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02.15.2005

The Danger of Eating Winery Food

WARNING: if you have a delicate stomach, do not read this post. If you've got a reasonable amount of mettle, and you don't have a sandwich in your hand at the moment, feel free to continue.

I've long been suspicious of wineries that in addition to offering you tastings of wine, also try and sell you food and other "marketplace" items. Not that there's anything wrong with it, mind you, but why not just concentrate on making great wine? Perhaps with the exception of full blown restaurants like the dining room at Domaine Chandon, I will never be eating at a winery again, least of all V. Sattui winery in St. Helena.

It seems that some recent visitors sat down with a few sandwiches prepared at that winery. Husband tucked in to his sandwich greedily and a few bites in, the wife happened to notice the head, tail, and other parts of a rat in between the pieces of bread.

Yeah. Totally gross. My guess? Disgruntled kitchen staff, tired of dealing with Napa tourists. Someone was done with that job and manufactured their own departure while taking it out on the clientele. (The winery claims that the rat parts were part of the spring lettuce mix they purchase from elsewhere).

The real question is why didn't the husband notice the crunchy bits of the sandwich? Maybe there was some really good aoli on that sucker. Anyhow, all of this is going to end up in court soon, and I need to stop thinking about it before I ruin my lunch. Next time you're in Napa, brownbag it.

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