Last night, LL and I attended a lavish fundraising event for a local nonprofit spay and neuter group. We support several dog organizations, both monetarily and by fostering puppies, two of which we have now.

A couple had generously donated their large Midtown house for the event. In the dining room, an elaborate spread of hors d’oeuvres filled the table and sideboards, while someone poured a selection of red and white wines. In the living room, another station offered Scotch, bourbon and cognac. And in the adjacent den or sitting room, to accompany trays of cookies and chocolates, was an array of cordials and liqueurs. The whole affair was well-organized, and the food and various beverages were excellent.

A small silent auction had been set up in the living room. The host, who has a beautiful wine cellar — he gave LL and me a tour — had donated four bottles: Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 1997, Napa Valley; Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 1998, Alexander Valley; Cakebread Cellars Merlot 2002, Napa Valley, and Hartwell Vineyards Misté Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Stags Leap District. This is an interesting quartet of California wines, the Silver Oak cabernets being especially desirable. So about 8 o’clock — the event ended at 9 — I entered bids for three of the wines, excluding the Silver Oak Napa Valley. I was probably more munificent in my bids than I would ordinarily be, but I assumed that I was helping to spur the bidding in the name of a good cause. And I assumed that people looking at the bid sheets would think, “Oh ho, if Koeppel wants these wines, they must be good. I’d better put down a bid.”

Well, Readers, as you know, pride goeth before a fall. Apparently people who move in dog and cat rescue circles are unaware of the vinophilic prowess that the name Koeppel carries. As I would, every 10 minutes or so, cruise by the table and observe that no one — as in not one person — had bid after me, I began to have a premonition that I was going home with the wine. And indeed, when bidding stopped at 9 o’clock — as if it hadn’t stopped long before — mine was the name attached to those three wines.

When I was at the registrar’s table, ponying up, someone came by and said, “Oh, you won all those wines!” To which I replied, “No, I didn’t win them. I bought them.”

To the tune of $245. Added to the $150 it cost us to attend the event. Cats and dogs all over town better be thanking us.

Now I have to decide which of the bottles I’ll open with the pizza tonight.