July Newsletter: Winexpert Boomerang Red

3rd Jul 2020

This exciting new Australian blend is a great catch: Boomerang Red - available for a limited time only.

Winexpert Limited Reserve Australian Boomerang Red $165.99

Vibrant and velvety with rich dark fruit, plum and juicy red berry framed by well-integrated oak and spice.

Blend: Petit Verdot Grenache

Body: Medium-Full

Sweetness: Dry

Oak: Medium

ABV: 13.5%

Contact us to check availability, we will have a very limited amount.  Expected in stock late July/early August.

Boomerang red

A Perfect Summer Cheese: Feta

feta cubes before briningFeta is one of my favorite cheeses for summer - great on salads with fresh tomatoes or with grilled zucchini, or just snacking with a nice glass of rosé in the sun.  Here is my Blue Ribbon Feta Recipe:

What you need:

1 gallon whole milk (avoid ultra pasteurized, regular pasteurized is fine)

¾ tsp calcium chloride diluted in 2 Tbsp water (optional)

¼ tsp mild lipase powder reconstituted in ¼ cup water for 20 minutes

1 packet direct set mesophilic culture

½ tablet rennet or ½ tsp liquid animal or vegetable rennet diluted in ¼ cup water

2-4 Tbsp cheese salt, plus salt for brine (can use flaked Kosher, avoid iodized salt)

Add calcium chloride to milk and heat to 90°F over direct heat. Turn off heat and mix in direct set culture. Cover and let sit for 45 minutes.

Heat milk to 96°F. Stir in lipase, then add rennet and mix in gently but thoroughly. Cover the pot and let sit until a clean break is achieved, 1 to 3 hours.

Cut the curd into ½” cubes. Let curds rest for 5 minutes, then gently stir every 10 minutes for 1 hour, heating if necessary to hold the temperature at 96°F.

Put cheesecloth into a colander over a large pot. Pour the curds into the colander and let the whey drain out for 30 minutes. SAVE 1 quart of whey for brining, store in the refrigerator.

Pull the ends of the cheesecloth together and hang (as shown below - it must hang or it will not become a solid mass) overnight at room temperature.

The next morning cut the curd mass into 2” to 3” chunks. Arrange in a single layer in a container (as shown above) and sprinkle with salt. Cover tightly and let sit at room temperature for 3 days.

Every day pour off extra whey, turn the cubes and resalt.

After 3 days mix 2 oz. of kosher salt into the reserved whey, warmed to room temperature. Carefully pour the brine over the feta and move to the refrigerator.

Cover store for 1 to 4 weeks; the longer it is brined, the more crumbly and salty it will become, and the flavor will continue to develop as well.

feta hanging in pot

Shopping list for convenient ordering for pick up:

calcium chloride - use if you have homogenized milk

mild lipase powder

direct set mesophilic culture

cheese salt

Rennet (completely interchangable for this recipe):  

vegetable tablet rennet

liquid animal rennet

liquid vegetable rennet

Cheesecloth - any will work, though the nylon is difficult to tie but easier to clean:

Fine Cheesecloth

Coarse Cheesecloth

Nylon Cheesecloth

Order supplies online to be shipped to you or for scheduled in-store pick up - you will be contacted to set a date and time to pick up in store at the back door.

Summer Cider Sale - 25% off all Cider Kits Currently in Stock!

Hard Ciders on saleLooking for something fun for summer sipping?  Cider House Kits are easy and tasty - one week from bucket to bottle, after 3-4 weeks bottling conditioning they are ready to drink!  As of publication we have the following kits available (regular price shown):

Cider House Select Apple Cider Kit $49.50

Cider House Select Spiced Apple Cider Kit $49.95

Cider House Select Cherry Cider Kit (2) $49.95

Cider House Select Cranberry Apple Cider Kit $54.95

Cider House Select Mango Peach Cider Kit $54.95

Cider House Select Pear Cider Kit $49.95

Cider House Select Pineapple Cider Kit (2) $55.95

Sale pricing applies only to in-stock kits, while supplies last. Order your kit online with links above for purchase with curb side pick up, use coupon code "CIDER25OFF2020" to get sale price.

You will also need 2 pounds of corn sugar for brewing, plus either carbonation drops or priming sugar (one pack of either one) for bottling.  Don't forget crown caps and beer bottles as well - these need to be in bottles that can withstand pressure after carbonation in the bottle.  Each batch makes 6 gallons finished hard cider, which yields about 60 - 12 ounce bottles or 35 - 22 ounce bottles (3 cases of either one).

Need hardware?  Here's a quick list:

Brewing Bucket and Lid

Airlock - Econo-lock or Twin Bubble


Siphon and tubing

Bottling wand

Beer Bottle Capper


Siphon clamp to hold on bucket

Siphon shut off clamp

Order supplies online to be shipped to you or for scheduled in-store pick up - you will be contacted to set a date and time to pick up in store at the back door.

2020 Winemaker Magazine International Amateur Wine Competition Delayed to end of July

COVID-19 Update: The 2020 Winemaker International Amateur Wine Competition is still on, but the actual judging will be postponed until July 24-26. The state of Vermont has mandated two main hurdles in place through July 1 that cannot be met including a 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors (which almost all of the judges would have to do) as well as a maximum group size of 25, which the group of judges and volunteers exceed. There are close to 2,500 wine bottles already sorted into judging flights sitting on pallets in a climate-controlled warehouse just waiting to be evaluated by an expert lineup of judges when they are legally allowed to safely host them. Your wine will be judged carefully and thoroughly in late July. By mid-August they will begin mailing out the judging notes on your wine and any awards you may have won this year.


Open by Appointment Only

We will continue to bring you the home winemaking and cheesemaking supplies you need.  We are in process of updating our website and online catalog, in the meantime if you need assistance finding anything to order online please do not hesitate to contact us. Shipping or curbside pick up is available; if you prefer to pick up, please note we will schedule a date and time for you to pick up - please do not order online for in store pick up and assume you can go directly to the shop for pick up.  The shop is not currently open and likely will not be most of the year except by appointment, but we do want to work with you to help you get what you need. 
We will keep basic supplies in stock, but will transition our wine kits to a request/preorder only system.  We do have several kits currently in stock, please contact us for our current inventory list or to request kits to preorder.