Short Story: We suspect our cleaning lady whom we have had for almost 20 years of taking wine from our cellar. What would you do and how would you confront her?
Long Story: So this one is eating away at my wife and I. Last month I noticed some gaps where my 2005 Bordeaux are stored in a section of rack in our cellar. After a quick Cellar Tracker search it looked to be just under a case of mixed bottles. Now it's possible some were consumed and not logged out of CT, but unlikely that all (or even 1/2 were) since some of the missing were multiples of the same label while others were some I know I wanted to wait on to open and I wouldn't miss that many as I am pretty diligent with CT.
So, last week we were going away for the week so I took some pics of my racks in order to get a record of bottles in the racks so that I could compare to the racks to the pics when we returned. We came back last night so I checked today (did not want to- felt awful doing it because didn't want to see any missing). When I compared the current racks to the rack pictures, sure enough one bottle of 2005 Bordeaux was undeniably missing. All other racks in the basement had no missing bottles. So again, there appears to be a "leak" in my dwindling stash of '05's specifically which are in the same rack area. The pics was taken the day before we left so it was as current with absolutely no wine taken by us since. While away, we had a good friend come everyday to feed our cat- she and her husband do not drink. We also had an Aunt and Uncle stop at our house briefly but we know they wouldn't have needed to go to basement and it would be a shocker if they took any wine without at least asking first. There is not an easy resale value for these wines. Recently I have become suspicious of our cleaning lady- who we have had for almost 20 years!- since she does venture to the basement once in awhile and wine first been noticed missing after some recent visits- also times we were not at home. She comes once a month and has always had a key as we have trusted her for all these years. We have never noticed anything else missing and have trusted her implicitly up till now. Sometimes she has a helper but lately she has been working alone in the house.
To complicate things, she also has customers that include our good friend who feeds the cat, other friends, and my wife's boss at work. This creates an added dilemma as we would feel obligated to share this story with them. We do not want to get the police involved, even though the total missing wine is valued under $1000 (keeping in mind that some could just have been an oversight on CT) and there is no real proof anyway other than a single incident picture/rack comparison. We do want to confront her but want to be tactful. Her reputation and a significant part of her business could be ruined if we make this claim which would be made even worse if we are mistaken somehow. We work with her directly as she is self employed so there is no agency involved. I don't expect to be compensated as I have no proof of what was actually taken. We hate to have to let her go but this makes us very uncomfortable. I'd appreciate your opinions on how you would address her as well as how you would handle the situation in general. Thank you.