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Why We Are The Best For Your Palate and Your Wallet

 

FOCUS MATTERS

CONNOISSEURS' GUIDE to CALIFORNIA WINE, acclaimed by the Los Angeles Times as the "oldest, most prestigious reviewer of California wines", shows you the wines to buy and helps you avoid the wines not worth your money. We pull no punches in our detailed, hard-hitting reviews and tell you about every wine's availability, aging potential and the foods that go perfectly with it.

 

Every monthly issue of The GUIDE brings you hundreds of detailed, exacting reviews. We started CONNOISSEURS' GUIDE three decades ago with one goal in mind-to write accurately, insightfully and authoritatively about California and West Coast wine.

 

INDEPENDENCE MATTERS

CONNOISSEURS' GUIDE enjoys a national reputation for its objectivity, expertise and integrity. We review wines in rigorous blind tastings at our own tasting table. We buy the wines we taste from independent retailers here in the San Francisco area rather than focusing on wines the producers provide. It is more expensive to do it that way, but it guarantees that what you read is what you get when you pull the cork on a wine reviewed by the GUIDE.

 

OUR RIGOROUS TASTING METHODOLOGY MATTERS

The GUIDE gives you the results of every blind-tasted wine, not just the chosen favorites. You will learn precisely why we get excited or bored, turned on or turned off by every wine we taste. And we absolutely avoid the highly questionable practice of reviewing wines tasted at the wineries with the labels showing and the winemaker and owner at our elbows.

 

THE BIG PICTURE MATTERS

In addition to the wine reviews that lie at the heart of every timely, monthly issue, the GUIDE goes behind the scenes to show you why the wines turn out the way they do, to provide continuing guidance about how wines have aged and to examine how California and Pacific Northwest wines stack up against their peers from around the world.

 

Our COLLECTORS' CORNER tastings of older wines that have been carefully aged in our own cellars and our CALIFORNIA vs. THE WORLD sections bring you broad-ranging and incredibly informative coverage. Every monthly issue alerts you to GOOD VALUES, and our BEST BUYS IN THE MARKET column calls your attention to wines that are simply too good to pass up.

 

THE PEOPLE OF CONNOISSEURS' GUIDE MATTER

The GUIDE is written by Publisher/Editor Charles Olken in collaboration with Associate Editor Stephen Eliot. Mr. Olken co-founded CONNOISSEURS' GUIDE in 1974 to focus specifically on our emerging region because no one was then serving the needs of California wine consumers and collectors like himself. Mr. Olken is also co-author of the CONNOISSEURS' HANDBOOK of CALIFORNIA WINES, a wine columnist in newspapers in California and a frequent judge at international wine competitions. Stephen Eliot also serves the Senior Wine Instructor at the California Culinary Academy.

 

EXPERTS PRAISE CONNOISSEURS' GUIDE

When it comes to California wine, Connoisseurs' Guide leads the way. No other publication has been more widely praised and supported than the Guide. We live here. We know the wine country backwards and forwards, and we are in the vineyards and wineries every week-not a couple of times a year. We cover California wine comprehensively and authoritatively. Perhaps that is why so many people have called us "the best for the West".

"Connoisseurs Guide has no peer when it comes to covering the complex California wine scene."-San Francisco Chronicle

 

"No one does a better job with California wine than Connoisseurs' Guide."-Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate

 

"The best written wine publication in the United States."-Linda Murphy, Decanter Magazine

 

 "When it comes to California wine, I rely on Connoisseurs' Guide."-Peter Morrell, Morrell and Sons Wine Merchants, New York City

 

"The fairest, most rigorous wine evaluation process I have ever seen."-Kent Rosenblum, Rosenblum Cellars

 

 

See Expert Comments

 

Inside the Current Issue

Over the years, varieties and styles have gone in and out of fashion as each generation adds its own voice to the discussion of how things should be. In the last forty years or so, each of the varieties/types in this Issue has either emerged from oblivion here in California or has seen its fortunes change dramatically.

Just a few years ago, Syrah was being talked about in the past tense, but the death of Syrah has been greatly exaggerated. The brilliant success stories in this review prove otherwise.

What has been good seems to be getting better, and the number of recommendable wines is on the rise. What is more, California's sparkling wines will take on all comers when it comes to out-and-out value and handily emerge as the winner.

Sometimes we wonder if Merlot is not owed an apology for having been dismissed for no reason other than it is not Pinot Noir. Happily there are dedicated vintners who continue to give it the respect that it rightfully deserves.

While not exactly a rarity here in California, Sangiovese has remained a bit of a marginal player. That, of course, does not mean that very good examples do not exist, and, in this issue, we find a few wines worth serious attention.

There is a bounty of tasty offerings from which to choose in this month's shopping list of priceworthy Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs.