September Newsletter: 2020 Winemaker Magazine Competition U-Vint of the Year!

5th Sep 2020

Congratulations to everyone that scored a medal in the 2020 Winemaker Magazine Amateur Home Wine Competition and helped Curds and Wine win U-VINT OF THE YEAR for the second time! Wine entries were judged during a busy, and safe, long weekend August 21-23 evaluating a total of 2,519 wines. They held the judging this year due to safety concerns outdoors under a huge event tent at the Abraham Lincoln family estate in WineMaker’s hometown of Manchester, Vermont. Judges were seated six feet apart in their teams of three and masked unless evaluating wine. All pourers and volunteer support staff wore masks and dozens of extra procedures were put into place to ensure your wine would be carefully and expertly evaluated without health worries interfering with the process.

Winners were announced at the end of the virtual Boot Camp on Thursday September 3rd.  Results are now available online here. If you entered the competition you should receive your judging notes and medals in the mail soon, they will be mailed out starting September 4th.

We appreciate everyone that entered and listed Curds and Wine as your retailer and U-Vint! We hope to see many of you at the conference in Paso Robles in 2021, or whenever it might actually happen!

Harvest 2020 Update

As the pandemic continues, Curds and Wine continues to be closed with appointment-only pick up for online orders on select days as well as shipping for online orders. I will not be offering equipment rentals or in-house wine chemistry testing this season. 

I do still have all of the fermentation supplies, yeast and hardware you need in our online catalog. I also have a few wine presses for sale, but not any crusher/destemmers or tanks this year. If you need help finding specific items, please contact me and I will do my best to help you get everything you need. 

Check out our Harvest Supplies & Equipment page for a quick guide to making wine from white or red grapes.

Purchasing Wine Grapes

Wine GrapesCurds and Wine can help you find grapes for making wine!  I keep a list of local growers selling grapes, contact me to get the latest information or to let me know that you are selling grapes.

West Coast Grapes distributes premium wine grapes at an exceptional value. From all over California, our favorite regions include: Sonoma, Napa, Lodi, Contra Costa & The Central Valley. They strive to provide commercial and home wine makers across America with the finest grapes California has to offer and ensure the highest quality wines at a reasonable prices.  I have worked with West Coast Grapes for many years and am very impressed with the quality of their fresh grapes and juice buckets.  Though Curds and Wine is no longer a pick up site for West Coast grapes, we still have all of the supplies you need for turning your grapes or juice into quality wine.  Order online here - THE LAST DAY TO ORDER THIS YEAR IS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th @ 6pm PST.  Please note - ALL San Diego orders will go to San Diego Cold Storage. 

Crushing/Destemming Service in Clairemont area

Curds and Wine is not renting any equipment during the pandemic, but one of our friends is offering crushing/destemming service at his house in Clairemont.  If you are interested please contact Keith Wasser (he taught the Vineyard Installation and Management seminars at Curds and Wine previously) by email (click here) or contact me for his phone number.

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 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.

Open by Appointment Only

I 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 me. 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 I do want to work with you to help you get what you need. 
I will keep basic supplies in stock, but will transition our wine kits to a request/preorder only system.  I do have several kits currently in stock, please contact me for our current inventory list or to request kits to preorder.