Jenny Shirey

Jenny brings 10 years of teaching experience, including at UC Berkeley, to her role at the San Francisco Wine School. She began studying wine while living in San Francisco—first informally through visits to vineyards in Sonoma and Napa, then formally as a way to transition into the wine industry after 15 years working in tech. She loves sharing her passion and knowledge of California wine with others. 

Jenny has a California Wine Appellation Specialist CWAS® certification with honors, a Certified Beverage Specialist certification, and has passed the Level 1 CMS Examination.  She works as a consultant and part-time at Flatiron Wines in San Francisco.

Get To Know Jenny

What is your favorite wine region to visit?

Currently I’m enjoying the Sierra Foothills—less touristy than Napa or Sonoma, with high quality wines and lots of experimentation.


What is your favorite class to teach?

California Wine Appellation Specialist.


What's your most memorable wine experience?

Opening a bottle of 1977 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon on Christmas Eve in 2022, bringing it to our favorite restaurant, and sharing it with the team there. It had aged beautifully!


Why did you decide to become an instructor?

I love using storytelling to help make concepts approachable and understandable for others, especially those new to wine.


What's your most memorable food and wine pairing?

An aged Riesling paired with a filet mignon—a perfect yet unexpected pairing.


What's the biggest challenge in your job?

I always wish I had more time for learning more!


What other passions beside wine do you have?

Traveling to as many new countries as possible and learning new languages.


Name some recent wine discoveries that you find exciting.

I’m excited by the work that Elisabeth Forrestel from UC Davis is doing to update the Winkler Index using recent technology and taking our changing climate into consideration.


What do you think is the most unappreciated wine or region in the world?

California Zinfandel—it’s part of our heritage and can be beautifully balanced and easy to pair with food, but it doesn’t get the same respect as Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Jenny's Favorite Blogs

category_educationThe Heights of Wine Education: Master of Wine (MW) vs. Master Sommelier (MS)

The Heights of Wine Education: Master of Wine (MW) vs. Master Sommelier (MS)

Formal wine training can be achieved and applied at a number of levels in a number of arenas. For the ambitious few with their sights set on the highest level of education in the industry, there a...

category_educationWhich Wine Certification is Best?

Which Wine Certification is Best?

Master Sommelier David Glancy is the first to admit that the sommelier route is not for everyone. There are many reputable wine education paths that help people start or advance their career. In t...

category_educationHow to Become a Sommelier

How to Become a Sommelier

Want to become a sommelier but need more advice on how to do it? At San Francisco Wine School, we give you the facts about becoming a sommelier. This blog isn't about any specific class or trainin...