Last month we revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson was auctioning off his collecting of vintage wines saying that it could raise the former Manchester United manager up to £3 million.
Well after an auction in Hong Kong, the Scotsman is now £2.3 million richer but don’t think that means they went below expectation – as that was only THE FIRST PART of the auction.
About 60 per cent of the collection of about 5,000 bottles was sold alongside memorabilia signed by Ferguson on Saturday.
About a third of the cellar will be offered in London in June and about 10 per cent through Internet sales later that month.
One bottle alone - a methuselah of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Vintage 1997 - sold for a simply mindblowing sum £94,815.
No cheap plonk here!
Other big earners included six bottles of Romanée-Conti Grand Cru 1999 which given the year, were rather aptly packaged with a signed Manchester United shirt from the 1999 Champions League final.
"People keep saying, 'What was the best moment of your life as a manager?' and '99 is without question," Ferguson said in an interview with Elswood to promote the sale.
"There was always this thing about my career that I never had won the Champions League, so to win it in the way we did win it was absolutely fantastically special. And it coincided with a vintage; you were talking about Romanee-Conti '99, a really special year. I think we deserved that."
The cellar spans every year of Ferguson's career with United from 1986 until he retired in 2013.
"Taking an interest in wine allowed me to have an interest outside the game. You have to have outside interests to distract you from the intensity and the pressure you come under as a football manager," explained Ferguson.
"And all of a sudden, two or three years ago, when I'm going through the portfolio, we realise this has got to be an amazing amount of wine. I retired last year, and I thought this was a good time to, to sell it."
When Ferguson was in charge at Old Trafford it became a ritual to treat visiting managers to a glass of his finest, and to accept gift bottles in return.
Ferguson is still believed to have around 800 wines at home that will not be sold.
David Elswood, head of wine at Christie’s, who organized the auction, said Ferguson had excellent taste in picking wines.
"It is remarkable to see that Sir Alex’s talent of picking quality players for the pitch also extends to picking sensational wines for the cellar."
He explained that the most of the big bids came from China, showing the global appeal of the Manchester United brand.
"Chinese buyers continued to dominate in this sale and showed great enthusiasm, especially for the rarest wines of Burgundy, combined with some unique signed memorabilia from Sir Alex,” he said.