Really? You would be comfortable with people who tell you that they can't control themselves, thus you must hide anything of value? The wine was out of sight, but they dug around for it. As I said in an earlier post, their response and attempts to make things right would save the friendship in my eyes, but their extreme lack of common sense would remove them from my list of cat sitters.
I'm really pleased they planned all along to replace the wine and, in fact, did so! It's so rare that these stories have a happy ending.
That being said, I don't like to be a downer, but think of the angst their action has caused, because they didn't leave a note/email/etc. about their plan. And, the fact remains that they did drink something that was wrapped up and set aside a bit, apparently without researching it beforehand. The fact that they replaced it is great and makes their actions overall a whole lot better, don't get me wrong. But I might think to myself that they and I have different boundaries when it comes to being in someone's home, and maybe I'm not comfortable with them being in my home unsupervised any longer, just because of that.
However, now Two Ravens and her husband know these cat sitters well having gone thru all this, so the communication will be far better than with new sitters.
If Two Ravens and her husband use them again, they will probably be comfortable leaving instructions that clearly say "please do.." and "please don't...". And these cat sitters would probably be comfortable saying something like "we'd love to sit again and thank you for telling us to make ourselves at home. But could you do us a favor and put anything as tempting and expensive as Opus One out of sight!!"
I didn't say that anything of value must be hidden from these pet sitters. I indicated that after going thru this situation, both parties would probably be comfortable with very clear communication - and even humorous communication such as saying "put tempting expensive things out off sight".
The Opus One, while wrapped, was not necessarily out of sight. It was in the back of the insight wine rack from which the pet sitters had permission to take wine.
The whole situation is very different from the way I handle my pet sitters. I don't tell them to make themselves at home, that they are welcome to spend the night, and that they can take a bottle of wine. I just put everything they need on the kitchen counter.
But if I lived around there and was told this story, I'd ask these people to pet sit. They took good care of the cat. Yes, they "broke" something and but they replaced it. I prefer pet sitters whose track record and ways, as pet sitters, I know so we can have good, effective communication. Much better than someone who is recommended because they are good neighbors, coworkers, or what ever, then when you get home you find out they didn't clean the food and water bowls regularly.
(just saw the OP's update. Good to see the smiley faces.. "I knew something was wrong when we asked for it and they led us over to the locked case!" Bwahh! These people sound nice with a great sense of humor. )