UPDATE: Good news on the final tally for the MFA auction: It raised $186,000! Most successful in the museum’s history. I’m sure it will stay around for many vintages to come.
You may know Schrader for his stunning Napa cabs over the last 15 – 20 years, or his fabbo ratings from both Parker and Wine Spectator. Folks around here knew Fred long before, more than 30 yards ago when he was just an antique picker, turned auctioneer and art dealer, local boy made good, now made great.
He returned to his Florida hometown this month for the first time in decades to guest star at the Museum of Fine Arts wine festival and auction in St. Petersburg. Schrader played the role with gusto and a big moustache. The two magnums Schrader and wife Carol donated, the 2007 CCS cabernet sauvignon and Old Sparky cab raised $5,500, they had the winning bid of $3,000 for a future penthouse dinner on the St. Pete waterfront and provided a grand wine for the dinner of 250. That was the 2010 Aston Estate Pinot Noir to go with scallops and fredola and Kobe short ribs. The pinot is a newer project he started a few years ago, now coming handsomely into its own. “It takes longer with pinot [than cab], but we’re in the best place on the Sonoma Coast.” He also provided bottles of Double Diamond cab and Vieux-Os zinfandel for a private party.
In return, Schrader got time to walk along a Beach Drive he hadn’t seen in over 25 years. As much as the area enjoyed welcoming him. “It was good for the hometown boy too,” Carol confided.
Local wine lovers chipped in with wines from their cellars, like Margaret and Ed Amley who donated a bottle of Screaming Eagle and two case of super-Tuscans.
When all was bid and done at silent and live auctions, the museum buzzed with hopes that the auction in its second year had raised $100,000; however organizers in the counting house have not come up with a final tally. Their goal is to someday match their neighbors to the south where this year’s Naples Winter Wine Fest raised over $12 million.
Meanwhile, if you missed out on the Schraders, B-21 has a few bottles of the 2006 Double Diamond from Amber Knolls, And if you want to bid on fine bottles for fine art next year, contact the MFA and circle February on your calendar.