Friday, June 14, 2013

Fireside Winery Home to Iowa’s Largest Wine Bottle

Watch out for brake lights and slow moving cars while passing by Fireside Winery in rural Iowa County thanks to a new attraction.  On Thursday, June 13th, Iowa’s largest wine bottle was unveiled on the front lawn of Fireside Winery.  The metal wine bottle, measuring13’ 7” and weighing 1820 pounds was constructed by local metal artist, Randy Schnebbe.  Randy and his wife, AJ, are the owners of RS Welding Studio in Victor, Iowa which specializes in handcrafted, metal yard creations and has been in business for over 8 years. 

Fireside Winery proudly displays and sells RS Welding’s wine and garden art creations in their tasting room.  The idea for the wine bottle started 2 years ago, after Fireside received so many positive comments from Randy’s 291 wine bottle Christmas tree that he let them showcase in front of the winery during the holidays.  “It was fun to see how many people where snapping photos of it and that got us thinking, we should have a larger than life wine bottle for them to take pictures with too,” said Fireside Winery owner, Rona Wyant

Mr. Schnebbe was up for the challenge and got started with the project last year when he located a used Anhydrous Ammonia tank for the base of the bottle.  With the help of his cousin, Peter Miller (Vancouver, WA), they spent nearly 40 hours on the project which included sandblasting the exterior, removing the interior plumbing, adding the bottle neck and stabilizing feet, and fabricating the Fireside Winery label.  It took two material handling vehicles and 5 men to move the monstrous wine bottle from the transport to its new home located adjacent to Fireside Winery’s driveway on Thursday.. 

Fireside Winery owners, Bill and Rona Wyant also farm corn and soybeans near Marengo, Iowa so it’s fitting the new wine bottle shares a history of agriculture and is now part of their newer venture in the wine business.  Both Fireside and RS Welding are excited to share the new wine bottle with the public and hope it has a positive impact to both businesses.  To build excitement for the new creation, both businesses plan on running a Facebook Contest for fans to guess how many bottles of wine would actually fit inside the metal bottle.  Become a fan of Fireside Winery and RS Welding Studio on Facebook and watch for more details as they become available.  

Randy Schnebbe and Peter Miller

William Wyant

Randy giving it his final touches

Cheers to Iowa's Largest Wine Bottle at Fireside Winery

Monday, June 10, 2013

Simple Pairings: Dinner Ideas and White Wine Pairings

Dinner suggestions for pairing with our wines offer both inside cooking and grilling options. Enjoy your Fireside wine while you prepare these recipes as well as during your meal!


Seyval, made of Iowa-grown grapes, is our driest white wine and has a light, oaky goodness. It is very refreshing alone and pairs well with white and light meats and combinations with heavier sauces. For the palate that prefers a softer, yet light and crisp wine, pair our Riesling-style BLU with these same meals. If you are fortunate enough to have a bottle of Fireside Vignoles remaining in your wine rack, it would also be an enjoyable off-dry accompaniment for these recipes.

DINNER RECIPES (and pairing suggestions)

P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps with Chicken Recipe
Photo by Jim Lamb
P. F. Chang's Lettuce 
Wraps with Chicken
(Seyval, BLU)
Chopping and mixing the chicken filling ahead of time can help make this entree come together quickly at meal time.
Try dicing chicken in small pieces if ground chicken is not available.

Salmon with Dill and Caper Sauce (Seyval, BLU)

Salmon with Dill and Caper Sauce
By Dash
This skinny skillet dinner is simple enough for a weeknight meal, requiring few steps, enabling you to enjoy a glass of Seyval while mixing the sauce.  

Peppered Pork Loin (Seyval, BLU)
Blogger Megan (writing on Brooklyn Farmhouse) presents this recipe as super easy, simple preparation with simple ingredients  - in other words, perfect as a recipe to pair with our wine on a weeknight or weekend.
Another simple and easy pork chop recipe has only 7 additional ingredients to add to the meat. 

Easy Pork Chops 
(Seyval, BLU) 
Grill 4 pork chops.
Melt 1 Tbs butter in skillet. 
Add 1 Tbs oil.
Add mushrooms and lightly saute.
Add 1 cup any flavor broth and 2 Tbs chives.
Stir to blend, then warm chops in the mixture.
Remove chops to serving platter and keep warm.
Add 1/2 cup light cream and 2 tsp Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil, stirring until reduced and thickened to taste, adding salt and pepper if desired.
Serve with noodles or rice.  

A tasty side for the above dishes is applesauce, so two options given below are ideas for homemade versions.

Crock Pot Applesauce

Stovetop Applesauce 
Peel, core and chunk apples of your choices. Cook on stovetop on low with a very small amount of water. Watch, stir and add water as needed. When cooked down to your texture preference, add cinnamon or other spices to taste (red hot candies are a fun option, but need to be added earlier, allowing time to melt)Serve warm or cooled as desired.
Fireside Winery offers guests covered and enclosed areas in which to enjoy our live music Friday nights, 7-10, and Sunday afternoons, 2-5. We have you protected rain or shine, so come on out to try our wines and listen to some wonderful groups and soloists! Find our events listing at