Cider, Mead, Wine and Cheese


We have a bunch of fun, unique seminars and workshops coming up at Curds and Wine this spring!  We are hosting a Mead Making seminar and workshop with Matt Steiger, author of Fringe Fermentation.  Learn the ancient art of making honey wine, with some modern twists - take just the seminar or sign up to make your own mead or melomel on site following the seminar.  We also have a free presentation on Cider making by Stan Sisson, partner in Julian CiderWorks.  Pete Anderson returns to show you How to Change Your Wine Varietal Without Replanting by Grafting.  We also have our last Cheesemaking Fundamentals Classes until November.
starting wine
For new winemakers interested in learning the process of making wine from kits, we will have 2 free Winemaking Demonstrations to 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 an hour, and then you can start your own wine! There is no charge, and you will receive a special coupon to pay a single $50 vintning fee with your first session of winemaking on site*. Discover how easy and rewarding it is to make your very own wines!

Please RSVP for this demonstration:
Friday 3/20/15 at 1 pm
Saturday 3/21/15 at 10 am

*coupon for new winemakers only making wine on site at Curds and Wine; you must attend the demonstration for coupon. You can start up to 3 wine kits at your first session, pay only one $50 vintning fee


Cheesemaking Fundamentals Classes

cheese class group cropped

Join us at Curds and Wine to learn how easy and rewarding it is to make your own cheeses at home! In our Cheesemaking Fundamentals 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, gouda, and camembert. We will make fromage blanc, ricotta, and queso fresco, and demonstrate the processes involved in making feta, swiss-style cheeses and mold-ripened cheeses such as camembert/brie-style and blue 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 coupon.

Class size is limited to 18 participants. Ticket holders ONLY admitted to class.

Purchase tickets online:
Saturday March 7, 2015 from 1 - 4 pm

Thursday March 12, 2015 from 1 - 4 pm

Saturday March 14, 2015 from 1 - 4 pm


Mead Making Seminar and Workshop with Matt Steiger Sunday 3/29/15 at 1 pm

mead in jugCome join us to learn the joys of brewing that most ancient and heady beverage – mead - from author of “Fringe Fermentation” Matt Steiger. Take just the seminar or make your own 3-gallon batch of mead or melomel on site at Curds and Wine! Hands-on Mead Making includes all ingredients, equipment, bottles and personalized labels for 30 – 375 mL bottles of mead. Choice of Mountain Wildflower Honey or Clover Blend honey (based on availability) for mead, with additional choices of apricot or blackberry puree for melomel. 
Matt Steiger is a local physicist and food writer. He is a regular contributor to Edible San Diego, covering farming, fishing, and fermentation. He is also author of Fringe Fermentation: A Guide to brewing cider, mead, and country wines at home; available here on
Seminar ONLY $45/person  
Mead Making seminar plus make mead on site workshop $150/person


Taking Your Cidermaking To The Next Level - Free Seminar Sunday April 12, 2015

Stan SissonStan Sisson, partner in Julian CiderWorks, will present ways to take home cider making to a higher level. Stan will cover:
•Working with fresh juice: how and why this differs from using pasteurized commercial juice.
•To Sulfite or not: when and why do you need to sulfite your juice, and what your options are.
•Wild or cultured yeast: your fermentation options, and which ones might work best for you. How terroir can affect cider character.
•Blending, the Cidermakers craft: how to get the most out of your blending options.
•Apple and Pear cultivars: where to get them, and which should I use?
•Small-scale apple and pear grinding and pressing: some options for getting juice from your apples and pears, and DIY versions that may be of interest.
•Resources for hobby and small-scale commercial cidermakers: books and online information sources for those interested in making cider from fresh fruit.
•FAQs: a list of frequently asked questions, with answers, relevant to making cider from fresh fruit.

* Please RSVP for this seminar, limited to 18 people

The New Cider Maker's Handbook available at Curds and Wine

The New Cider Makers HandbookRecommended by Stan Sisson as the best guide for home cider makers, The New Cider Maker’s Handbook combines the best of traditional knowledge and techniques with up-to-date, scientifically based practices to provide today’s cider makers with all the tools they need to produce high-quality ciders.  The New Cider Maker’s Handbook is divided into five parts containing:
  • An accessible overview of the cider making process for beginners
  • Recommendations for selecting and growing cider-appropriate apples
  • Information on juice-extraction equipment and directions on how to build your own grater mill and cider press
  • A discussion of the most important components of apple juice and how these may influence the quality of the cider
  • An examination of the fermentation process and a description of methods used to produce either dry or naturally sweet cider, still or sparkling cider, and even ice cider.

