User ID:

Remember me
Lost password?

Why We Are The Best For Your Palate and Your Wallet



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.



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.



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.



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 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.



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

Four aromatic whites - Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc and Grüner Veltliner - each get a share of the spotlight this month, and the September issue of Connoisseurs' Guide is filled out by a selection of sturdy, full-bodied Petite Sirahs that are sure to satisfy those who believe that no red wine can be too big and potent as well as yet another new batch of Chardonnays, more than a few of which merit enthusiastic recommendation.

Germany may justifiably lay claim to being the home of exquisite Rieslings, but the grape is successfully grown around the world, and we like to think that the best West Coast bottlings will make their European forbearers proud.

Intensely aromatic Gewürztraminer, which is redolent of roses, distinctively lychee-like fruit and spice, claims an altogether unique place among California's fascinatingly food-worthy white varieties and excels when planted in cool coastal climes.

Chenin Blanc has a long and storied history in France's Loire Valley, but, while it is still waiting to reach quite the same heights in California, there are a few dedicated producers working hard to elevate its status here.

Hailing from Austria and a variety with new-found local interest, bright and lively Grüner Veltliner is taking its first promising steps in becoming a welcome member of California's ever-broadening varietal family.

As dense and full-bodied as any red wine around and never sparing in tannin, Petite Sirah will never be accused of being delicate or dainty and will stand up to the heartiest stews and heavily seasoned, roasted meats on the bone.

From the occasional imbiber to the fervent collector, Chardonnay is a variety of which no one seems to tire, and it remains, with good reason, far and away the most in-demand white wine of them all.

Cabernet Sauvignon prices can be daunting, but there are fine values to be had in both collectable, ageworthy offerings and those designed for near-term drinking, and they are joined this month by Merlots and Sauvignon Blancs on our latest list of wines that deliver a good deal of bang for the buck.