I Taste. I Praise. I Lambaste. Je Suis Charlie.

By Charlie

Connoisseurs’ Guide, by its nature, rarely engages in political talk. It is not that we are not “political” in the normal “I have an opinion” manner, but, rather, that Earl Singer and I started this publication with the explicit promise to ourselves and to our readers that CGCW would be about wine. We don’t do politics and we don’t do personalities. We do wine.

And we “do wine” by writing about it and by expressing our honest, carefully researched opinions about wine without pulling any punches. We print reviews of every single wine we taste. We owe that to you, our readers. We extol the great wines, and put them in our cellars, and we criticize and occasionally deride the worst, seemingly cynical examples that cross our tasting tables. We taste each of the “disasters” twice as a matter of policy, and then we lambaste those that deserve it.

We are able to be as carefully, well-researched “wicked” as we get to be on occasion because we live in a society that enables us to speak freely. Threats of lawsuits are never far from the fore here, but only a couple of threats of physical confrontation have ever come our way, “I ought to go down there and kick your ass”. Letters? Yes we get letters from people who seem not to believe in our right to call out their wines. Some simply tell us we won’t be on their Christmas card lists anymore, and the occasional lout will swear at us or respond even more crudely than that. But, in the end, it is only wine, and while passionate views may separate us, passion has so far not gotten the better of most people whose wines have been criticized, satirized, parodied or even ridiculed when those wines have offended our palates.

Charlie Hebdo, we are not. But, Charlie Hebdo, is a relative (distant though that may be) of ours—because if Charlie Hebdo can be shut down for its opinions, so can we at some point. It is obvious that “je suis Charlie”. I have been for decades and decades ever since I convinced my parents to stop calling me Charlesie.

Today, like millions and millions of people worldwide, “je suis Charlie encore”—and with great pride at the double meaning of the phrase first learned in high school French. Je suis Charlie.

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For thirty-five 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.

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