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Chicago Lyric Opera Seeks Lovers of Wine and Song

Harvey Steiman
Posted: November 5, 1999

Chances are, even the man who has everything doesn't have a jeroboam of '88 Cristal. And that, hopes the Women's Board of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, will attract bidders to its upcoming Vivace Wine Auction 2000.

Taking a humorous approach to its sixth benefit wine auction, the board has been running magazine and postcard ads such as, "Sold. To the gentleman who obviously appreciates that in just three years he can turn around and sell this for an obscene profit," and, "Your husband would gripe if you brought home another pair of shoes. So bring home the '88 La Tbche instead."

If helping to fund the opera's programs isn't enough reason, maybe laughter will help convince collectors to donate their prized bottles and convince buyers to part with whatever it takes to bring home a new treasure. If not, there's always blackmail: "Bid big on the '61 Haut-Brion and we won't tell your wife about the Montrachet you've got stashed away downtown."

The board is seeking wine donations for the auction until Dec. 1. Tickets will then go on sale for the Feb. 25 event, which will included dinner on the Lyric Opera's stage, set with a scene from "Falstaff." The price is $250 per person.

So far, the Sara Lee Corp., based in Chicago, has made the biggest donation: 21 cases of first-growth Bordeaux, including one lot consisting of one bottle each of all five first-growths in the 1990, 1986, 1985 and 1982 vintages. Other Bordeaux lots include a bottle of Chbteau Latour 1937, a case of Chbteau Margaux 1989 and six magnums of Chbteau La Mission-Haut-Brion 1970.

California offerings include such rarities as a magnum of Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Lake Vineyard 1992, a double magnum of Harlan Estate 1995, a magnum of Colgin Cabernet Sauvignon 1994, a magnum of Heitz Martha's Vineyard 1985 and a 14-bottle vertical of Dominus.

For more information, call the Women's Board of the Lyric Opera at (312) 827-5682.

* * *

For past reports on the Lyric Opera's auctions:

  • May 15, 1997
    Bidders Sing the Praises of Chicago's Lyric Opera

  • May 15, 1994
    Chicago Wine Auction Raises More Than $350,000 for Lyric Opera

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