Wine Chemistry Testing 2017

Alcohol by Volume (ABV) and Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen (YAN) testing is now available through our friends at Vinmetrica! You can run tests yourself at home with your own ABV or YAN analysis kits, or send in samples to Vinmetrica for analysis - they offer many wine chemistry testing services.  You can even drop off your samples at Curds and Wine to be tested by Vinmetrica

As you prepare to bottle your wine to empty out vessels for the upcoming harvest, don't forget to check your free (unbound) sulfite levels to make sure you have enough of this antioxidant in your wine to protect it from damage after bottling.  Curds and Wine offers in-house unbound sulfite analysis, as well as free pH testing.  Other wine chemistry tests done in-house at Curds and Wine include Titratable Acidity (TA) testing, malic and/or lactic acid level analysis, and residual sugar analysis, for a nominal fee.  See our website for details on volumes of samples required to run these tests.


Curds and Wine will close EARLY at 3 pm on Sunday July 9, 2017
Happy Holidays 2017! December
Seven Year Anniversary! November
Have a Cheesy October! October
Harvest 2017 September
Getting Ready to Crush August
Wine Chemistry Testing July
Professional Label Printing from Noontime Labels June
May Your Wine and Cheese Dreams Come True May
Cheese and Wine Make Everything Fine! April
Enter Your Award-Winning Wines March
Little Ol' Wine Lovers You! February
Happy 2017! January


Queso Diego’s Cheesemakers Rodeo Contest at the San Diego County Fair Saturday July 1, 2017

Queso Diego is sponsoring the Homemade Cheese contest this year at the San Diego County Fair!  This contest will once again be a One-Day Home & Hobby Contest, no pre-registration or entry fees are required. Bring your prepared item and the typed or printed recipe form found online here. We will no longer accept other types of recipe forms. No exceptions! Deliver entries between opening time of the Fair and 12:45pm on Saturday July 1st to Home & Hobby exhibit located on the 2nd floor, west end of the Grandstand. Judging starts at 1:00pm and once the judging process starts, no late entries will be accepted. Your entry and entry contest form will admit you into the Fair for FREE. Exhibitors must personally deliver their entries.

Limit: One entry per class
Judging Criteria: Flavor, Originality, & Appearance

1 - Fresh (cheese curds, chevre, Mascarpone, mozzarella, Queso fresco, cottage cheese, farmer’s cheese, ricotta)
2 - Brined (feta, domiati, halloumi)
3 - Bloomy Cow (brie, Camembert, Triple Crème)
4 - Bloomy Goat (chevre styles both bloomy & ash rinded)
5 - Blue Mold (Cambazola, Roquefort, Danish Blue, Stilton)
6 - Soft/Semi-Soft (aged) (Gouda, Munster)
7 - Cheddar & American Style (Cheddar, Dry Jack, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Colby)
8 - Hard (aged) (Parmesan, Asiago, Romano)
9 - Flavored Cheeses, Butter & Cultured Dairy Products (Yogurt, Crème Fraiche)
10 - Open (smoked, washed rind, cheese spreads, anything that doesn’t fit elsewhere)

Best Of Show: Custom crafted cheese table runner and inscribed cheese board
1st Place winners in each class will receive: A subscription to Culture Magazine (The Word on Cheese).
2nd Place winners in each class will receive: A Cheese Making Book.
3rd Place winners in each class will receive: A Cheese mold and/or accessories.

Full details and entry forms can be found online here.

2015 homemade cheese contest


Basic Winemaking from Fresh Grapes 2-part Seminar Series in July

Pressing gushing zin

Join us at Curds and Wine for a two-part seminar series introducing you to making wine from fresh grapes. In these seminars, we will go through preparation for harvest, steps involved in making wine from fresh grapes, and finishing wine. We will also demonstrate how to use equipment needed for winemaking. The series of classes is $75/person for series of 2 classes, no refunds if any classes are missed.


Maximum 20 participants for these classes, you must be 21 or over to participate. This course is a seminar series with live demonstrations, but we will not be making wine in this class; fresh grapes or frozen must can be purchased separately and made at home.


Outline - Series of 2 classes:

Seminar #1: Preparation for harvest and fermentation

Choice of dates: Saturday 7/8/17 or Saturday 7/15/17 from 1 - 4 pm

  • Optimal brix and acid levels
  • Equipment and ingredients you will need
  • Primary fermentation schedule
  • When and How to press
  • Malolactic fermentation: initiating or preventing

Seminar #2: Finishing fermentations and pressing

Choice of dates: Saturday 7/22/17 or 7/29/17 from 1 - 4 pm

  • Fermentations finished, ready for aging
  • Managing sulfites
  • Carboys, steel tanks, kegs, and barrels
  • Oak : hands-on oak trials
  • Clarifying wine
  • Blending
  • Common wine flaws and their treatments
  • Bottling: bottles, corks, finishing

* A $30 cancellation fee will be charged if you cancel your ticket prior to 48 hours of the event; no refunds within 48 hours of last first seminar


Purchase tickets online here


Grapes to Glass Winemaking on Site with Fresh Grapes -- Limited Openings!

Here’s your chance to get your hands purple!  Curds and Wine will be hosting an exclusive, intensive Grapes to Glass Winemaking course.  This is not a custom crush, you will make your own wine from grapes delivered by West Coast Grapes and our gold-medal winning winemakers will lead you through the process.  This class will be limited to 30 fermentors total.  Please remember only winemakers and team members that have taken our Basic Winemaking from Fresh or Frozen Grapes seminars are allowed to participate in this course.  The following criteria apply to participation in the class:
  • All participants must be 21 years of age or older
  • All participants must sign liability waiver
  • Class fee includes all ingredients, supplies, and use of equipment for making wine on site
  • You CANNOT participate if you would be unavailable (i.e., planning to travel at all or have major surgery or other major life events) between August and October; you or a team member MUST be present for all winemaking sessions
  • This course includes making wine from fresh juice or red wine grapes, but the production of rosé or white wine from grapes is not included in this course.

