Madoff's vaunted wine collection a dud

Bernie Madoff, disgraced wino
UPDATE (5/19/11): Bernard Madoff's collection of wines and spirits sold for almost twice its estimated value. Proceeds of the sales will go to the disgraced financier's victims. The pre-sale estimate for the 59 lots was $15,000 to $21,000. The collection ended up going for $41,530 at Wednesday's online auction.

NEW YORK -- "He was clearly not a connoisseur, or a serious wine collector."

In that sentence, one expert in the field summed up the collection of disgraced financial schemer Bernie Madoff.

"He had some good Bordeaux," said Elin McCoy, who writes about wine and spirits for Bloomberg News, "but I am surprised that this is all there was. The guy was a gazillionaire."

Madoff, now serving prison time for his bilking of thousands of people of hundreds of millions of dollars, was particularly fond of Bordeaux. But he also had an apparent taste for liquor, as shown by the bottles of Jose Cuervo, Jack Daniels, and Johnnie Walker Black Label in his collection. It also included a batch of 2-ounce bottles of Smirnoff vodka, Bombay Gin and Grand Marnier liqueur, presumably from a hotel mini bar.

Morrell Company Fine Auctions of New York, which is handling the auction scheduled for Wednesday, says on its website:

"We have humbly accepted the opportunity to sell the seized cellar contents of two properties owned by Bernie Madoff on behalf of the United States Marshal's office. The proceeds from the sale of these items will go towards the general recovery effort.

"As artifacts of history they are unique, which is why we have chosen to offer all of the bottles seized, including those which normally wouldn't pass muster and make it into our auction. Some of the bottles are better viewed as conversation pieces rather than valued for their contents, but conversation pieces they are.

"With such an exciting sale it's hard to know where to begin! Take your time to download our catalogue to scroll through the items in traditional format, or use our search feature to locate some of your favorites. Either way we are confident that there will be something for every wine lover.

"This sale is 'internet only' which means you still have two ways to place bids: absentee, or live during the sale on May 18th. Absentee bids can be placed now or anytime before the lots begin being hammered down on the 18th. Search the catalogue and leave absentee bids now or log in on Wednesday May 18th at 10:00am EST to bid live."

Interested in participating in the auction? Just go here for step-by-step instruction.

To Dowd's Guide to American Wine Trails
To Dowd's Spirits Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Tasting Notes latest entry.
To Dowd's Brews Notebook latest entry.
Back to Dowd On Drinks home page.

No comments: