Frequently Asked Questions


Can I receive assistance in arranging wine trips?
As a subscriber, I would be happy to advise you about specific wineries to visit and I will arrange for private tastings. I can also recommend lodging and restaurants. The "On the Pinot Trail" section of the website provides extensive travel information and soon you will be able to download and print the information from a specific region to take with you on your travels. If you wish to offer any feedback about your experiences, please do so at the Feedback section of the home page.
What do the Pinot Geek and Pinot Value Glass signify in the tasting notes?
Pinot Geek: Signifies an exceptional wine of great breeding and a highly recommended purchase. Pinot Value Glass: Signifies a very good or even exceptional wine that is reasonably priced for the quality. The Golden Geek and Chardonnay Value Glass are the Chardonnay counterparts of the Pinot Noir icons.
Why don't you taste wines blind?
There are two main reasons for this. First, an essential element in evaluating a wine is knowing what you are drinking. Second, I prefer to evaluate a wine in the same manner as the consumer experiences them.
When do you advise decanting a Pinot Noir?
Decanting can "open" a young wine, bringing forth the aromas and flavors and softening tannins. Many young Pinot Noirs will benefit from 1 to 2 hours of decanting. A rough general rule to keep in mind is that 2 hours in a decanter is equal to about one year of bottle maturation. You really can't do any harm by decanting a wine. The only exception is very old wines which lose their charm very quickly and should at least be tried first without decanting.
How can I unsubscribe from the newsletter mailing list?
When you receive an unwanted email, just hit Reply and put "Unsubscribe" in the subject line. You can also send email to We would appreciate knowing why you are unsubscribing so that we can continue to improve the site.

Technical Support

What if I have a problem accessing the Prince of Pinot website?
If there is a problem with content or there seems to be a technical problem, email the Prince at I will usually respond within 24 hours.


Can wineries use articles and tasting reviews appearing in the PinotFile for marketing and promotion purposes?
Yes, with attribution to The PinotFile. Please confine usage to a specific wine review(s) or featured article on your winery.
Can a winery link to the Prince of Pinot website?
Yes, and your visitor will get a bonus: a Winery PinotPass. When you place a link anywhere on your website that links to any place on the Prince of Pinot website, your visitor will be given free access to all articles mentioning your winery as well as all of the tasting notes in that article.

To take advantage of a Winery PinotPass, visit our Winery Directory and click the link for your winery. Look for "Link to this site" near the top of the page. The associated link will take you to a page specifically for your winery.
How do I include my winery in the Winery Directory?
Contact the Prince by e-mail at with any special information you wish to include and your winery listing will be added to the Winery Directory.
How do I make corrections to my winery listing in the Winery Directory?
Contact the Prince by e-mail at and the changes will be made promptly.
How do I submit samples for review?
Send samples (preferably two bottles of each wine) with relevant tech sheets including case production, retail price and date of release to my wine locker at the following address (wine locker accepts shipments Monday-Saturday):
    Rusty Gaffney
    The Wine Cellar Club, Inc.
    17162 Murphy Ave., Unit A
    Irvine, CA 92614
Please check weather before shipping as it can get quite warm at times in Orange County where the wine locker is located. Wines will be reviewed within 3 to 4 weeks and the reviews will be sent back to the producer and/or published in the PinotFile. If you wish to be notified when a review is published, give me an email address where I can send that notification.