A Toast…

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is going to have some fine vino come New Year’s Eve. The $10,000 bottle is a payoff on an offer made by a California restaurateur. It seems Panetta, then CIA director, dined last New Year’s Eve at the tony Sardine Factory owned by pal Ted Balestreri in Panetta’s hometown of Monterey:

“I was talking about the wine collection,” Balestreri recalled Tuesday, “and somebody asked me what was the oldest bottle of wine I had.” It was a bottle of 1870 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, “and I told them I wasn’t going to serve it up,” he said. “But I said, ‘If Leon catches Osama bin Laden, we’ll open that bottle.’”

More from the Monterey County Herald here.