Bernie Madoff's cellar nets $41,530 in auction

Remember Bernie Madoff? The most notorious of the white-collar criminals nailed when the economy was going to hell for using the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history to swindle investors -- including several Coloradans -- out of a cool $65 billion?

Well, he's now serving 150 years in the pokey, so he probably won't be needing the collection of vino he waved goodbye to yesterday: The bottles seized from the wine cellar in his Miami vacation home brought in $41,530 at an auction.

The pre-bid cellar value was estimated at somewhere between $15,000 and $21,000; the former investment adviser had a fairly unimpressive collection, save for the case of '96 Mouton Rothschilds (1996 happened to be a pretty good vintage in Bordeaux) that went for $6,800. Even so, a handful of mini-bar bottles, about $20 worth of booze, netted $300 -- apparently you just can't assign a value to a two-ounce conversation piece once owned by a world-class dick who probably pilfered it from an airplane or hotel room.

Still, the auction was all for a good cause: all proceeds go to compensating victims, and while $41 Gs may be a drop in the bucket of $65 billion, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye, right? Right.

Follow @CafeWestword on Twitter

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk