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VCP wine selection (and frequency)



Hi @laura

Quick question on the VCP plans. I’ve been happily subscribed for a number of years and no complaints on the wines I receive.

I do however have a question on what wines are allocated and the frequency.

Looking at the introduction here: VCP allocation and payment

  1. I’m guessing that if in the example table, If I start in March or September the wines allocated in February the following year (so 2nd allocation and 1st allocation respectively), will be the same 2 wines. Is that a correct assumption or would the two plans receive different wine allocations in the February?

  2. Assuming the answer to above is “yes that’s correct”, if I then had a 2nd VCP with either a start month of June or December, will ultimately in any given year, will I receive the same wines as those on a March/September schedule or two others.

  3. Bringing those two questions together. If a member has 4 VCP plans each with a different star month of say Claret B (4x6 wines per year), would you end up with:

a) 16 different wines (16 x 6 = 96 bottles), - every start month gets a different allocation.
b) 8 different wines but 2 cases of each (8 x 2 x 6 = 96 bottles) - March/September get the same wines and June/December get the same wines
c) 4 cases (6) of 4 wines ( 4 x 6 x 4 = 96 bottles) - You get the same four wines for every plan, just four cases.

Perhaps an easier way to explain all of the above would be, could you provide the wines that Claret B VCP holders got in calendar year 2019?

Again apologies if this is duplicated or is not clear.

Thanks in advance!


Interestingly, the plan I’m on allocated different wines to different members in August even with the same subscription month. I vuess there may have been a limited pool tho.


This was my understanding - that there are many different wines being allocated based upon what is already in someone’s cellar from previous allocations and sharing out higher value and more sought after wines. My expectation would therefore be that if you had 4 vcp subscriptions then you would get 16 different cases per year.


I was reallocated the same wine in a subsequent allocation. This may have been an aberration, or they don’t look at previous allocations.


I get different vintages from time to time (which is great) but have never had exactly the same wine. I’d contact member services if this happened to me as it seems to fly in the face of the point of the vcp, i.e. building a varied and expertly curated cellar of excellent wine. Also the vcp description for Claret for example states 4 different 6-bottle cases per year.


One cannot help but suspect that these plans are anyway just designed to get rid of slow moving stuff… :wink:


I don’t mind that really, because i pay for it with the profits from flipping the fast moving stuff :moneybag:


So that’s where the Chave went! :laughing:



Hello! Just to confirm - I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to this, but I’ve asked some of the VCP team and I’ll let you know as soon as I hear back. :slight_smile: Probably next week, if that’s alright?


Hi everyone!

Apologies for the delay - we’ve been chatting to everyone involved in VCP (from Merchandising to IT to Buying!) to get a clear picture of all the rules of VCP allocations (there are lots, precisely because of the questions asked in the OP) and we can answer this now, so here goes:

In both these cases, although you will have two allocations in February 2021 (2nd allocation for March start date and 1st allocation for September start date), there are rules in place in our software so they aren’t allocated the same wine. For each allocation, you would receive either two or four different wines (depending on the plan) with six bottles of each.

Correct. You’d receive four different wines (six bottles of each) each year for each Claret B plan.

It’s worth noting here that if a member holds a number of the same plan, starting in the same month, they could either receive identical wines or different wines across the plans each allocation.

Does this help? It’s really complicated (and if I’m being honest, I still don’t fully understand it all…) so please shout if you have any followup questions! :slight_smile:


It’s very clear.

  • If you want more of the same wine then buy multiples VCP of the same month.
  • If you want different wines buy a different start month.

I suppose one last question would be if you had a French Classic C plan and a Claret B plan, is there any chance that you end up with the same wines or does the algorithm work its magic again to make sure tha’ts not the case?

Thanks again


I have a slight follow up question about the algorithms here - is the allocation totally machine-selected? As in, why do I get a particular case and someone else on the same plan/start time get a different one? Are there a certain number of wines allocated to that plan/month and I get a random pick? Or is there some personalisation going on?


Very good questions, both of you! Let me pass this over to our VCP guys and I’ll get back to you ASAP! :smiley:


Hi guys,

I’m SO sorry about this - we had a bit of back-and-forth to get the most accurate possible answer to these followups and we got the answer at the beginning of this week - but I’d missed it in my inbox. Sincere apologies.

The good news is we have answers to your followups!

This isn’t entirely true. We can’t guarantee that you’d receive the same wines if you hold a number of the same plan starting in the same month - it’s all dependent on stock levels of the wines selected for each allocation.

This, on the other hand, is absolutely correct!

Basically: yes, the algorithm works its magic! The algorithm would kick in for the same plans on different rotations. So the ruling is that the same wine won’t be allocated in subsequent allocations, and VCP members can’t receive a follow-on vintage within two years. So that would also cover a member having both a Clarets plan and French Classics (containing Clarets).

This also kind of answers your question, @tom:

So yes, the allocation is machine-selected. The reason one person on one plan might get X case and someone else on the same plan might get Y case is partly due to stock and partly due to previous allocations/members on multiple plans:

Due to the limited amount of very fine wines, we can’t always get enough stock to cater to everyone, so our buyers pick a number of wines for each plan in each allocation to make sure we:

a. have enough wines for everyone on that plan and
b. can account for the allocation rules to stop members being allocated the same wine as a previous allocation/a follow-on vintage if they subscribe to multiple plans.

It’s a bit of a headache keeping up with it all, haha! But the software we use is really good at helping make sure all members get the right wine based on previous allocations etc.

How did I do? Did that all make sense at all?!


There are exceptions to every rule of course. I’ve been allocated the same wine, same vintage, in subsequent allocations of my French classics plan previously.

Not complaining however!


Shame… would have been only to happy to help “relive” you of it :joy::wink:.


There was me imagining the buyers sitting around going through each members’ order history: “oh this guy has a lot of Rhône, maybe semd an Argentinian Malbec this time” :laughing:


Thanks for the detailed response @laura


Have a great weekend