Big Shake-Up at the PinotFile
Rusty Gaffney, the Prince of Pinot, widely regarded as the most powerful Pinot Noir wine critic, announced
today that he has sold his 11-year-old newsletter, the PinotFile, to a group of French investors, Bureau des
Audacieux le Fruit Expédient des Vins de Bourgogne for $15 million. The Burgundians, threatened by the
current high quality and popularity of California and Oregon Pinot Noir, realize they are fast losing market share
to gregarious and immediately gratifying Pinot Noir. Alarmed by the many laudatory reviews of North American
Pinot Noir in the PinotFile, the buyers hope to downgrade that hype and limit the visibility of the Pinot Geek.
The name, PinotFile, will be changed to PinotQueue.
Rusty will be required to relinquish his title, “Prince of Pinot,” the moniker will be retired and replaced by “Dieu
de Pinot,” or “God of Pinot,” an entitlement the new editor will assume. “God of Pinot” emphasizes that the
French rule over Pinot Noir, excuse me, Burgundy (they don’t make Pinot Noir in France). Although the new
tagline lacks the alliteration of “Prince of Pinot,” the new title emphasizes that the French created Pinot Noir, or
rather, Bourgogne magique.
A mention by the Prince of a wine in the PinotFile can make a winemaker’s reputation and fortune. He has
almost single handedly created markets for Pinot Noir that were under the radar, ignored, or had failed to
garner adequate exposure due to very tiny production. More than four out of five PinotFile subscribers are
hard-core American pinotphiles, and the new investors hope to slowly integrate French Burgundies into the
publication and sublimely wean these pinotphiles away from North American Pinot Noir.
The Prince’s well-known image will be replaced by the Fleur de Lys which is already in use by American people
of French heritage and highly recognizable.
Rusty Gaffney has a 7-year non compete agreement which specifies that he must only drink and review
Zinfandel, since that varietal poses no threat to the French.