See you at the Fair!


The Homemade Cheese contest at the San Diego County Fair is a One-Day Contest again this year, being held on Friday June 24th.  This contest is open to amateurs only. No pre-registration required -- bring your prepared cheese(s) and the typed or printed recipe form found online at, Home & Hobby page under "One-Day Contests". Deliver entries between opening time of the Fair and 12:45 pm on Friday June 24, 2016 to the Home & Hobby area located on the 2nd floor, west end of the Grandstand. Judging starts at 1:00 pm and once the judging process starts, no late entries will be accepted . Your entry and entry contest form will admit you to the Fair FREE. All contest judging begins at 1:00pm. Exhibitors must personally deliver their entries. More information online here.

The Homemade Wine Awards ceremony at the San Diego County Fair will be held at 7:30 pm opening day, Friday June 3rd.  You can only attend if you or a friend entered wine in the contest, admission is by ticket only given to entrants when they drop off their wines. If you missed entering this year be sure to check our newsletter next spring for entry deadlines and instructions.  Winners will be posted online after the awards ceremony - winners of the California State Fair Homemade wine contest and the Winemaker Magazine Homemade Wine Competition are already online, congratulations everyone!

Curds and Wine will close early at 3 pm on Friday June 3rd - see you at the Homemade Wine Awards Ceremony at the San Diego County Fair!

SD Fair Wine awards

Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheesemaking Class Saturday June 25th at 1 pm


Join us at Curds and Wine to learn how easy and rewarding it is to make your own fresh cheese at home! At this class you will learn the techniques for making mozzarella, ricotta, paneer and ricotta salata. You will receive a packet with basic supplies to get you started with your cheesemaking as well as recipes for the cheeses, plus a 10% discount on any purchase in the shop following the class.


This class is taught by Paul Savage, a patient and knowledgeable instructor having trained classes as diverse as troubleshooting technique at Microsoft support to hands on photography courses. He has been experimenting with home cheese making for many years, creating marvels such as 5 year old Gouda so nutty in flavor that no cracker was worthy of sharing its spotlight, as odd as green tea mozzarella - imagine a green tea latte flavor paired with tomato or melon - and as common as basil garlic ricotta used to make fresh gnocchi.For only a few times a year Paul will be combining two of his talents: teaching and cheese making to help you find the joy he gets from crafting cheese at home.


Paul Savage


Purchase tickets for this class at the shop or online here


Basic Winemaking from Fresh Grapes 2-part Seminar Series

Batch-B-at-innoculationJoin 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, 1 - 4 pm 
Choice of dates: Saturday 6/11/16, Saturday 6/18/16, or Saturday 7/9/16 
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, 1 - 4 pm 
Choice of dates:Saturday 7/23/16, Saturday 7/30/16, or Saturday 8/6/16 
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


Pink Moscato is Back for a Limited Time!

Pink MoscatoLight and refreshing on the palate with flavors of fresh strawberry, raspberry and cherry, this special wine kit was a smash hit last summer.  Limited quantities are available, contact us to reserve your Winexpert Pink Moscato kit for $89.95.


Winexpert Limited Edition Port Kits for Preorder

Even if you are not a fan of ports or dessert wines, you'll love these port-style wines from Winexpert!  Super tasty, these wines have won multiple awards at home winemaking contests and make great holiday gifts.  
A customer favorite for several years!  Warm cherries and plums are supported by a racy zing of bright raspberry and luscious chocolate. $116.95 each 
Dark chocolate and cool peppermint blend seamlessly with the rich coffee notes and dark fruit. $116.95 each 
Rich and velvety notes of dark berry with a hint of moist sponge cake enveloped in decadent cocoa. $116.95 each
Available now for preorder, these kits will be released around August so they will be ready for holiday enjoyment and gift-giving.  Contact us to reserve your kit!

chocolate raspberry portRed Velvet portPeppermint Mocha port


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!

VANILLA FIG (NEW) 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Contact us to reserve your RJ Spagnols Holiday Dessert Wine Kits!

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Happy Holidays 2016 December
Six Year Anniversary! November
Holiday Wine and Cheese October
Harvest 2016 September
What's New at Curds and Wine August
Declare YOUR Independence! July
See you at the Fair! June
Wine on the Vine May
Share the Joy of Homemade Wine and Cheese April
Get Your Wine Competition Entries Ready! March
Love Making Your Own Wine and Cheese February
Another Year of Wine and Cheese January

New Cheese Making Reference: Mastering Basic Cheesemaking by Gianaclis Caldwell

This well-illustrated, clearly written practical guide assumes no prior experience on the part of the aspiring cheesemaker. Topics include: 
  • Understanding your ingredients, tools and techniques 
  • Whipping up “instant cheeses” such as ricotta and paneer while learning basic milk chemistry 
  • Progressing to fermented dairy products such as kefir, yogurt and sour cream 
  • Using bacteria and coagulant to create spreadable and tender cheeses like quark, chevre, cream cheese and American style cottage cheese 
  • Graduating to curdled, aged and ripened cheese—mozzarella, feta, cheddar, gouda, and parmesan.


Back Issues of Winemaker Magazine and Culture: The Word on Cheese on sale!

Pick up some classic copies of Winemaker Magazine or Culture: The Word on Cheese for 50% off this month!

* in store only, while supplies last; all issues except current issues are on sale