This book will appeal to both serious amateurs and professional cider makers who want to increase their knowledge, as well as to orchardists who want to grow cider apples for local or regional producers. Novices will appreciate the overview of the cider-making process, and, as they develop skills and confidence, the more in-depth technical information will serve as an invaluable reference that will be consulted again and again. This book is sure to become the definitive modern work on cider making.

Get yours today at Curds and Wine for $44.95, in store or order online.


How to Change Your Wine Varietal Without Replanting: Grafting - Sunday April 19, 2015 at 1 pm

Pete Anderson will cover a description of the processes involved in grafting grape vines, from collecting the graft material to post graft care. He will give a live demonstration of two different methods at Curds and Wine.

$30/person, purchase tickets online here

Limited to 18 participants. Paid participants only admitted to seminar.

Pgraftingete Anderson has 17 years of wine growing experience in the San Diego area beginning in 1997 when he decided to plant grape vines on land next to his home and became part of the winemaking team at Witch Creek Winery. He took classes in viticulture and enology at U.C. Davis and also developed his winemaking skills locally at MiraCosta College under the direction of Lum Eisenman. He was an Associate Faculty member at MiraCosta College where he taught Vineyard Development and Management in their Horticulture Department. He also developed and conducted a viticulture seminar program at CSU San Marcos. His specialty is viteitaIiane, and for the past 15 years he’s been involved on an Italian Vine Project with internationally acclaimed wine grower CamiloMagoni who was the winemaker at L A Cetto Winery in Baja California for 49 years and now oversees Casa Magoni winery and Magoni Agricola where they are growing some 40 different Italian varieties. Pete is the Vice President for Winegrowing at Witch Creek Winery in Carlsbad and provides vineyard consultation services in his spare time. He is also a Garagiste winemaker making some 10 – 12 wines in his garage in Carlsbad including Limoncello.


RJ Spagnols Restricted Quantity and Winexpert Limited edition 2014/2015 releases

Year to year, no two grape crops are the same. So each year, RJ Spagnols and Winexpert offer home winemakers an exclusive selection of outstanding wine kits, developed to feature the best results from grape harvests around the world.  Due to the nature of these kits, they are only available in limited quantities.  Contact us to check availability of these amazing wine kits, only a few extra are in stock if you did not preorder in November.  If you did preorder the March release wines we will contact you as soon as the kits arrive at Curds and Wine.
RJS RQ 2015
RJ Spagnols Restricted Quantity:
December 2014 Release
South Africa Chenin Blanc Sauvignon Blanc $138.95
Chile Cabernet Merlot $145.95

April 2015 Release
Spain Vino Blanco $138.95
Italy Aglianico $145.95
WE LE14 set
Winexpert Limited Editions:
January 2015 Release
February 2015 Release
March 2015 Release
April 2015 Release


Frozen Must and Juice Winemaking at Curds and Wine

Punching mustWe are planning frozen on-site frozen must or juice winemaking at Curds and Wine in April.  Our previous winemaking experiences with Brehm Frozen must have turned out amazing results!  More details are available online here.  You can also order frozen must or juice any time of year to make into wine off-site, contact us if you are interested in placing an order or joining us in April to make wine on site with Brehm Frozen Must.

Wishing You a Wine and Cheese Filled Holiday Season December
FIVE Year Anniversary! November
American Cheese Month October
Harvest 2015 September
Another Early Harvest Year? August
Congratulations Award Winners July
Summer Cider Time! June
Time to Make Wine for the Holidays! May
Spring Breezes, Wine and Cheeses April
Cider, Mead, Wine and Cheese March
Learn to Love to Make Your Own Wine & Cheese! February
Cheers and Cheese 2015 January

Enter the San Diego County Fair Homemade Wines contest - register by Friday April 3rd

a Fair to RememberIt's time again to get your homemade wines ready to enter in the San Diego County Fair!  Important dates to remember:
  • Friday April 3, 2015:  Deadline for online entry registration is April 3, 2015. All entries must be submitted online by 11:59PM (PST). Enter online here.
  • Wednesday April 8, 2015: Noon-7:00pm. Deliver to the Fairgrounds. Access is through Solana Gate off Via de la Valle. Upon receipt of the entry registration, a map of the entry delivery location will be sent via email
  • Friday June 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm: Award Ceremony and Exhibitor Tasting at Surfside Race Place at the San Diego County Fair. Only ticket holders will be admitted. Anyone under age 21 will not be permitted at this event. No Exceptions!


