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Author Rusty Gaffney

  • Rusty Gaffney

    Wine Dude

    William “Rusty” Gaffney, M.D. is a retired Orange County ophthalmologist who has had a love affair with wine, and in particular, Pinot Noir, for nearly fifty years. When he retired in 2001, he decided to devote his energies to writing the PinotFile, an online newsletter that was the first wine publication exclusively devoted to Pinot Noir.

    I taste Pinot Noir almost daily along with other varietals, I read about wine and Pinot Noir constantly through all available sources on wine, and visit the wine regions of California and Oregon frequently. I also lead wine tours, organize wine tastings, correspond for the most popular wine podcast on the internet, Grape Radio, and participate in the video-driven offspring of Grape Radio, Grape Vision.

    Over the years, upon my urgings, many wine drinkers have developed a preference for Pinot Noir. They would remark, “Rusty, you’re such a ‘prince’ for introducing me to Pinot Noir.” The moniker stuck, and today my proud title is “Prince of Pinot.”

    I have an enthusiastic reader base throughout the world, in part because I do not take wine or myself too seriously as reflected in the humorous slant to my writing and reporting. I urge wine consumers to explore, experiment and find out what is magical for them, but I hope they always return to Pinot Noir because, “If you drink no Noir, you Pinot Noir.”

 

Selanne Steak Tavern's On-Staff Sommelier and Wine Selection Impress

Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach is one of the few Orange County restaurants with an on-staff sommelier, and how lucky they are to have Vito Pasquale, a Level 2 Sommelier certified by the Guild of Sommeliers. Vito is an impressive young man with a distinguished and professional air, yet still very cordial and freely conversant and enthusiastic about wine. His presence immediately signals that you are in capable hands. Read more...

Seasons 52 Fresh Grill Offers Impressive Wine List

I recently dined at Seasons 52 Fresh Grill in South Coast Plaza, and found the wine program to be exceptional, both for the scope of its extensive wine list, and it’s attentive wine service. It’s gratifying to see that the restaurant, which promotes a healthy diet and prides itself in seasonally inspired cooking with every item on the menu less than 475 calories, considers wine an important part of a wholesome lifestyle. Read more...

Vine in San Clemente: How'd It Fare in Orange Coast's First-Ever Wine Review?

Editor’s Note: Starting this month, Rusty Gaffney, one half of Orange Coast’s Wine Dudes blog, will critique the wine program of an Orange County restaurant reviewed in print each month by the magazine’s dining critic Gretchen Kurz. He’ll use the same star system as Kurz’s restaurant reviews (using wine bottles in place of stars) to denote whether the program is (1) Good, (2) Very Good, (3) Excellent, or (4) Outstanding on every level. He’ll also denote pricing: $ mostly under $24; $$, under $50; $$$, $50 and over. Following is his wine review of Vine Restaurant in San Clemente. Read more...

O.C.'s Best: Dining Guides

  • O.C.’s Best: Tiki Drinks

    Though some regard them as overly cloying concoctions, tiki cocktails such as mai tais and zombies are enjoying a resurgence in Orange County. Craft bartenders layer the rum-based drinks with multiple spirits and spices to create beguiling and complex potions. Here are five great places to get your tiki on. Read More

Recently Reviewed

We frequently review restaurants in the Main Course, Rediscovery, and Bites sections of our print magazine and website. Here's a list of the most recently-reviewed restaurants!

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