Time to Make Wine for the Holidays!

Although it's only spring, now is the time to think about holiday gift-giving!  If you want to give the special wine drinkers in your life a lovely red wine this year, start making it now.  Red wines take longer to age due to their complexity, and we have a great selection that will be perfect for holiday imbibing.  Contact us today to make your appointment to make wine on site with us!
Don't forget about our Winemaker Referral Program to thank our loyal customers at Curds and Wine. Refer 3 new winemakers that start their own wine on site at Curds and Wine we'll give you 30 new bottles*! Offer applies to new winemakers that make wine at the shop, or a new group of winemakers making wine together. Bring in your friends to share the fun of making your own wine, and get rewarded! (*excluding magnum bottles)

We have new, better UPS shipping rates for your online orders!  Shipping rates for wine kits to the western US are typically $20-$25, even for our premium kits.  Check out our online catalog and take 10% off your online order through 6/28/15 using coupon code SHIPCAW2015 (minimum purchase $50).

Basic Winemaking from Fresh or Frozen Grapes 2-Seminar Summer Series

Punching mustJoin 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, or you can sign up for our Grapes to Glass course (see details below).

Outline - Series of 2 classes:
Seminar #1: Preparation for harvest and fermentation, 1 - 4 pm
Choice of dates: Friday 7/10/15. Saturday 7/11/15, Friday 7/17/15, or Saturday 7/18/15
  • 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: Friday 7/31/15, Saturday 8/1/15, Friday 8/7/15, or Saturday 8/8/15
  • 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
Sign up online here.  We will contact you for your choice of seminar dates when you sign up.

Grapes to Glass Fresh Grape Winemaking at Curds and Wine

Grapes to Glass 2014 crushing grapes 2Here’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 winemaker will lead you through the process.

This class will be limited to 20 winemakers (individuals or teams) 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 winemaking - sign up online if you have not taken it previously. 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) 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 goes through basics of winemaking from grapes to bottle
  • Maximum 20 winemaking groups.
  • Cost is $400/winemaker (individual or group) total, $200 non-refundable deposit to reserve your space and balance of $200 due one week before grape delivery
  • 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, 300 lbs maximum, to be fermented in 2 fermentors maximum; additional fermentors can be added for $100 each, 4 fermentors per winemaking group maximum.
  • 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/winemaker (individual or group) total, $200 non-refundable deposit to reserve your space and balance of $200 due one week before grape delivery. 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.

Total number of participants is limited, contact us to sign up!


Preorder Winexpert Chocolate Dessert Wines - Perfect Gifts for the Holidays!

Chocolate ports 2015 winexpertWinexpert is offering three amazing chocolate desserts wines for limited release this year.  Be sure to preorder yours today!  Kits should arrive at Curds and Wine by August, plenty of time to make them up for holiday gifts - some of these are already available.  Each of these special kits are $116.95 at Curds and Wine.

Chocolate Raspberry Dessert Wine This dessert wine is bursting with rich, intense flavors and aromas. Warm cherries and plums are supported by a racy zing of bright raspberry and luscious chocolate. Oak: Medium Sweetness: 7 (Sweet) Alcohol: 17%
Chocolate Orange Dessert Wine Back by popular demand, this intensely flavored dessert wine is full-bodied and rich, with complex aromas of bittersweet dark chocolate, along with ripe orange and marmalade flavors. Oak: Medium Sweetness: 7 (Sweet) Alcohol: 17%
NEW! Chocolate Salted Caramel Dessert Wine New this year, this perfectly indulgent dessert wine is both sweet and luxurious. The velvety decadence of chocolate blends beautifully with rich, salted caramel and is sure to become a new favorite. Oak: Medium Sweetness: 7 (Sweet) Alcohol: 17%

Contact us today to reserve yours!


Reserve your Winexpert Pink Moscato today!

Pink Moscato 2015If you like Moscato, you will LOVE the limited release Pink Moscato from Winexpert.  Light and refreshing on the palate with flavors of fresh strawberry, raspberry and cherry.  Available at Curds and Wine for $89.95, contact us today to reserve yours!  Only a very limited quantity available.

Hard Pink Lemonade and Hard Limeade available now in limited quantities!

Island Mist pink lemonade and hard limeade 2015Set up your own back yard lemonade stand this summer with these super refreshing, tart yet sweet, Island Mist flavors. Hard Pink Lemonade has flavors of freshly squeezed lemons that make for a classic taste of pink lemonade with a kick. Hard Limeade is refreshingly tart with flavors of freshly squeezed limes and just the right amount of sweetness. 

