Columbo: 5 things you may have missed watching “Any Old Port in a Storm”

The Columbo episode, “Any Old Port in a Storm”,
is regarded as one of the finest.  Donald Pleasence, as Adrian Carsini, gives his best as a sympathetic, yet awkward, wine-loving villain.  There is very interesting trivia, easily overlooked, unless you happen to watch it many, many times.  Here are 5 things you may have missed watching “Any Old Port in a Storm”.

Number 1: Adrian electronically eavesdrops on his guests


Hosting three wine connoisseurs at his winery, he retreats to his office switching on a microphone to listen in on them.  He spoils his surprise learning he will be chosen as the Man of the Year of the wine industry.  This adds little to the story other than to throw some mud on Adrian’s otherwise clean slate.   His emotional break down moments later at his brother’s encouragement was so effective, we soon forget his rude social manners.

Number 2: Mr. Carsini really doesn’t like sparking wine


“Don’t worry … I’m sure the Marino brothers will let you lick the labels of their new carbonated rosé.”

If you watch the episode only once or twice, you would think you learned about Adrain’s disdain for Champagne during Columbo’s winery tour.  In fact, Rick Carsini taunts his half-brother earlier during their confrontation.  Rick knows Adrian is an easy target to pick and wine are his thorns.

Number 3: Rick’s life was worth $5000

Stay with me on this.  As Adrian and his secretary, Karen Fielding, fly to New York, he has her write a check for $5000 as a wedding present that will never be cashed.  If you listen to Adrian again why so much, consider he’s talking about himself to start a new life.  In his heart, he thinks of it as found money.  He splurges Rick’s wedding gift on himself buying an audacious present of the exact equal amount.

Number 4: Columbo tests Falcon’s attention to detail


Dude, where’s my pencil?

Lt. Columbo pays a visit to the wine society, interviewing two of the three.  As Falcon recalls the afternoon at Carsini’s winery, Columbo tests his credibility at story telling.  Columbo cleverly keeps Falcon’s pencil for himself until he’s called out for it.

Number 5: Talk to the hand

On a number of occasions, a raised hand speaks for its owner.  It happens at the auction, it happens at Columbo’s bar, it happens at the restaurant.  Twice is a coincidence, but three times?  Maybe 4 or even 5.   It is a theme.   It’s about self control and knowing when to stop.


“Stop your simpering!”






  1. Boston Brand March 28, 2015 11:34 am  Reply

    Love me some Columbo!!! Great information to look out for.

  2. Gareth June 19, 2016 4:47 am  Reply

    Just wanted to say the reason theres the scene where Adrian listens in to the conversation between the three wine connoisseurs is because later in the script Columbo asks Adrian why he allowed someone to decant the wine for him, he replies saying that he knew that he was about to be awarded man of the year and wanted to show his appreciation, so this scene where he listens in on the conversation was very much needed and not just to add some dirt to his character.

  3. Gareth June 19, 2016 4:56 am  Reply

    Also another interesting thing is at the end when Columbo asks “It must be killing you to throw all this wine away” Adrian replies “Yes you have no idea, its like….” but they edited out the rest of his line, im assuming this is because Donald ad-libbed his own line and the decided to remove it, maybe he said “Yes its like watching your own children being killed” or something like that, but either way its strange that they didnt edit it so he simply said “Yes you have no idea”.

  4. Mike Luna May 3, 2019 5:28 pm  Reply

    I just love the scenery of the 70s. Wood paneled walls, simple furniture and no cell phones !!!

  5. Phuc November 21, 2019 5:47 pm  Reply

    Columbo proved that the temperature went very high in the cellar, but that does not prove that Rick was in there…

    • Whammer December 17, 2019 11:14 am  Reply

      That’s true. He could’ve explained I’m throwing the wine away because I realized the air conditioner had failed in my wine cellar.

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