Spring is the time for grape vines to begin their growing season anew. The vines are pruned in early winter, typically January or February in southern California. Then as the days grow longer and warmer, the buds that formed on the dormant vines open up and start growing leaves. It's not only the beginning of the cycle for the vine, but for the grape grower as well -- another season of batting pests and diseases, canopy management, and water adjustment. These factors will all impact the quality and quantity of the harvest in the fall, which ultimately impacts the wine made from these grapes.
There are many superb vineyards and wineries in San Diego county that merit a visit. Find more information at the San Diego County Vintners Association web site.
Join us Sunday April 10th at 1 pm to see how fast and simple the Vinmetrica SC-100 SO2 analyzer is to use to test sulfite levels in your homemade wines. Rich Sportsman, founder and owner, will demonstrate how to use the SC-100 analyzer. Participants are invited to bring one sample of wine (25-30 mls) for testing at the demonstration, and all participants will be offered 10% off Vinmetrica products following the demonstration. If you are interested in purchasing an SC-100 analyzer, please feel free to have us hold an order for you so we have enough in stock (payment is not due until final purchase). Please RSVP for this event here.
In association with San Diego Amateur Winemakers' Society, Curds and Wine will be hosting bi-monthly home winemakers' seminars. Seminars will be held every even numbered month on the third Saturday at 1 pm. Seminars for 2011 will be led by Lum Eisenman, a winemaking guru that we are lucky to have in the San Diego area. Lum will share his expertise on various winemaking techniques and issues, starting with "Sugars, Acids, and Phenols" in April.
These seminars are free, but limited to 20 people. If you are interested in participating, please contact us.
As we approach harvest season, we will be announcing in-depth classes for making wine from fresh grapes, as well as a special program to make your own wine from fresh grapes hands-on. Stay tuned!
Join us for our FREE winemaking demonstration on Sunday, April 17th, when we'll show you just how easy it is to make your own wine, at home or on site at Curds and Wine! We will go through all of the basic steps of making wine from kits, from start to bottle. This will be an interactive demonstration, you will have an opportunity to take part in winemaking steps hands-on. This demonstration will take about 2 hours, and then you can start your own wine! There is no charge, and you will get 10% off of any wine kits you purchase following the demonstration. Discover how easy and rewarding it is to make your very own wines!
We will receive a very special seasonal limited release this month from Winexpert, just in time for summer sipping! Made from a blend of red and white varietals including popular Spanish Tempranillo, this exceptional, refreshing, dry, light-medium bodied wine is a must have for summer. A perfect complement to your favorite summer dishes. Goes great with fish, poultry, pork, and other lighter meats and foods.
We only have a limited supply of these kits in stock! If you are interested in purchasing this wine kit, please email us or call us at the shop during business hours.
If you forgot to sign up for these kits, there are a few extra ordered, but they will be sold on a first-come first-served basis. If you are interested, please email me or call me at the store to check availability.
In order to make vintning on site at Curds and Wine an even better value, we are introducing our Vintner's Value Program. For every 4 vintning fees you purchase, you get a 5th vintning on site for free! All customers are retroactively entered into the program, pick up your Vintner's Value Card at your next visit.
It's time to start thinking about which wines you are going to enter in the San Diego County Fair homemade wine competition! Here are the upcoming deadlines for entering:
Entry fee is $10 per wine, and you must submit 2 (750 mL) bottles of wine. The best part of entering the San Diego County Fair wine competition is that you get 2 complimentary tickets to the Fair AND access to the awards ceremony, where you can meet the other contestants and get to try everyone's wines! It's a great time, lots of fun, food, and wine. I won a silver medal and Best of Class in 2010 with a white kit wine, and several other medal-winning entries were wine kits as well.
There is also a label design competition! There is no fee for entering this competition. For more information and links for entering, check out the San Diego County Fair Wine competition page.
We now carry Formaticum Cheese Papers at Curds and Wine. This Cheese Paper is made with a special two-ply format to "simulate the cheese cave environment." It's the perfect way to store your homemade cheeses after you cut into them after aging.
See more details and a video showing you how to fold your cheese paper here.
Our cheesemaking classes sold out fast! If you would like to check for an opening or to be put on the waiting list for the Wednesday March 30th 1-4 pm class or the Saturday April 2nd 6:30-9:30 pm class, call the shop or email us.
Our next scheduled Cheesemaking Fundamentals class is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3rd, from 1-4 pm. At this class you will learn the fundamental processes behind fresh cheesemaking as well as the techniques for making pressed cheeses and aged cheeses such as cheddar and camembert. We will make fromage blanc, ricotta, and queso fresco, and demonstrate the processes involved in making feta, swiss-style cheeses and camembert/brie-style cheeses. We will have samples of the various styles of cheeses you can make at home from Venissimo, as well as other refreshments. Finally, you will receive a packet with a recipe booklet to make the cheeses from the class as well as basic supplies to get you started with your cheesemaking. You will also receive a 10% discount on any purchase in the shop following the class.
The fee for this class is $50 per person, and class size is limited to 12 participants. Sign up and purchase tickets for the May 3rd class here