Brandie Ubben was driving home from work one day a couple years ago, listening to rock music on the radio and thinking about how she’d like a glass of wine later. It sparked an idea to combine those two passions, and the result is a rock ’n’ roll-themed wine company, Vine’yl Anthems, that now has products on the shelves of several central Iowa stores.
“I was driving home after work. I’m a graphic designer by trade. And I was thinking, ‘Somebody needs to combine my love of wine and rock ‘n’ roll.’ And then I thought, ‘Why can’t I do that?’” Ubben said.
The notion made her head spin, and she started researching.
“I realized there was a way to do this,” she said. “I just had to get proper licensing, and I had to get branded. I had to make sure I was compliant because there are all these rules and regulations, but slowly and surely it just worked itself out.”
Vine’yl Anthems started about a year ago, but it had been in Ubben’s thoughts for a couple of years. During that time, Ubben tweaked the idea and found a California vineyard to work with.
“There are many wines out there you can brand on your own, so I spent some time finding a great one to work with,” Ubben said.
The coronavirus pandemic helped spur her decision to get the business started.
“If it wasn’t for COVID, I’m not sure I would have pulled the trigger because I was just stewing about it,” she said. “I thought: If you don’t do it, you don’t know if you’ll succeed.”
Vine’yl Anthems wines are named for ‘80s rock songs
Ubben has four varieties right now and has two more in the works.
“I have a red, a sweeter white, a rose and a dry white,” she said. “I figured it was a good balance to have those selections to start. I basically have something to target anybody’s palate. The two other ones I’m working on are most likely another red and possibly another white.”
Nothin’ But A Good Wine is the sweet white, Sippin’ On A Prayer is the dry white, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Noir is the red blend, and Pour Some Vino On Me is the rose.
“As you can tell, ‘80s rock bands are my go-to jams,” Ubben said with a laugh.
You can find a bottle of Vine’yl Anthems wine at Fareways, Jewell Market
Vine’yl Anthems wines are in eight stores now.
“I’m a marketing person, not a salesperson, so I’m blown away to have my wine in so many places,” she said. “It pays to have good relationships with people. That has really helped me get my wines into stores.”
Ubben’s high school friend Garren Zanker was happy to put Vine’yl Anthems wines in the Jewell Market in Jewell. Dave Mikkelsen and Merlyn Faris put Ubben’s wines on the shelves at Fareway in Huxley. Vine’yl Anthems is also at Fareway stores in Nevada, Polk City, Clive, Johnston and both Ankeny locations.
Vine’yl Anthem also has merchandise besides the wines — T-shirts, wine glasses, signage, coasters and journals — which are for sale at The Local Supply Co. in Huxley, where Ubben is one of the owners.
“The journals are made out of vinyl albums,” Ubben said. “And I’m also working on developing an Iowa license plate-themed wine bottle koozie and some bottle stoppers.”
Love of rock ‘n’ roll runs in the family
Ubben has a love for wine and music in general — but she especially loves rock ’n’ roll. It’s an appreciation that runs in her family.
“My dad had a side hustle in the ‘80s as a DJ,” she said. “My sisters and I would go with him to these small towns to wedding receptions. We would dance the night away and have so much fun.”
Her dad is also a collector of record albums, at one point having about 10,000 in his collection. That musical influence caused Ubben and her sisters to appreciate music in general.
A native of Jewell, Ubben and her family have lived in Huxley for about 15 years.
“We decided to settle in Huxley because we live the small-town feel, and it’s between Ames and Des Moines, so the location is great,” she said.