Perhaps most members are actually happy with the algorithm? Just a possibility.
I am going to echo @MikeFranklin here.
I have lost far more than I’ve won EP (this round of White Burgundy is the first time I’ve ever won on an actually over subscribed EP). I’d still prefer to go up against the algorithm (Blessed be the algorithm) than have to be online at exactly the right time/be in the right email batch et cetera.
A lot of the “first come first serve” places aren’t and have preferred customers who get first dibs on anything and everything, which I can pretty much guarantee requires a much larger spend over a much longer time than achieving whatever the TWS requirements are. In a lot of cases involves buying other wines you may not even want to get access to the in demand stuff and committing to paying £x a month into an account too.
I’m sure you might be right @MikeFranklin but I prefer to live my life with a little bit more control of my intended outcomes. If I can avoid disappointment I try to. There is a lot of good things about TWS but for me EP is definitely not one of them. Horses for courses I suppose.
I think this is a little unfair.
I’ve been a member 5 years; I don’t buy that much wine. Maybe 50 bottles a year, maybe slightly more. I started EP this year (bored in lockdown…). I’ve got allocated the two I went for. I’ve had no rejections. Either lucky…or some other nefarious reason that I don’t know about
Not an existentialist, then…
@Inbar I’ve rather come to the conclusion that having that attitude to life actually does prolong my existence! So far so good.
If I can find link I’ll post but there was a video recently discussing EP, and TWS said they had considered changing their process a while ago (10? 15 years?) but a member survey concluded most were happy with how it is. Whether or not that is still true I have no idea.
I am sorry if you think I am being cynical.
If TWS states that the deciding factors are quantity of wine bought, spend, orders placed etc, then surely the threshold for these factors can be shared. In my case, in the passed 12 months, I have spent GBP1100, half a dozen orders, bottle price GBP8-25. I do not know how that fits in with their expectations. If I need to buy more, just let me know how much.
All I am seeking is some clarity.
It does also say that even if you do meet the criteria, there’s no guarantee of you getting the wine. You may well meet that criteria and still not have been allocated.
I understand your frustrations (and share them, I missed out on everything I asked for from last years Brunello and the Burlottos I’d asked for in this years Barolo EPs), but the problem with sharing the criteria allows people to game the system, which in turn makes the process more unfair. If we knew exactly how much, you’d get a lot more flippers buying exactly the right amount of stuff and then gobbling up much more of the in-demand/highly flippable wine.
No one has answered the proposal earlier here to say how much some wines were over-subscribed, If people knew that a wine they wanted had had 5 times as many requests as the quantity available, it might not make them happier, but would explain why they didn’t get any. A club I am involved in which organises a range of visits around London started to do this a few years ago, and now that people know that some types are particularly popular, with some ratios of requests to places of 5-10, they understand the problem, and the complaints from the unlucky have gone down.
I’m a (closet) control freak, and it fails more than it works - but I see what you’re saying…
I agree that would be useful information and, as you say, may reduce disappointment at least a little. However it may be that that is considered commercially sensitive information; I’m always amazed at some of the things that commercial organisations consider sensitive. But then I’m equally amazed at the amount of damage some unscrupulous people seem to manage to do to everyday people with astonishingly small amounts of their personal data.
Second post from Toby. Seems to tell everyone the level of oversubscription at the headline level, apologies if I misunderstood the issue.
But what people who didn’t get a particular wine is the figure for that wine (even within a range). On most offers, some wines are under-subscribed, so an average is not much use.
Just as a matter of transparency, I was informed that the “Oncle” cuvee was 168% oversold, and that no member received more than one 6 bottle case.
@Toby.Morrhall said that the Society only received 65% of their normal allocations (which seems to be preferential treatment, given half a crop) and the Offer was 35% oversubscribed!
It strikes me, that no matter what the Society did; they would end up being criticised.
The fact is that there was NEVER going to be enough wine to satisfy demand.
My mind goes back to the Great 2015 Northern Rhone vintage and the Fabulous 2016 Southern Rhone wines, for some of the best Hermitage in '15 and even some lower priced CdR’s from 2016, I got knocked back. I do keep on saying, seriously look at the remainder lists, I did and got this Fichet Bourgogne Banc Vielles Vignes 2018 @£93 per 6. I did have to look back at the 2018 Offer notes, and Vinous & Parker.
Absolutely not - if the exact deciding factors in the algorithm are made public & how much weight is given to each factor etc - then the risk is that canny investors can AND WILL ‘game’ the system to buy and flip sought after bottles.
As an aside, I just punted for a single mixed case - which I got - and that’s that. If I had tried for a case of something more desirable (and personally unaffordable) then I would accept that my chances were much lower.
For me, there are 2 ideas in play that prevent any feelings of disappointment or anger about EP allocations:
there’s far more wine in the world that I would enjoy than I have the time/money to drink. So I ask for an allocation and if I don’t get it, I’ll just use that money to get something else that I’ll probably enjoy just as much, albeit perhaps for different reasons; and
I don’t actually know which wines will give me the most pleasure and hype doesn’t necessarily equate to enjoyment. It’s fun to get something unexpected.
For (1), don’t tick the substitution box; for (2), do.
There’s no point getting annoyed about Burlotto Cannubi when there’s leftover Cavalotto Bricco Boschis.
I only started buying Rostaing Lezardes and The Ogier Rosine when I got knocked back for other Northern Rhone’s in 2015. These were substitutions, the first time that box got ticked, and I was sold. I found out about them, bought back some bottles from earlier vintages and not only discovered their quality but even more so - their drinkability. Nothing the matter with concentration in a wine, but when it can only be sipped, then I dislike that type of wine. I like a wine to be gulpable, not in the greedy sense; more to enhance it’s enjoyability.
And @Aspedini is so right, what is leftover from an EP Offer can be what less well informed Members have rejected, because they made the rookie error of going for the name and not reading posts from the Community (or notes from Society buyer) where there are very knowledgeable Members who are kind enough to share.
Everyone of us got into wine, with zero knowledge.
I think that if you are prepared to open your mind to others experiences, then the quality of your reserves will soar.
I recommend reading Oz Clarke’s book on English wine. Then buying lots of English wine instead. Do love me a bit of Oz.