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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

Pinot Noir is the solo star of the June issue of Connoisseurs' Guide. No longer a variety waiting in the wings for its chance to shine as brightly as Cabernet Sauvignon, it has proven its worth on the West Coast time and time again and now occupies a much deserved place on the A-list of attention-getting red wines.

Pinot Noir may have been a resident of California for many decades, but it is only in the last twenty years or so that it has been regarded with anything even close to the respect afforded its Burgundian cousins from France. The wines it makes here are now as good as any produced in the world and, if truth be told, we think they are getting better with each passing year.

California by no means has a monopoly when it comes to West Coast Pinot Noirs of the first order and must share that honor with Oregon. If a bit late to the winemaking game compared to the Golden State, the vintners of Oregon have convincingly proven that the cool climes of the Northwest are a most hospitable home for what is often thought to be a particularly temperamental grape.

Noteworthy values in Chardonnay and Zinfandel are featured in the latest installment of Best Buys and serve as tasty reminders that expressive, well-made wines can be enjoyed on a regular basis without causing guilt when the monthly credit card statement arrives.