This Hands-on intensive series of classes that goes through basics of winemaking from grapes to bottle

  • Maximum 30 fermentors available, first-come first-served
  • Cost is $400/winemaker total, $200 non-refundable deposit to reserve your space and balance of $200 due at first class
  • New participants that have not taken our Basic Winemaking from Fresh or Frozen Grapes seminars are required to take these before grape delivery; this is a separate cost
  • Includes making your own wine from grapes delivered from West Coast Grapes on site at Curds and Wine, all equipment, ingredients, testing, and bottling (including personalized labels); does not include cost of grapes
  • Approximately 2 to 2 1/2 cases of wine per 100 lbs of grapes purchased produced in class, including personalized labels, bottles & corks
  • This class does not include grapes; grapes must be purchased separately from West Coast Grapes, 150 lbs maximum per fermentor.  Grapes from other sources cannot be made in this class.
  • You or a team member must be present when grapes are delivered, we cannot hold grapes for an extended period of time.
  • No refunds on deposits

This course costs $400/winemaking team total, $200 non-refundable deposit to reserve your space and balance of $200 due at first class; you can add up to 2 additional fermentors per group for $100 each for a maximum of 4 fermentors per group.  This cost does not include cost of grapes, grapes must be purchased separately from West Coast grapes - no other grapes can be brought in for this class.


Contact us if you are interested in participating in our 2017 Grapes to Glass course





Very Limited Quantities of Winexpert Pink Moscato Available

Light and refreshing on the palate with flavors of fresh strawberry, raspberry and cherry, this special wine kit has been a smash hit in past summers - but we only get very limited quantities, then it's gone!  Contact us to reserve your Winexpert Pink Moscato kit for $89.95.

WE Pink Moscato


Harvest Equipment, Rentals and Supplies

Curds and Wine is here to help guide you in choosing the best yeasts for your fermentations, and we offer a wide variety of other ingredients from basic nutrients to enhancing enzyme preparations to make the best wines. We also have equipment for rent to crush and press your grape wines - contact us to reserve your equipment as soon as you estimate you will need it.  We offer some basic in-house wine chemistry testing, but for more in-depth analysis our friends at Vinmetrica offer a wider array of tests - you can drop off your samples for Vinmetrica analyses at Curds and Wine.  Curds and Wine has compiled a red wine making summary and basic shopping list to help you find everything you need for your fermentations.

We also have a very limited selection of large equipment for sale, including manual or motorized crusher/destemmers and stands (sold separately), basket or bladder presses, and stainless steel tanks. We also have a few 3-spout and 5-spout gravity bottle fillers. 
Contact us if you are interested in purchasing any equipment - before they're all gone!

200L_ss_tank  3_spout_bottle_filler


RJ Spagnols Holiday Dessert Wine Kits Preorders

These Dessert Wines bring unique and distinctive wines that are perfect for all your holiday entertaining and gift giving. Cru Specialty has a wine to please every palate! These wines are available exclusively for the holiday season with estimated delivery in September. Pre-order yours today - we will put in our order at the end of the month, only a few extra kits will be available!


VANILLA FIG Christmas in a glass! Dark berry and dried fruit aromas complemented by baking spices and vanilla bean. Very complex on the palate with dried fruit, vanilla flavors and spice notes coming through on the finish.  This dessert wine kit was a big hit last year, get yours before they sell out! $116.95

RASPBERRY MOCHA This ruby red wine is a must for any dessert lover. Aromas of dark chocolate and coffee blended with ripe juicy raspberry jam draw you in. Sweet on the palate with nuances of cocoa powder and coffee balances perfectly with hints of tangy acidity from the raspberry. The perfect wine to indulge in this holiday season. $116.95

BLACK FOREST Bursting with rich aromas of red and dark cherry, this full-flavored Port style also has a hint of dark chocolate fused with plum and toasted oak on the nose. Rich and sweet on the palate with an enjoyable warm finish, this dessert in a bottle is an irresistible complement to your holiday festivities.  $116.95

TOASTED CARAMEL Intensely creamy and pleasantly sweet, this full-bodied red wine combines a rich caramel aroma with the robust flavors of red fruit. The buttery caramel notes give this wine a roundness and texture on the palate that is perfectly balanced with rich toasted notes on the finish.  $116.95

COFFEE Energize your senses with this comforting flavor experience! Dating back to the 15th century, coffee has been enjoyed worldwide as an invigorating elixir. Typical of medium roast coffee, aromas of toffee, burnt marshmallow and chocolate will entice you and follow through to a palate which finishes with lingering notes of vanilla. Our Coffee Dessert Wine is a wonderful end to any meal, paired with dessert or enjoyed on its own.  $116.95

Contact us to preorder your RJ Spagnols Holiday Dessert Wine Kits


Save the Dates - Winemaker Magazine 2018 Conference will be in San Diego May 17 - 20, 2018!

Mark your calendars - the Winemaker Magazine annual conference will be in San Diego May 17 - 20, 2018!  The conference will be held at the Crown Plaza hotel in Mission Valley.  You can already register online and book your hotel room at a special rate online here.  This conference is a great place to expand your winemaking and grape growing expertise, as well as meet fellow winemakers from around the world.  If you enter the WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition you can pick up your medals at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday night!  More details to come, we will keep you posted in our upcoming newsletters.

WM 2018 SD conference logo