Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another Reason to Try Autumn Spiced

I'm in love with our new Autumn Spiced wine.  It's my "go to" wine on evenings when I can effortlessly polish off a bottle of it on my own.  For me, it's the perfect blend of sweetness with the wonderful flavors of the season.  

This week I found another use for my delicious fall favorite.  We recently had a friend of the winery bring us a bunch of delicious pears.  While cooking a family dinner, my mom decided to try sauteing some pears in the Autumn Spice for dessert.  The outcome was fabulous.  Of course, it didn't hurt that the warm, cinnamon-spiced pears were served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  Even my dad and husband, who aren't huge fans of dessert, gobbled up their portions.  For me, it was light and soothing after a heavy meal.  If you are looking for an easy fall dessert to impress your guests, this would be my suggestion.

Here's our recipe (albeit not exact as we didn't use any measurements or times)

  1. Peel and slice 4 pears in half and place cut side down in a large sauce pan.
  2. Pour Fireside Winery's Autumn Spice wine over the pears, enough so pears are resting in 1/4 inch of liquid
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon over the pears, cover and steam over medium high heat until the pears are easily pierced by a fork and most of the liquid is cooked off (about 10-15 minutes)
  4. Serve each half pear with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and ENJOY!
Fireside Winery, Marengo, Iowa
Please enjoy our wines responsibly.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fireside Winery Sets Sail Again

Fireside Winery is putting together its 3rd cruise for fans looking to get away.  In 2014, they are returning to the west coast 7 night, California Coastal Cruise.  

The 7 night voyage starts off in Los Angeles on Saturday, September 20. You'll spend a day at sea, traveling to the furthest north port on the trip, before arriving Monday in San Francisco   There you will have a full day of sight seeing.   

Tuesday is another day spent at sea, soaking in the wonderful California sunshine and watching for whales on the horizon.  Wednesday's port is at charming Santa Barbara.  On Thursday, we visit the California gem, San Diego.  The last stop on the journey is to Ensenada, Mexico before traveling home to Los Angeles on Saturday.

California Coastal Cruise Flyer

We will be setting sail with Princess Cruise Lines on their Crown Princess.  The Crown 
Princess is one of the largest Princess ships.  

Crown Princess at Sea

The Crown Princess has many amenities on board including basketball, paddle tennis, jogging tracks and state-of-the-art gyms equipped with machines that'll keep your heart rate pumping. Enjoy a peacefull time in the Lotus Spa or take a splash in any of the 5 pools on board.  For a full listing of activities on board, click here.

Crown Princess Top Deck Pool

Fireside Winery has upgraded cabins on reserve.  Room types and deck locations are as follows:

Inside Cabins - Riviera, Aloha, Baja, Caribe, Dolphin, Lido
Outside Cabins with Obstructed View - Emerald
Outside Cabins - Emerald, Plaza
Balcony Cabins -Caribe, Baja
Balcony Suites - Dolphin

Cabins outside of this block are available with group rates as well.   Click here to view the Crown Princess Deck Plans.

The following rates are  based on double occupancy and will vary by exact cabin selection. Cabin prices include the Ultra-Deluxe Beverage Package, government taxes and a $25 on-board credit.  Third and fourth person occupancy rates are available and are subject to availability.

Inside Cabin - $1209.00 pp
Outside Cabin - $1289.00 pp
Balcony Cabin - $1539.00 pp
Mini Suite Cabin - $1819.00 pp

Details of the Ulta-Deluxe Beverage Package

  • Red/white wine with lunch, dinner and in all bars (limit up to $7.95)
  • Sparkling wine by the glass
  • Standard and premium spirits/liquors (limit up to $7.95)
  • Cocktails up to $7.95
  • All imported and domestic beers
  • Alcohol free items including mocktails, juice, soda, coffee, tea & expresso
  • Beverage gratuities

If you choose to step off the boat and explore, adventures await you at all of the ports.
 Princess Cruise lines has a full up of excursions for each stop along the way.  You can view them all on their website.  

In addition to the Princess excursions, Fireside Winery has created their own private side tours as well.  

San Francisco
Platypus Tours will pick us up at the pier at 8:30 am and return our group no later than
 6:00 pm.  We will visit four wineries in the the Sonoma and Russian River Valley areas.  The highlight of the tour will be a tour of Korbel where we will learn about their history and making of sparkling wines.  
Cost:  $129 per person, gratuity for driver is included, as well as lunch.  Korbel tasting fee is also included.

Santa Barbara
Cloud Climber Jeep Tours is offering two tour options.  Pick up is at the Santa Barbara Train Station which you are responsible for walking to.  Tours are in 7 passenger, open-air jeeps so you could be sharing a ride with fellow travelers of our group.

Option 1:  8am - $144 per person, includes 4 wineries, lunch, gratuities and tasting fees
Option 2:  10am - $195 per person, includes 1.5 hour horseback tour, 2 wineries, lunch, gratuities and fees

San Diego
Winemaker Tours will pick our group up at the San Diego pier at 8am.  Our tour will take us north to the Temecula wine region. 
Cost:  $120 per person, includes educational tour, 3 winery visits, lunch and tasting fees.

Excursion bookings are required by January 1, 2014 and follow the same cancellations as Princess Cruise Line.

If you would like more information on this cruise or would like to book your space, please contact Rona Wyant at or give her a call at 319-662-4222. 

Past Fireside cruisers will be available for an informal Q&A on Sunday, October 27th from 2-5pm. Billy Heller will be performing live, for our last Sunday afternoon music series of the year too!  

As an added bonus, Fireside Winery is offering a reduced deposit of $100 per person through October 31. The deposit is refundable (through 7/7/14) so if you're interested, contact Rona as soon as possible.  

Fireside Winery, Marengo, Iowa
Please enjoy our wines responsibly.