Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I saw a wine auction where a case of wine was touted as being "banded." What does that mean? Is it important?
—Bob, New York
Some wines are sold in wood cases secured by a strap or band around the box. If a wine lot at auction is listed as “banded,” that indicates the box hasn’t been opened. In the auction world, that can certainly add to a wine’s value.
Paul Walker, a director of sales for WineBid, told me the most famous of the “banded cases” are the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti wood boxes, which are bound by a metal band.
“There are quite a few Bordeaux producers who also use plastic or other material around their packaging for the wines," he says, "and domestic producers as well: One of my favorites is Next of Kyn [from Sine Qua Non's Manfred Krankl], which uses a giant rubber band, which helps fasten together the large box containing a magnum and three 750ml bottles.”
Even though a banded case can fetch a little bit more money at auction, documented pristine provenance is usually the most important factor (beyond authentication of the wine's identity) when it comes to assessing a wine's value at auction.
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.