User ID:

Remember me
Lost password?

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

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.