January 2020 Newsletter: Cheers to Our Decade Year!

5th Jan 2020

We are very excited for great things in 2020, which will mark TEN years of Curds and Wine helping great people like YOU make their own award winning wines and cheeses! 

One of the best parts of Curds and Wine is sharing experience - our years of experience making wine and cheese, but even better is watching our customers share the winemaking experience with friends. To thank you for sharing the joy of winemaking we offer a referral bonus -- for every 3 new winemaking groups you refer to Curds and Wine, we will give you 30 brand new bottles (any type in stock except magnums)!

Winemaker Magazine International Amateur Wine Competition

2020-WM-Competition-logo_RevEnter 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. 

Send in your best wines by March 17, 2020 to get valuable feedback from our experienced judges and see how your wines stack up against your fellow winemakers - Curds and Wine will be shipping entries through February 2020 for anyone in the San Diego area entering the competition.  Bring your entries ready for submission with all paperwork and payments to Curds and Wine before Sunday February 16, 2020.  All entrants will receive their judging notes, and you might even win a medal or two! Entry guidelines and forms can be found in WineMaker magazine or online here. Please mark Curds and Wine as your U-Vint if you made wine with us, and as your retailer otherwise -- with your help we might win U-Vint of the Year again like we did in 2018!

We encourage you to enter this prestigious competition, and attend the Awards dinner at the 2020 WineMaker Magazine Conference in San Luis Obispo/Paso Robles!  Remember, awards dinner tickets are separate from conference registration - register for the awards dinner here.  


2020 Winemaker Magazine Conference in San Luis Obispo

2020-WM-Conf-logo-2We are excited to be a Sponsor of the 2020 WineMaker Magazine Conference in San Luis Obispo/Paso Robles May 29 – 30! This Central Coast region of California is home to over 250 wineries located both directly south of San Luis Obispo in the Edna Valley as well as to the north of the city in the Paso Robles wine region. San Luis Obispo is also home to Cal Poly – one of the leading winemaking universities in the country. The conference will feature an all-star cast of winemaking speakers pulled from this region as well as WineMaker writers delivering seminars and workshops to help you make better wine. Don’t miss out on: 

• 18 Big Seminars 

• Group Interactive Workshops 

• Tasting Party 

• 12 Hands-On Winemaking Boot Camps 

• Winery Tours 

• WineMaker Competition Awards Dinner 

• Sponsor Exhibits

Registration and more details are online here.  Let us know if you are going and we will give you a FREE Curds and Wine shirt to wear, we always take a big group photo when we are there!

2018 Winemaker Conference in San Diego


Winexpert 2020 Limited Edition Wine Kits

LE19 marks the 30th Anniversary of bringing exclusive, premium limited release wines to the home winemaking world. This year's selections were specially chosen for their outstanding varietals and exceptional quality. From the delicate and exotic Pecorino Pinot Grigio from Italy to the full-bodied, robust Red Pacific Quartet, these wines are sure to thrill and delight!


VALENCIA, SPAIN - Valencia, a sunny region located in the heart of Spain's east coast, is where one can find the Tempranillo grape. The Mediterranean climate of mild winters and very warm summers, combined with the gently sloping vineyards and permeable subsoils, creates the perfect growing conditions for this savory grape. Valencia is also home to the famous annual Las Fallas festival which welcomes the arrival of spring with fireworks, pyrotechnics and colourful, giant paper-mache figures. Every day during the festival at 2 pm, the city is filled with the sound of firecrackers, ultimately ending in the extraordinary finale called the Terremoto!

The Tempranillo grape's thick skin gives the wine a deep ruby color and moderate tannins. Medium-bodied and savory, Terremoto Tempranillo has flavors of cherry, dried fig and cedar, with hints of leather and spices. Whether you're celebrating a big occasion like your 30th anniversary, complete with fireworks, or just toasting the end of a workday, this wine is the perfect accompaniment. Pair with braised meats, chorizo sausage or roasted eggplant.




