I’m afraid you’ve got that wrong - it isn’t random at all. We email a carefully targeted selection of members (I’ve explained a bit more about this above).
If we send the email in several batches, then which members (from this carefully targeted group) goes in which batch is decided randomly, in the interest of fairness. This way, if the wine sells out quicker than expected, we can cancel future batches and avoid disappointment.
Of course, the alternative is sending the email to the entire targeted group of interested members at once (or even just to every single active member, to make sure everyone that might want it gets the chance!), but in the past we found this caused huge disappointment, as so many members will click the email and try to buy the wine only to find out it’s sold out. This understandably can prompt people to ask why we sent the email to so many people in the first place if we thought it would sell out quickly, as it causes unnecessary disappointment - which is part of the reason why we started sending some emails in batches (depending on various factors).
There’s no perfect system to make sure no one gets disappointed, unfortunately. Sometimes, there’s simply too many interested parties and not enough wine - even an allocation system like En Primeur can cause disappointment. We just try our best to minimise that as much as possible. This time, it didn’t go as expected and in hindsight there are things we could have done differently - but this will inform our decisions moving forward as we continue to try to improve.
We do a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure wherever we can that these wines are purchased by drinkers and not investors, and if members are re-selling such wines then they are breaking the rules they signed up for.