Erica L. Sandner, Wine Auction Chair
Suzanne Mulshine and Eileen Murphy, Wine Auction Vice-Chairs
CHICAGO (1/6/20) — Wine Auction 2021, the highly regarded triennial event organized by The Women’s Board of Lyric Opera of Chicago, will return in the spring of 2021 with the diverse wines of Maison Joseph Drouhin as the centerpiece.
Since its 1988 inception, Wine Auction has raised over $13 million in support of Lyric and its learning and engagement programs. The 13th Wine Auction will take place on Saturday, May 8, 2021, following the regular opera season and preceding the company’s annual musical theater production.
Dedicated to the diversity of Burgundy, Maison Joseph Drouhin will be the Honored Guest of Wine Auction 2021. Joseph Drouhin has been in the hands of the Drouhin family for the last 140 years, and with the fourth generation at the helm, they lead with the same passion that inspired the founder of the company. Kirkland & Ellis is the Presenting Sponsor of Wine Auction 2021. Liz Stiffel is the Catalogue Sponsor.
The Honored Guest is traditionally the focal point of Lyric’s Wine Auction, with many special lots available for auction. Other wineries that will be featured at the 2021 Wine Auction include: Blackbird Vineyards (Napa, Cal.), Château d’Esclans (La Motte en Provence, France), Cheval des Andes (Mendoza Province, Argentina), Futo Wines (Oakville, Cal.), Kistler Vineyards (Forestville, Cal.), Résonance Vineyards (Willamette Valley, Ore.), Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery (St. Helena, Cal.), and Willamette Valley Vineyards (Turner, Ore.).
This formal affair draws 400 guests and is held in Lyric’s historic Lyric Opera House, built in 1929 and renowned for its beautiful Art Deco/Art Nouveau décor. Wine Auction 2021 will commence with a reception in the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer, followed by an elegant dinner and live auction on The Ken Pigott Stage of the Ardis Krainik Theatre, specially expanded and decorated for the occasion. Named as one of the Top 10 US Charity Wine Auctions, this evening supports the productions and community-engagement programs of this internationally acclaimed opera company.
Following tradition, a dazzling array of curated wines, luxury items, unique dining experiences, and exquisite travel packages will be featured in the live auction. Auction items will be announced closer to the event date, but one secured highlight item will be a Magnum of 1999 Musigny, donated by Lyric’s Women’s Board in honor of the Honored Guest, Laurent Drouhin.
To add enhanced value to sponsors, the 2021 Wine Auction weekend will feature a new pre-event on Thursday, May 7. Thursday Dinners will allow Wine Auction donors to attend dinners around the city of Chicago, hosted at lavish homes with celebrity chefs and private access to one of the featured vintners, as a benefit of sponsorship.
Erica L. Sandner (Chicago) is the Wine Auction 2021 Chair, after co-chairing Wine Auction 2015 and Opening Night Opera Ball 2018. Sandner has been on Lyric’s Women’s Board since 2010 and has chaired the Women’s Board Graham Room Committee since 2016. She works as an Underwriting Manager for Brokers’ Risk, an insurance company specializing in alternative risk financing. Suzanne Mulshine (Chicago) and Eileen Murphy (Chicago) are the Wine Auction 2021 Vice Chairs. Mulshine joined Lyric’s Women’s Board in 2018 and before that, she served as President and General Counsel of Welsh, Inc. from 1993-2001 and as President of Welsh Holdings from 2001-2018. Murphy has been a Lyric Woman’s Board member since 2009 and a Lyric subscriber since 1999. During her tenure Murphy has chaired Lyric’s Annual Meeting in 2012, co-chaired the Spring Musical Celebration (Carousel) in 2015, co-chaired Opening Night Opera Ball in 2016, and served as Women’s Board Vice President of Board Activities in the 2016|17 and 2017|18 seasons.
Over the coming months, the Wine Auction 2021 committee of Lyric’s Women’s Board will solicit additional fine-wine and other luxury donations. To learn more about Wine Auction, please visit www.lyricopera.org/wineauction. For donation or sponsorship information, please contact the Boards Office at 312-827-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.