In the Cellar: Strange stories from 2010

All of the stories below are true — some are too crazy to make up.

When Pigs Fly

Caller: Hi. I was wondering if you have a red wine with a pig on the label?

Me: Well, let me look around. I don't think so.

Caller: It is a pig with wings, I think.

Me: Oh, yes. When Pigs Fly. It's a rosé wine, not a red wine.

Caller: No, it's a red wine with pigs on the label. The pigs have wings. They must have wings!

Me: Uh, this is a rosé wine from Jim Devitt in the Applegate Valley.

Caller: I'm getting it for my sister whose nickname is "Piggly-Wiggly," but she likes only red wine.

Me: I don't think they make a red with a flying pig on the label.

Caller: That's OK, I'm coming down to get it anyway. I'll sneak the cork out and add some red food coloring to it. She'll never know.

How times have changed

Man comes down the stairs: Hi.

Me: Hi. Can I help you with something?

Man: Yes. It is my wedding anniversary and I'd like to please purchase a bottle of champagne. Thought I'd go all out.

Me: You bet. So what are you looking for?

Man: Dom Perignon. Only the best for us.

Me: OK, right over here, please.

Man: One hundred and ten dollars! Holy cow.

Me: Well, yes. It's one of the more expensive —

Man: I only paid twenty dollars for this champagne!

Me: Really? Where?

Man: In Boston, when we got married in 1965. So what's with the hundred bucks? That's crazy!

When a question isn't a question at all

Man: Hi.

Me: Yessir. How might I help you?

Man: I see that you have the Cavallotto Barolo. What wine do you think is better, this Barolo or the Pasqua Amarone?

Me: Oh, dear. These are two different wines entirely. Different grapes, different regions I think. ...

Man: What? Oh my! The Amarone is much, much, much better. I mean look at the soil, the depth of bouquet, the hint of dried roses, the dark, broodingly warm fruit in the finish, the immensity of palate flavors, the great weight on the palate, the generosity of pleasure all around and the supreme high (now waving his arms wildly) quality of fruit!

Me: Well ...

Man turns away and leaves the shop without saying another word.

If you knew me, you'd know

Woman in the store: Yes, I'd like a really nice bottle of pinot noir from Oregon.

Me: Well, you are here at the right time. The 2008 vintage was just rated 100 points in the Wine Spectator magazine. Quite an accomplishment, really. Oregon is really proud of its pinot.

Woman: Oooh. Great! Show me.

Me: Here's one I think you'd like, Spindrift 2008 Willamette Valley pinot noir. Quite lovely.

Woman: Do you think I'd like it?

Me: Yes. It is very popular, delicious, really. Quite nice.

Woman: Hmm. I mean, do you think I'll like it, really?

Me: Um, yes, I do. It's getting rave reviews.

Woman: (brooding) Yes, but why me? Why do you think I (pointing to herself emphatically) will like it. You really don't know me at all.

Me: (stunned) Well, it's very lovely, spicy, soft and full. One of Oregon's best for the price.

Woman: Hmmm (pursing her lips). I think I'll get a six pack of Coors.

Lorn Razzano is owner of the Wine Cellar in Ashland. Reach him at

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