Season 3 Episode 2

Any Old Port in a Storm

Aired Unknown Oct 07, 1973 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
69 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Any Old Port in a Storm
Winemaker Adrian Carsini decides to kill his younger brother before he can sell the family winery. Columbo will have to use Adrian's excellent wine knowledge against him to bring the killer to justice.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Very weak finale in this one. Worst of the series.

    My big problem with this episode is that, despite some great acting and an interesting crime, Columbo doesn't really solve the case. Yes, he knows who did it, but there is no real evidence, no proof, and he never discovered a motive. The case would never hold up in front of a jury. Just because the air conditioning was turned off in the wine cellar, there is no proof that the body was in there, nor that Adrian had any connection whatsoever to the murder. Heck, Columbo never really even substantiated that it definitely was murder. Very disappointing ending to an engaging plot.moreless
  • One of my Columbo favourites - little spoiler included

    I've seen this episode a number of times and I'm always engaged with the characters.

    Firstly, you've got Lieutenant Columbo at his best. He even learns wine minutiae to help his understanding of the subject to get his man.

    Then you have Donald Pleasance, who gives an amazing acting performance as a self-obsessed and a truly king of snobbery British villain.

    An added treat was the calculating performance of Julie Harris, who really exerts her cunning female talents in the pursuit her man.

    For me, the story was a cracker. A wine obsessive heading a company barely breaking even thanks to the squandering of its co-owner, is about to lose all he loves when his playboy and hated brother in the business decides to sell the business to a poor quality rival, who will surely destroy his world. So in the heat of the dispute, he hits his brother and leaves him to die in a wine cellar.

    Yes there were a couple of minor plot hole (would a dark cellar built into the middle of a building really overheat to 150f due to a hot day outside? And why turn off the air conditioner anyway, the room would have stunk to high heaven) and a small number of continuity goofs, but in the history of this wonderful series, for me it was one of the best.moreless
  • This episode is IMO the worst this far.Hated the ending.

    I liked Pleasence in this.I would have liked this episode more if it wasn't for the ending. Columbo gave the murderer some wine at the end. I thought it was really tasteless of Columbo to do that! Columbo obviously admired the murdering wineguy. I can't see a reason for him to do that. Maybe because he was a highstatus person or because they were both italians. It wouldn't surprise me if Columbo after the ending "fixed it" so the wineguy could get away with his crime. I lost some respect for Columbo after that. Admire a murderer. That's why I gave it only a "1".moreless
  • An excellent episode.

    I liked this episode but what struck me as odd was the fact that the killer was possibly one of the most vile killers Columbo has faced, yet Colombo appeared to have no hatred for him and even gave him a present, some wine, at the end of the episode. Think about it, the killer left his brother for dead and he cooked in the heat of the wine cellar when the air conditioning broke down and had to starve to death at the same time. Maybe you could think that the killer thought his brother was already dead and didn't know that he'd suffer but still, the brother died a nasty death. Or maybe Columbo didn't think much of the killer's playboy brother and thought he got what he deserved?moreless
  • Spoilers

    Pleasence and Falk form a great chemistry the way they start to trifle around about making wine. At this point the viewer is treated to some of Columbo's best idiosyncratic traits that has made his character so famous. I was hoping that Pleasence and Falk would team up again for a second Columbo but my hopes came to an end when Mr.Pleasence passed away in 1995.

    The story is set around a priggish and arrogant wine-maker and his attempts to cover up his brother's murder.

    Peter Falk is brilliant as usual - his character is at his most annoying in this episode.

Peter Falk

Peter Falk

Lieutenant Columbo (no first name)

Donald Pleasence

Donald Pleasence

Adrian Carsino

Guest Star

Dana Elcar

Dana Elcar


Guest Star

Julie Harris (I)

Julie Harris (I)

Karen Fielding

Guest Star

Vito Scotti

Vito Scotti


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • At the beginning of the episode, Adrian has an open bottle of wine on his desk, allowing it to "breathe." After the little matter of slugging his brother, he fetches the bottle in and has his friend decant it. Later, with Columbo present, he states that he needs to open a bottle of wine so that it can breathe, but he immediately decants it and puts the stopple in, which would keep it from breathing.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Adrian Carsini: Titian would have gone mad trying to mix so beautiful a red. And he would have failed dismally in the attempt.

    • (At the wine auction)
      Karen Fielding: Do you really need it, Mr. Carsini?
      Adrian Carsini: Nobody really needs a $5000 bottle of wine, Karen. I just don't want anybody else to have it.

    • Columbo: You two didn't have a fight or anything, did you?
      Joan Stacey: No, but...
      Columbo: Maybe he got cold feet. That's been known to happen. Was he married before?
      Joan: Three times.
      Columbo: Three times? I guess his feet are warm enough by now.

    • Carsini: That's ironic.
      Columbo: Sir?
      Carsini: Well, I--I'm probably one of the few men in the world that could have told you that wine was spoiled and--and told you it was because it was overheated.
      Columbo: Yes, sir. It required a very delicate talent.

    • Karen Fielding: You're trying to turn me back into an employee.
      Adrian Carsini: You were never anything but an employee.

    • Columbo: I want you to teach me everything you know.
      Wine Expert: It took me forty years to acquire my expertise.
      Columbo: Well, what can you do in an hour and a half?
      Wine Expert: Oh, just the very basics.
      Columbo: Let's start with this-- How can you tell a good wine from an average wine?
      Wine Expert: By the price.

    • Columbo: Do I get a confession, sir?
      Carsini: Oh yes. I'll confess. There's no remorse attached to it. It's a great weight off my mind as a matter of fact.
      Columbo: Why's that, sir?
      Carsini: Well you see, Karen had guessed the truth. She was turning the thumbscrews on me. She's, uh, quite a little iron maiden, that lady. I guess freedom is purely relative.

    • Carsini: You've learned very well, Lieutenant.
      Columbo: Thank you, sir. That's the nicest thing anybody's ever said to me.

  • NOTES (2)

    • 91 minutes long.

    • Actor Vito Scotti appears _six_ times in Columbo series: ep. 19 "Any Old Port in a Storm" (Maitre d'), ep. 20 "Candidate for Crime" (Mr. Chadwick, a taylor), ep. 24 "Swan Song" (Mr. Grindell); ep. 27 "Negative Reaction" (Thomas Dolan, a drunk), ep. 34 "Identity Crisis" (Salvatore Defonte), and ep. 50 "Murder, a Self Portrait" (Vito).


    • Miss Fielding mentions that she is planning to watch an Alan Ladd movie, This Gun For Hire. Released in 1942, this film "introduces" Alan Ladd (although in truth, he had made a number of films previously).