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.


  1. Will you be having your picnics this summer? If so when will you start and what days will you have them on?

    1. Yes, we are planning a special vineyard dinner on July 23rd. Details will be available soon our events page.