@Jonathon I’ve been a vcp subscriber since 2015.
- Vintages selected tend to be ~3-7 years old - so if you are backfilling having missed EP then it is a great solution
- Prices are very reasonable, charging the same as list. There used to be a guarantee about it being 5% lower than list price, but this was quietly scrapped a few years ago.
- Vintage selection appears to be skewed towards excellent vintages, so your cellar will likely pile up with the best vintages and maybe a few cases of intermediate years (my experience only - there’s nothing guaranteed about this).
- Free 1 year storage for wines bought on VCP - worth taking into consideration ~?12GBP?pa
- Genuinely excellent selections.
- Pretty much everything is available EP so when you find something you really like you can start following it EP too.
- Risk free - you can say no to any allocation and get your money back.
- The guarantee was dropped so you don’t always get below list price. The reason they did this until recently this was VCPs allowed TWS to smooth out over/under purchased wines over vintages, providing buffer and reducing risk of stock issues (Some of that is assumption, some comments made by TWS staff in the past). But they dropped it without fanfare. I was a bit miffed when I discovered the drop on one of my plans.
- You don’t get the fun of selecting yourself.
I saw it as a great introduction to cellar building and have used it for the last 6 years. I now feel I’ve learnt enough and have broadened my horizons sufficiently to know what I want to follow and where to buy. That and the reduction in service and the fact that member services were a tad defensive when I inquired about the loss of the discount made my decision to relinquish after my next allocation. It has been a lot of fun and if you’re starting your journey I’d say it is the best in class entry-point for building a cellar with some guidance.
My understanding is that I’ll get 6 bottles of wine, quarterly, with each quarter being identical bottles.
Twice a year (for me that is March and September) you’ll be allocated two 6-bottle cases. In my experience these will be different wines:
- 6 bottles of Claret 1, 6 bottles of Rhone 1
6 month wait
- 6 bottles of Claret 2, 6 bottles of Burgundy 1
I have heard that some members get duplication - depends how many plans you have.
I’ve used two different Claret plans as well as French Classics. All of the selections brilliant.
I’m wondering how many people use these, what they think and if they discern a big difference between these bottles and those that might be ‘drink now’.
Huge step up in quality from everyday drinkers in my opinion. Do you have much experienced with aged wines? If not then buckle up because you’re in for an expensive treat!
Word of warning, I believe strongly that TWS drink dates are seriously conservative (as do some others on this forum); the ‘drink by’ date I take to be the start date for Rhone, Rioja, Musar, Bdx, and Bdx blends)