Both are available in very limited quantities for $69.95 at Curds and Wine.  Contact us to get yours for summer sipping!


NEW - One Gallon Batch Wine Kits and Equipment Sets

Vintners Best 1 gallon wine kitsAvailable by 5/6/15 at Curds and Wine - one gallon batch wine kits from Winexpert!  Six varietals are currently available:  California Moscato, Chilean Merlot, Italian Pinot Grigio, California Pinot Noir, Australian Chardonnay and California Cabernet Sauvignon.  Each batch will yield approximately 5 finished bottles of wine, a great way to start making wine without a big investment!  Each wine kit is $29.95 at Curds and Wine, and a One Gallon Equipment set is also available for $52.95.  A great way to get started making your own wine or an excellent gifts for moms, dads, and grads!  Contact us to get the first kits available from Curds and Wine


Large Equipment Orders for Harvest 2015

3 spout bottle fillerHarvest time is approaching -- time to get your crushpad ready! Curds and Wine will have a very limited selection of large equipment for sale this year, 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!
crusher destemmer barrel pulled out


Hungarian Oak Barrel Preorders

BarrelsWe are taking preorders for Vadai Hungarian barrels. A variety of sizes are available for wine, beer, or vinegar. You can find available sizes and a price list on our website. Preorders will require a $50 non-refundable deposit. Please contact us with your name and a phone number for contact, but do NOT include any credit card information. You can also place preorders at the shop.

Preorders must be placed by Sunday, August 2nd so that we can get the barrels in stock for harvest season.
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

Free Winemaking Demonstrations Fri 6/5/15 and Sat 6/6/15

Join us to see 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 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!
Starting wine
Please RSVP for this demonstration:
Friday 6/5/15 at 1 pm
Saturday 6/6/15 at 1 pm

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


Homemade Cheese contest at the San Diego County Fair Saturday June 20, 2015

A Fair to RememberThis year the Homemade Cheese contest is part of the Home & Hobby One-day competitions. These contests are open to amateurs only, unless otherwise stated.  No pre-registration required. Bring your prepared item and the typed or printed recipe form found online. They will no longer accept other types of recipe forms. No exceptions!

Deliver entries between opening time of the Fair and 12:45pm on Saturday 6/20/15 to the Home & Hobby area 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 to the Fair FREE. Exhibitors must personally deliver their entries. There is no limit of entries per class.

Each cheese entry shall consist of a minimum of four (4) ounces of cheese, plated on a disposable plate, unwrapped and ready for judging. Please indicate if your cheese needs refrigeration when you drop off your entry.

Judging Criteria: Appearance, Presentation, Aroma, Flavors, Body/Texture, Balance, and

1 Firm
2 Soft
3 Feta
4 Blue
5 Flavored
6 Vegan
7 Other

Awards: The first - place winner in each class will receive a $25 Award from the Fair

More information and forms to download for entry are online here


Enter the Orange County Fair Homemade Wine Competition by May 16, 2015

The Orange County Wine Society, in conjunction with the Orange County Fair, is proud to sponsor the 39th annual OC Fair Wine Competition. This will be held on Saturday June 6, 2015 at the OC Fair and Event Center, Costa Mesa. All amateur winemakers in California are invited to submit your wines for judging. Last year there were 627 entries from all parts of California.

Wine Entries are to be submitted On-Line. DEADLINE: Last day for entries is May 16, 2015. All wines must be entered online, dropped-off and shipped by that date.

Curds and Wine is a drop-off point for wine competition entries.  When you register your wines online choose "Curds and Wine" from the drop-down menu, you will be automatically charged for shipping from Curds and Wine to Orange County for judging.  Please be sure that your wines are correctly prepared and labelled before bringing to Curds and Wine for shipping!

More information is available at www.ocws.org.  In keeping with recent competitions, awards will not be announced the day of the event with the exception of the "BEST OF SHOW" awards. This is being done to allow for the Competition Reviewing Committee to verify the accuracy and consistency of recommended medals and scores. This insures the quality and standards of the competition are met. The awards, insignias and judging critique sheets will be mailed 3-4 weeks following the competition. Award ribbons will be given this year for Double-Gold, Gold, Silver & Bronze and Honorable Mention Awards. Engraved Plaques will also be given for the Best of Show in the White, Red, Fruit and Dessert categories The results will be posted within 48 hours following the competition on the Orange County Wine Society web site under Homewine Competition.

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!