By Sara Schneider, Sunset wine editor

Well, here’s a bizarre twist in our year of wine at Sunset—a cautionary tale for anyone planning to do this at home!

We’ve had our stash of glass carboys filled with Chardonnay and Syrah lined up in a breezeway behind one of the buildings on our campus here in Menlo Park, with some smaller containers of the same wines alongside—intended for topping-off the bigger vessels as we pull wine out for tasting and analyzing. But when staffers in that building came in to work the other day, they found a stranger—from all appearances homeless—passed out beside the lot. He’d drunk an entire magnum of our Syrah. Generous evidence of the fact was smudged all over his face. Conflicted on all fronts, we called in the police. Their parting message to our plant manager, as they escorted the man to their car, was, “Tell whoever made that wine that it must be good, because this is one happy man!” A chuckle and a painful head shake all in one. Needless to say, we’ve moved the rest of the wine to an inside courtyard, where it’s thriving. Next up: a chemical analysis—pH, TA (total acidity), all the really exciting details.

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