This Week's Top 7 Eat + Drink Events


1. Becoming a Wino
Was learning more about wine one of your new year’s resolutions? In that case, get yourself to CAV on January 17 for the Intro to Wine class. The three-hour “hands-on” lesson runs from 2 to 5 p.m; for more information call 415-437-1770.

2. In a Jam
June Taylor, the grande dame of jam, will be opening up her Berkeley kitchen for one-day jam and marmalade-making workshops throughout January and February. Sign up for the first five-hour class on Saturday, January 16 ($195) and you’ll learn how to make the most of the season’s citrus. For more information, visit

3. Mountain High
If you’re a lover of Swiss cheese, you’ll want to head to 18 Reasons on January 19 for a discussion (and tasting) of Comté and other spectacular alpine cheeses, led by Daphne Zepos, owner of NYC’s Essex St. Cheese Co. Ready, set, fondue! This event is likely to sell out; buy tickets in advance here.

4. Reinventing the Wheel
Tired of the same old restaurants? Each Thursday (including this one, January 15), caterer and personal chef Melissa Axelrod (formerly of Fringale, Delfina and Ottimista) prepares a special four-course meal for diners at Velo Rouge Café using (of course) local and sustainable ingredients. The menu changes weekly and costs $45 (cash only). For more information or to make reservations call 415-786-3777 or email

5. Cheap Eats
Though we’ve officially bid good riddance to 2008, the economy hasn’t responded to this new year in quite the way we were hoping. That’s why the biannual Dine About Town seems particularly timely. From January 15 until the 31, head to your favorite participating restaurant for a $22 lunch or $35 dinner (exclusive of tip and tax). To see the list of participating restaurants and make reservations, click here.

6. Cheese, If You Please
On January 16, make the trek over the bridge to the Pasta Shop in Berkeley for a book-signing and cheese tasting with Clark Wolf, author of the just-released book American Cheeses: The Best Regional, Artisan, and Farmhouse Cheese, Who Makes Them and Where to Find Them (hint: the Pasta Shop is one place). The event runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and is free, but you must RSVP for admission by calling 510-250-6004 or emailing

7. An Italian Feast
Jack Falstaff continues its growers dinner series on January 19 with a special meal celebrating balsamic vinegar and the wines of Le Marche, Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. Chef Jonnatan Leiva, together with guest chef Lauren Kiino, will be preparing the four-course prix-fixe meal; guests will dine with the winemakers at communal tables. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. and the cost is $85 per person, inclusive of wine pairings. For more information or to make a reservation, visit or call 415-836-9239.

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