The Pecorino grapes are sourced from Abruzzo, Italy which is a mountainous region located along the Adriatic Sea. It is also home to the highest point on mainland Italy, Corno Grande. Veneto is located in northeast Italy and is the source region for the Pinot Grigio. The influence of the nearby Alps provides a cooler microclimate where fresh, crisp white wines flourish.

Pinot Grigio was originally established as Pinot Gris in Burgundy and although most famous in Alsace, France, made its way to Switzerland in the 1300s and eventually to Northern Italy where Pinot Grigio was born. Today it is Italy's most popular grape. Pecorino has a bit of a different history; thought to be extinct in the mid-20th century, it was rediscovered in the 1980s by a local producer who then took cuttings and propagated them resulting in this grape's resurgence. Blending Pinot Grigio, the most popular Italian white wine grape, with the lesser-known Pecorino grape results in a delicate white wine with high acidity, lemon, lime and honeysuckle flavors, and an elegant floral aroma. Pair with steamed mussels, seafood risotto and vegetarian spring rolls.




The Pacific Rim, encompassed by North and South America on one side and Australia on the other, has microclimates that match those from all over the world. From blazing sunshine to crisp mountain air, and with soils ranging from sandy loam to stony red clay to nearly pure limestone and everything in between, the range and variety provide the perfect terroir for almost any grape, especially those found in this charismatic red blend. PACIFIC QUARTET RED For our 30th anniversary, we've decided to put a spin on one of Winexpert's most popular Limited Releases ever, introducing Pacific Quartet Red! We've selected the most revered red varietals from the same regions that are featured in Pacific Quartet. Blending California Cab, Chilean Malbec, Australian Shiraz and Washington Merlot created the most delectable, full-bodied wine. The combination results in a well-structured, tannic wine with a bouquet of blackberry and cherry. The palate offers rich berry overtones w ith hints of currant and dark chocolate and a toasty oak finish. Pair with rich meat and bean stews, roasted leg of lamb with rosemary or aged cheddar.


YOLO WHITE (MARCH 2020) $159.95

YOLO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA - YOLO is commonly known as an acronym for 'You Only Live Once', however, the origin of the name Yolo County is believed to come from Native American descent. This county is situated at the northernmost region within the Central Valley in California. Because of the deep and fertile soils found here, Yolo County is largely known for its agriculture, mainly its tomato production. The marine effects from the nearby Sacramento River provide cooler temperatures and the fog that rolls in and out of the vineyards daily, combined with the coastal winds, make for ideal grape growing conditions. The climate contributes to the concentration of aromatic compounds found in the wines produced in this region. YOLO WHITE Fruit-forward and slightly off-dry, the palate on this wine is inviting and well-balanced. The Chardonnay contributes vibrant green apple and melon flavors. The floral aromatics come from the Muscat, and the Chenin Blanc completes the wine with citrus flavors and high acidity. Pair with mild curry dishes, baked ham, Brie and Camembert.


CAPE BLEND (APRIL 2020) $189.95

WORCESTER, SOUTH AFRICA - The Worcester region in South Africa is located approximately 100 kms from Cape Town, in the Breede River Valley. It is surrounded by majestic mountain ranges and the Breede River runs through the valley on its way to the Indian Ocean. The hot climate and the protection provided by the mountains combine to provide perfect conditions for high-quality, fruitful wines. CAPE BLEND This exciting combination of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage and Grenache creates a wine that is truly outstanding and worthy of being a part of the 30th anniversary of LE! The dark berry flavours from the Cabernet Sauvignon balance nicely with the forward spiciness from the Shiraz. Pinotage, which is a grape varietal that is unique to South Africa, provides strong tannins and smoky, earthy characteristics while the Grenache contributes aromas of leather and licorice. Together these elements offer a complex, full-bodied wine that pairs well with roasted red meats seasoned with marinades or savory herbs and aged hard cheeses.


*Alcohol level based on following Winexpert winemaking instructions.

Contact us to check availability and reserve yours! If you preordered kits we will contact you when they arrive in stock.

