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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, new features provide an unmatched array of advice and information for aficionados of every stripe.
Wine Searcher - Searching for a wine? The ultimate place to find the wines you are looking for – wine searcher - we use this daily!
Hints: There is a paid version that is a great idea for the wine collector, only wine shops that pay to be on the website will show up if you use the free version… the paid version is a much more enhanced experience but either are fantastic.
Wine Ratings: there are a bunch of different players that are important in the wine rating business… here is my take on the lay of the land.
RP - Robert Parker
The Wine Advocate – I have long praised the brands “detail” – and have learned so much about who, where, why the wines are the way they are…. And wish all publications would spend more time laying this out. This is where THE WINE ADVOCATE is the leader and you combine that with a ZERO advertising policy – and I firmly believe this to be the best in wine reviewing journalism. Parkers ever expanding team of regional experts are very prolific and I think The Wine Advocate is in a very good place… if they remember what they are great at… and don’t get lost in the “game” – let’s hope they continue to put out the quality product that is the industry leader in scores.
WS – Wine Spectator
I wish I could just say “No comment” – I have been a supporter for over 30 years and wonder why? What have they ever done except take a bunch of my money? I continue to ask – are they the leader or are they being lead? I think they need to throw their current approach away and start over…. From the reviewers to the standards… They are still the largest but I don’t think they are the best by a long shot. I think there consumed with domination and monetization and that has limited there view of the world and they have not noticed how the world has changed. Refocusing on wine – and stop trying to be all things to all people would be a good start…. And I also think a better review with more than 15 words would be ideal… and learn what the varietals should taste like and stop trying to turn everything into Jam.
JS – James Suckling
James Suckling is a maverick, cut from the cloth of the Wine Spectator; (He might have been the entire cloth however) James has a very high standard and an extremely disciplined approach. He has a large following in Asia but continues to gain ground in America – lead by his industry leading events. James will boldly go where few reviewers have gone before… and gets excited about a number of wines… but believe his positive approach is serving him well and the wineries love his enthusiasm and robust scoring approach.
V – Vinous
Former Wine Advocate Antonio Galloni is very ambitious and while being one of the best writers in the bunch, doesn’t have much time to write as he probably should. He is covering the big brands and the classics but not reaching beyond to be as comprehensive as he probably could and the wine industry wishes he would be. I can personally relate as a man with too many projects; it’s all about the ability to penetrate and find business. I personally appreciate the different route to market and his focus on setting up incredible infrastructure: Maps, Rating Websites, and has acquired several tools to expand… I’m waiting for the expand part…. But do believe his empire will continue to figure out the path.
PDWR – Purely Domestic Wine Report by Doug Wilder
Doug is very specialized in Domestic Wines and uses his artistic side to communicate with his audience. I believe his reviews are consistent and with a California state of mind that is educated and experienced. I personally support PDWR with a subscription and encourage you to do so also. His websites are always a work in progress but as a subscriber you can feel the effort and see the beautiful results.
Peter is the ultimate example of focus – Champagne, Champagne and only Champagne and I truly believe he is one of the most well versed and well informed because of this dedication. He has the respect of the industry and his peers. His palate is artisan and refined with a high set of morals and respect for the brand Champagne, the Regionalism, the history, the tradition; Peter allows for unique; and finds words to describe champagne the place and the product that connects with his readers. Peter appreciates the variety of styles, and rewards the truly unique products with time, words, and thought provoking insights and information.