Enter the 2015 Winemaker Magazine Homemade Wine Competition by March 6, 2015

2015 Wine Comp LogoENTER YOUR BEST HOMEMADE WINES IN THE WORLD'S LARGEST COMPETITION FOR HOBBY WINEMAKERS! Year after year the WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition is the largest of its kind in the world. Entries were received from all 50 American states, 6 Canadian provinces and as far away as Turkey and Australia for the 2014 competition resulting in a total of 3,111 wines entered. Send in your best wines by March 6, 2015 to get valuable feedback from our experienced judges and see how your wines stack up against your fellow winemakers. All entrants will receive their judging notes back along with a list of the medal-winning wines. And you might even win a medal or two!

Entry guidelines and forms can be found in WineMaker magazine or click here to download the 2015 entry form and competition rules & regulations.

Here are some key competition dates for 2015:
Wine entries need to be delivered to the Vermont offices at Battenkill Communications • 5515 Main St. • Manchester Center, Vermont 05255 by: March 6, 2015
Wines will be judged in Vermont: April 10-12, 2015
Results first announced at WineMaker Magazine Conference in Portland, Oregon (Results will be posted on and mailed out soon after): May 30, 2015

Don't forget to list Curds and Wine as your retailer and U-Vint on your entry form. 

Join us at the 2015 Winemaker Magazine Conference in Portland, Oregon May 28-30

Join fellow hobby winemakers from across North America in the Pacific Northwest's famous Willamette Valley wine country for three days packed with seminars and special events to help you make your own great wine. Save $100 when you register before March 1, 2015. Don't wait - All previous conferences on the west coast sold out early!

Your Conference Registration includes:
  • 20 Big Seminars - Classes Friday 5/29/15 and Saturday 5/30/15 on winemaking techniques, grape growing & more!
  • New interactive workshops and special social events to trade ideas with fellow hobbyists.
  • Conference Binder - Each attendee will receive a binder packed with printouts of conference seminar presentation slides and room for note taking.
  • Four Group Interactive Workshops - Two interactive group workshops each day to get an in-depth learning experience to improve your winemaking.
  • Two Lunches with Keynote Addresses - Hear from Willamette Valley Vineyards' Jim Bernau on Saturday and winemaking tips from our magazine columnists on Friday.
  • Admission to Friday night Wine Share & Tasting Party - A great chance to share wines and ideas with hobbyists from across North America. Taste each other’s wines for feedback and fun. Plus, local Oregon wineries and Pacific Northwest home winemaking clubs will be pouring wines to sample and we’ll have regional foods and cheeses.
  • Admission to Sponsor Exhibits - Check out the latest winemaking equipment, products and supplies from leading vendors.
  • One-year Subscription to WineMaker Magazine Included with your conference registration, a $25 value!
Not included with registration is Admission to 2015 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition Awards Dinner.  Find out first who the winners are in the largest amateur wine competition in the world. This awards dinner will unveil the top winners from the 2015 competition. Register for this dinner in addition to the conference this year.

There are also a variety of very special Boot Camps available for separate registration, including an insider's tour of Willamette Valley Wineries, Making Wine from Kits with the ever-entertaining and Ready-to-pour Tim Vall-knowing Tim Vandergrift, and many more!

Register for the conference, boot camps, and Saturday night Award Dinner online here.

*Curds and Wine is a sponsor of the conference for 2015.  If you are attending the conference please let us know and we'll give you a free Curds and Wine t-shirt for every full conference registration!

Waiting to drink even more at Winemaker conference 2013


Cork Recycling - Bring us your used Corks!

wine corksBring in your used corks, we will pass them on to local businesses to recycle and reuse for art objects!