes through the night sky. They will also be bringing a telescope or two to share with the public for the evening.

We will start making our way to the observation area behind the Winery around 8:30 pm, but you're welcome to show up anytime that evening as we'll leave the doors open after 6:00 pm. You might want to arrive a bit early to allow time to "discover" the perfect wine for stargazing!
There is no cost to attend this event; however, we would prefer reservations so please email Cassie Bott, or call the winery at 319-662-4222.

We suggest bringing the following items with you:

-Flashlight for walking. We'll keep as many lights off as possible to enhance your sky gazing experience.
-A chair or blanket for sitting.
-Binoculars for viewing.
-Long pants and sweatshirt, weather permitting.
-Bug spray if you're susceptible to getting bites.
For more information on the Iowa City Astronomy Club visit: 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Simple Pairings: Brunch

Just in time for Mothers' Day on May 12, Fireside Winery is offering a few brunch ideas for fairly effort-free fun paired with several of our wines. See suggestions and recipes below.


Offer chilled Serenade, BLU, or Firefly as an alternative to grape juice or mimosas and cut calories simultaneously. Add a decorative and tasty flair to a glass of BLU or Firefly by slicing a fresh strawberry from the tip almost to the stem, placing it on the rim of the glass.

BLU, a semi-sweet blend of Geisenheim and Seyval Blanc grapes, is refreshing white wine on its own, but it also adds a complementary touch when paired with egg dishes, French toast, fruit, cheeses or rolls.

Firefly, a slightly sweeter blush, also pairs well with breakfast dishes including plain Greek yogurt parfaits. Firefly adds a fruity note to croissants or other breads such as a bacon muffin. 

Serenade, with its Concord sweetness, can serve as a grape juice alternative or a dessert, and provides a sweet finish to homemade muffins.

BRUNCH RECIPE IDEAS (and Wine Pairing Recommendations)
Stuffed French Toast (BLU, Firefly)
1 loaf French, Italian or Texas Toast bread:  cut full loaves into slices 1.5" thick; if it is too fresh, allow it to set uncovered until easier to slice. Using a serrated knife, cut halfway down through the center of each slice, making a pocket with the tip of the knife. Spoon 1 1/2-2 teaspoons filling into pocket.


1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese                              1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup chopped dates                                   1 1/2 tsp vanilla

a little milk

Mix all together. If done ahead, the flavors blend and the dates soften; be sure to stir again before filling bread slices.

Dipping Mixture:

4 eggs                                                             1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup of whatever milk you prefer, including cream or evaporated or a mixture

1 tsp cinnamon                                                           1/4 tsp nutmeg

Whisk together. Dip stuffed bread into mixture. Brown both sides in a small amount of melted butter.

Apricot Glaze (optional):

1 lb jar apricot preserves                                1/2 cup orange juice

Heat together, stirring. Use as toast topping. Maple syrup or powdered sugar are tasty alternatives.

(HINT: to save time in the morning, prepare the slices the evening before, making sure to lightly brown so as not to dry them out. Arrange in single layer in cake pan or cookie sheet, covering well.  Allow to come to room temperature then reheat in oven at 300 degrees or less in the morning. Leave covered at first, then uncovered if necessary.)

Yogurt Parfait (Firefly)

Layer plain Greek yogurt and fresh or previously frozen fruit of your choice topped with granola in a clear glass.  If you need sweetness added, consider agave syrup. 

Click on any of the links below for more breakfast recipes ideas.


Bacon Muffin (BLU, Firefly, Serenade)