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Meet the New CGCW


For over forty years, Connoisseurs’ Guide has been the authoritative voice of the California wine consumer. With readers in all fifty states and twenty foreign countries, the Guide is valued by wine lovers everywhere for its honesty and for it strong adherence to the principles of transparency, unbiased, hard-hitting opinions. Now, it is becoming the California winelover’s most powerful online voice as well. And, our new features provide an unmatched array of advice and information for aficionados of every stripe.


Our monthly newsletter, noted for its accuracy, independence and thoroughness by both the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle remains the focus of our activities. Connoisseurs’ Guide reviews thousands of California and West Coast wines in peer-to-peer blind tastings. Our guest panelists are all industry professionals including other wine writers, sommeliers, retailers and distributors. Almost all other wine reviews are the result of “single palate” tastings and do not match the depth of knowledge and powerful analytical talents brought together at our table.


We buy a high percentage of the wines we taste, and while we accept samples, we do not limit ourselves to reviews of wines submitted. And we never engage in the highly questionable tactic of tasting wines at the winery with the labels showing. Many limited production wineries insist on that bias-inducing scenario. We politely tell them that we do not do it. As the result, we may miss out on some limited production wines, but we do not compromise on our guarantee to you of complete independence and total objectivity.


The new CGCW uses the Internet to bring its readers and fans a series of new features including wine country restaurant recommendations, book reviews, touring advice, wine and food pairings that work because we have perfected them over years of serving meals at the end of our blind tastings. And, our unprecedented REPORT CARDS, issued every Thursday, will tell you which wineries and writers have got it right and which have got it wrong. Subscribers to CGCW will receive the REPORT CARD by email on Wednesdays as well as advance notice of the daily extras that will appear in the Connoisseurs’ Blog for the coming week.


Subscribers also receive discount purchases of our best-selling book, The Connoisseurs’ Guidebook to California Wines and Wineries, published by the University of California Press. Newly minted and up-to-date, this handy tome is part atlas, part encyclopedia and part tour guide, and its introductions to the leading California wines and wineries is fast becoming must reading for everyone who enjoys California wine.



To learn more about Connoisseurs Guide, TAKE THE TOUR and be sure to VIEW A SAMPLE ISSUE.


Inside the Current Issue

Local wines made with the three most noble red varieties of Bordeaux - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot - share the limelight in April and once again demonstrate that, here in the hospitable climes of California, they perform as well as they do on any stage in the world.

The big story in West Coast Cabernet Sauvignon these days is the influx of wines from the much-heralded 2018 vintage, and, if they are indeed exciting, it is best not to forget just how good those from 2016 and 2017 can be as a noteworthy contingent of late-released new arrivals so capably attests.

Though Cabernet Franc is not about to displace its close cousin, Cabernet Sauvignon, as the state's most revered red variety, it is increasingly proving its mettle in making seriously good wines with each passing vintage.

As long-time admirers of well-made Merlot, we are heartened to see that it appears to have shaken off its largely unwarranted slip in popularity during the first decade of the new millennium. Fashion comes and fashion goes, but quality is timeless as is convincingly proven by many in this latest collection.

Superb, yet very affordable offerings of Syrah and Grenache get a look in this edition of not-to-be-missed wines long on value, and, in advance of next month's issue which features a bevy of new Chardonnays, a handful of recent, favorites that are easy on the pocketbook earn reprise recommendation.