With the setting of Sunsets in New York and across the world, and the pre-Broadway failure of Whistle Down The Wind, 1997 has been a tough year for Andrew Lloyd Webber, but he became significantly richer -- if dryer -- after a May 20-21 auction of 18,000 wines from his world famous collection. According to the New York Times, the Sotheby's auction netted $6,056,783, more than double the original estimate. The average price was $336 a bottle. One particular "lot," dubbed the "millennium dream cellar super lot," went for nearly $400,000 to the Rio Hotel Group in Las Vegas. A lot of 1947 French Bordeaux sold for $57,730 -- averaging $4,810 a bottle.
Webber has been a wine collector since his youth and has kept his stock in good condition in private cellars in England and France.
--By David Lefkowitz