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Charity Scorecard

April 26, 1998|BRIDGET BYRNE

"We've fed, wined and dined you so you'll be generous," urged event chairwoman Joan Wrede, as she announced the bidding would begin. The 700-plus crowd, happily satiated on a cornucopia of gourmet foods from an assortment of Los Angeles restaurants and a potpourri of wine from California vineyards, responded by raising $276,000 to benefit the L.A. Opera.

The live auction by Christie's on April 19 at the Petersen Automotive Museum was preceded by a couple of hours of tasting--ranging from Drago's venison and porcini mushroom lasagna to Napoleon creme bru^lee from Citrus, accompanied by sips of wines from 39 California and international vineyards.

Once the bidding started, there was wine aplenty to buy, but it certainly wasn't going for a song as connoisseurs and collectors competed, paying $900 for eight bottles of 1966 assorted Bordeaux that probably went for $4 a bottle in the 1960s and $3,200 for a jeroboam of 1989 Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne.

L.A. Opera director Peter Hemmings did his bit by modeling an apron signed by all contributing chefs, including Wolfgang Puck, Michael McCarty and Xiomara Ardolina. It sold for $400.

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