I’ve been tempted for a VCP for years… but always held off for various reasons. Finally pulled the trigger on the new Small Wonders plan - low enough outlay to not mind the punt, and I like surprises so looking forward to what I end up with.
Anyone else gone for this plan?
Also, a question for the experienced - If I really, really don’t like something allocated, is it possible to swap out?
I did think about it but…i’m too much of a control freak to hand over control of wine buying
I know people will say you won’t step out of a comfort zone as I will always buy the same kind of things but i) its on of the reasons i’m on here, to see what others recommend and ii) whats wrong with buying what you like ?!
This was partly what was holding me back before - mainly for the French plans as I buy Rhone/Burgundy/Bordeaux ep every year anyway and I like to pick and choose. But this is cheap enough to funnel a little of the budget over to chance. I’ll give it a year and see what I get
I have been on a Rising Stars and World Classics plan in the past and had no problem if I didn’t like a particular allocation. Member Services would either refund your account or bank account straight away.
Had a bottle of 2008 only the other day - it was still very much singing!
I’ve asked our VCP team about this, and the answer is: yes, although it’s very rare that this happens - and for that reason, the system isn’t really set up for it, to be completely honest. So on the rare occasion when it does happen, it’s worth noting it can be a little bit problematic - the way the VCP system works, we can’t ‘blacklist’ a wine from a members’ preferences, so if we swap it out in one allocation, there’s no way of stopping it ending up in another allocation of theirs in future!
It’s also not technically a bespoke cellar plan service, so if you’re keen to choose your own wines, it might not be right for you - but another idea is you could contact our Fine Wine Advisers, and they could help you choose your own bespoke wines to cellar, and guide you through any kinds of wines you’re interested in to help you. You’d lose the ‘automated’ part of VCP, but you’d gain a more personalised service and would still end up with a very cool cellar of wines! (On a personal note, Mr Laura is part of the Fine Wine Advice team and I know he loves helping people pick out wines for laying down. )
I do that anyway with ep purchases, so I’m happy to have the surprises, but this was more about making sure I’m not stuck with something I know I won’t like (as an example, I’ve never had a Pinotage I’ve enjoyed, and would probably want to reject that if one was allocated, but I assume that won’t be every time!)
I’ve been on the rising stars plan for some time so have been automatically transferred to the new small wonders plan. I have never been disappointed with the selections and it has led me to try things I may well not otherwise have done.
I also, as others have said, prefer to choose my own Bordeaux/Rhône/Burgundy etc and enjoy the risk factor of buying EP on my own research.
One thing that would be nice to see, particularly since the change to small wonders (to link up with the section of the same name in the fine wine list) would be an option to have some white wines included in the allocations if requested. Many on the small wonders pages fulfill the 3-5 years ageing ability criteria of the VCP. There may of course be a very sensible reason why this is not the case…
I’ve swapped out before and it was fairly straightforward. Dropped WS an e-mail. They credited my account with relevant amount. A fine wine advisor got in touch with a list of alternatives and I took the plunge on something else.