It's Not You It's Brie

Cheese Blog


The Cheese Blog


Playing with Point Reyes Creamery's Milk & Wine Geek Speak

It's Christmas-lights-up, menorah-on-mantel, tinsel-in-trees, frosty mornings time. And yes, that is a stellar holiday cheese ball pictured above (and yes since you asked, I did make it!). Sure, the daytime temperatures are still in the mid-60's in California, but in general terms, it's winter. Accordingly, it's packed with classes- many of which I'm very excited about.

This winter I'll be teaching Wine 101 at 18 Reasons in San Francisco. Many of you know that while I was firmly establishing myself as the cheese lady (Capitalize- Y or N?), I managed the wine bar at Solano Cellars Wine Shop for 10 years, and I love returning to my viniferia roots. There, in our Wine 101 class (known by some as WTF is Wine, Anyhow?), we transformed millions from wine week to wine geek by breaking down the building blocks of wine like tannins, body, and oak so people could better appreciate their beverage of choice. It was one of our most popular classes, and I loved teaching it. I'm happy to say that in January I'll be at 18 Reasons teaching my rendition of the class. And yes, there will be wine tasting involved. 

(above photo by Anna Voloshyna)

Peninsula cheese fans- I'm teaching public class in Menlo Park and Palo Alto in February at Draeger's.

In February I get to play with the same milk they use for the highly awarded Point Reyes Creamery cheeses to make homemade cheese! And so do you. For a gorgeous day of farm tours, visiting cows, cheesemaking, lunch, and a cheese tasting, please consider joining me at Point Reyes Creamery February 2nd. Speaking of February, I'm teaching a Daring Duo's & Surprising BFFs class on Valentine's Day...

More details & MANY MORE public classes follow. As always, please contact me at for private events. Classes fill up early. Happy Holidays and I hope to see you around!

Winter Public Events

Cheesemaking 101: Paneer, Fromage Blanc & Handmade Butter

January 10th, Wednesday 6:00-9:30pm
San Francisco, 18 Reasons

Making cheese at home is much easier than you think! From how to culture milk to making your own fluffy paneer, this class will teach you the delicious basics of cheesemaking. You'll learn how to make India's top cheese, how to ferment milk into fromage blanc (and when to add herbs to make the perfect party cheese), and how to make your very own rich, sweet butter by hand. After a cheese science overview and mini-tasting, we'll roll our sleeves up and don aprons to transform milk and cream into some of the best cheese and butter you've ever tasted, made better knowing you made it yourself!

Burrata By-Hand

January 18th, Thursday 6:00-9:30pm
San Francisco, 18 Reasons

The most exciting cheese on the cheese board needs little explanation: burrata is fresh mozzarella filled with luscious cream and more cheese. You get to make your own in one short night. And eat it too! In this action-packed evening class, you will learn the basics of cheesemaking, including which milk to use, where to find cultures, and options for rennet. You will also leave with a deeper understanding of the science behind the process...

Wine 101: From Tannins to Acidty- The ABC's of Wine

January 24th, Wednesday 6:30-9:00pm
San Francisco, 18 Reasons

If you've always had dreams of swirling a glass of Pinot in Burgundy while talking about its acidity, grow shy when handed the wine list at a restaurant, or just wonder what people mean when they say "fruit bomb" or "bold tannins," this Wine 101 tasting seminar is for you. In an approachable and lighthearted manner, It's Not You, It's Brie author, 18 Reasons cheesemaking teacher and wine expert Kirstin Jackson will break down the basics of wine culture and terminology for you with delicious wine examples....