WE LE 2019


RJ Spagnols Restricted Quantity 2020 Wine Kits

The year 2020 marks Restricted Quantities’ 20th anniversary of craft winemaking! To celebrate RJ Spagnols is releasing five wines that promise to be the Bee's Knees - aptly named after popular 1920’s common phrases, and not to outdo one another, each phrase carries a common meaning of being “the best of the best”.

January 2020 - Argentina Bonarda Syrah $184.95- SOLD OUT!

Toast to the perfection of The Darb’s magnificent character, style and substance when you share the finery of this 2020 vintage. Subtle tannins and rich sophistication mingle throughout this gently layered Bonarda Syrah, truly marking it as the perfect blend. Plump red plum and blueberry underlined with smoky notes on the palate. Food Pairings: Margherita pizza; Spaghetti Bolognese; Braised pork 

Oak: Medium 

Body: Medium 

Sweetness: Dry

January 2020 - Spanish Macabeo $164.95

Uncork the brilliance of RQ’s Macabeo and celebrate the light and lively layers of The Caterpillar’s Kimono. With its soft floral fragrance and golden elegance, this rare vintage is one of RQ 2020’s finest white varietals — A brilliant beauty. A fresh and lively wine with hints of citrus, green apple, stone fruit, and soft floral notes. 

Food Pairings: Fish tacos; Roasted cauliflower; Phyllo-wrapped appetizers

Oak: Unoaked 

Body: Light 

Sweetness: Dry

February 2020 - Chile Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot $184.95 - SOLD OUT!

Hit all the high notes with this top shelf varietal. The Big Shot is the one to please any crowd and thrill every audience. Get carried away by the sultry allure and deep rich tones of ruby red with this jazzed RQ 2020 vintage — the big shot in our quintet of all-star varietals. Ripe blackcurrant and blackberry complemented by herbaceous, tobacco and spice. Food Pairings: Empanadas; Angus burgers; Grilled sausage 

Oak: Medium 

Body: Medium 

Sweetness: Dry

March 2020 - Australian Pinot Noir Shiraz $184.95 - SOLD OUT!

The Cat’s Meow: another crème de la crème of RQ’s 2020 premium collection. This magnificent vintage is the best of a Pinot Noir Shiraz. Discover heady spices in the layered, juicy nuances of this expertly blended wine. And raise a glass to the maven blend that celebrates all your glorious traditions and milestones. Juicy red and dark fruits on the nose and palate with a hint of spice on the finish. Food Pairings: Charcuterie; Goat cheese; Mushroom tarts 

Oak: Medium 

Body: Medium 

Sweetness: Dry

April 2020 - Spanish Rosé $164.95

Introducing The Deb, the darling of RQ 2020’s five-star wines. Celebrate a unique and captivating vintage with this fragrant, easy-drinking Spanish Rosé. There will never be a shortage of requests for this debutante wine’s youthful charm and delicate elegance. Its destined to make a grand entrance this coming season. Food Pairings: Bruschetta; Spring vegetable quiche; Strawberry spinach salad 

Oak: Unoaked 

Body: Medium 

Sweetness: Dry

Restricted Quantities usually sell out fast, be sure to contact us to check availability and reserve yours! If you preordered kits we will contact you when they arrive in stock.

RJS RQ 2020 banner


San Diego County Fair Homemade Wine Competition

SD Fair 2020 logoMark your calendars - the San Diego County Fair Homemade Wine awards will be held on Sunday May 3, 2020.  

More key dates:

  • Online entry deadline Friday April 3, 2020
  • Entry drop off Tuesday April 21, 202 from 12 - 7 pm
  • Awards Ceremony Sunday May 3, 2020 from 3 - 5 pm
  • Judging comments mailed by Friday May 15, 2020

Entering the San Diego County Fair Homemade wine competition is a great way to get feedback from seasoned wine judges to help you focus your winemaking - and you might win a medal or ribbon!  The best part is the Awards Ceremony, where all the wines submitted are out for tasting during the ceremony.  Many other home winemakers, including wine educators and wine judges, will be there - a great way to network, learn from others, and just have fun.

Details, entry information and link to entry can be found online here.  We hope to see many of you there!