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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

West Coast offerings made from the two great grapes of Burgundy share the stage in November's issue, and, be it the white wines of Chardonnay or the reds of Pinot Noir, those made here at home offer more than ample proof that local versions can stand with the best emanating from anywhere in the world.

Well over one hundred Chardonnays are reviewed this month ranging from collectible offerings that will improve with cellaring to more than a few very affordable, well-made efforts that need no special occasion to enjoy. There are reasons aplenty why Chardonnay remains so wildly popular, and chief among them is that it has few equals when it comes to making wonderfully rich and satisfying white wines.

Pinot Noir has long since established itself as an important and very serious player in both California and Oregon, and, as good as local Pinot has been in recent years, the number of fine examples seems to grow with each passing vintage along as does the mastery shown by its best makers.

We like Syrah for its richness and complexity, but we also like it for the quality and real interest that so many price-worthy bottlings exhibit, and this month we highlight a dozen recent favorites that are remarkably affordable for the seriously good red wines that they are. And, we also take a look at a lively lot of inexpensive whites made Pinot Gris that are perfect for light-hearted sipping in every season.