Point Reyes Creamery: Artisan Cheesemaking at Home w/Kirstin Jackson, Farm Tour & Lunch

February 2nd, Friday 9:00-2:00pm
Point Reyes, Point Reyes-The Fork

Kirstin Jackson fell in love with cheese at a young age. Driving around Northern California and taking tours of creameries with her parents was Kirstin’s entry into the world of cheese. Says Kirstin, “A good way to bond and keep a teenager in the car with you is to give her cheese at the end of the trip.” Fast forward to 2007, when Kirstin decided to stop writing her wine and food pairing blog “because it wasn’t enough of an escape for me from my everyday work life working in a wine shop,” and committed to her passion for cheese online. With that decision, It’s Not You, It’s Brie, was born.... This tour includes a farm tour, lunch and cheesemaking- cultured butter, creme fraiche, queso fresco and ricotta.

Basics of Cheesemaking: Paneer, Mascarpone & Fromage Blanc

February 4th, Sunday 11:00-2:00pm
San Francisco, The Cheese School

Paneer, mascarpone, and fromage blanc are the cheeses that make appetizers and main courses sing. In this hands-on class, cheesemaker Kirstin Jackson will teach you how to make the cheeses that will become staples in your fridge for many more meals to come. You'll try your creations in class and bring some home to share, or not....

SF Beer Week: Drakes Beer & Cheese  (and Me!)- More Info Soon Save the Date

February 13th, Tuesday
Oakland, The Dealership

Valentine's Day Daring Duo Class at 18 Reasons, More info Soon Save the Date

February 14th, Wednesday
San Francisco, 18 Reasons

Peanut butter and chocolate, Cabernet and steak, pumpkin and pie, cheese and... cookies? Clearly, wine and cheese have a longstanding friendship. But on this Valentine's Day, we're testing relationship boundaries by pairing everyone's favorite fermented dairy with a secret crush or two. It's Not You, It's Brie author and recent American Cheese Society "Dairing Pairings" conference presenter Kirstin Jackson will teach the class with a wealth of research experience under her belt, a list of do's and don'ts, and adventurous advice. Expect fromage drizzled in caramel, seaweed, cookies, sip tea, and... maybe even witness a polyamorous combo or two.

Making Feta Cheese from Scratch

February 15th, Thursday, 7:00-9:00pm
Oakland, Preserved

Rich, salty and crumbly, feta is one of the world's most popular cheeses. Join us as we explore the magic of cheesemaking at home. In this workshop, we'll DISCUSS the basics of cheese science, what milk to use and how to age your feta cheese to perfection. We will get HANDS-ON as we move through the stages of cheesemaking: fermenting the milk, curd cutting, pitching, forming and brining. Plus we will TASTE some of our favorite finished versions of feta. Everyone will TAKE HOME their own cheese to age at home, and enjoy 3-4 weeks later!

Beginning Cheesemaking: Queso Fresco, Ricotta & Fromage Blanc

February 24th, Saturday, 11:00am
Menlo Park, Draeger's

• Fresh, Handmade Queso Fresco • Fresh, Handmade Whole Milk Ricotta • Fromage Blanc Culturing Demo and Hands-On Fromage Blanc Prep and Seasoning • Tasting of Commercial Queso Fresco, Fromage Blanc and Ricotta • Crostini Topped with Seasonal Fruits, Preserves and Just-Made Cheese Learn about cultures, enzymes, shelf life, what milk to buy, serving possibilities and more. After nibbling on our creations in class, all participants take home samples of their cheese to share.

•Note this is at the Menlo Park Draeger's Location.

Mozzarella & Burrata by Hand

March 6th, Thursday, 6:30pm
San Mateo, Draeger's

• Fresh, Handmade Mozzarella • Fresh, Handmade Burrata (Mozzarella’s Cream-Filled Cousin!) • Comparative tasting of commercial cow and buffalo milk mozzarellas or burrata • Winter fruit and toasted nut salad with the cheese we just made Learn about cultures, enzymes, shelf life, what milk to buy, serving possibilities and more. After nibbling on our creations in class, all participants take home samples of their cheese to share.

•Note this is at the San Mateo Draeger's Location.

UncategorizedKirstin Jackson