Author Archives: W John Switzer

About W John Switzer

I am wine writer, educator and tour guide. From 2005 to June 2014 I published a bi-weekly newsletter, the Winesights Vintages Newsletter (WVN). This Newsletter was closed in July 2014 when the Government of Canada put in place the onerous administrative requirements of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation. The legacy of WVN continues on this blog spot where I post wine-related articles as well as reviews of a small selection of best-value wines from each bi-weekly LCBO Vintages release. I hold the WSET Diploma, I am a WSET Certified Educator, I teach in the WSET program at the Independent Wine Education Guild in Toronto where I am the Director of the WSET Diploma program. Since 2010 I have been a judge at Decanter World Wine Awards on the Rhône panel and I am a member of the Society of Wine Educators.

LCBO Vintages release – May 16, 2015 (WVN 216)

I am now back home from an intense week of tasting at DWWA. It may be age, it may be the wines, it may be the fact we are in the final stages of packing for a big move; in … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – May 2, 2015 (WVN 215)

I write this week from London where I am participating in the annual Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) as a member of the Rhône panel. There is one worthy value wine from the Rhône on this week’s value list, a … Continue reading

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Ullage, an addendum

First, my wife says she was not proud when she identified the odour of the offending wine as that of a wet basement. On the contrary, she was surprised, if not astounded, she got it right. Second, my wife wanted me … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – April 18, 2015 (WVN 214)

Ullage My wife proudly suggested I write on this topic. I will explain shortly the background for this unusual suggestion but first let me explain the term. Ullage is the space between the bottom of the closure (cork or screw-cap) … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – April 4, 2015 (WVN 213)

In the past I have opened each TWR Vintages posting with a brief comment on the theme of the current Vintages release. In these remarks I have often made unflattering comments about the theme of the release and how poorly … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – March 21, 2015 (WVN 212)

This weekend’s Vintages release is full of very good wines, California icons (the theme for this release), rustic reds from Southwest France and a surprising number of exceptional wines from France, Australia, Italy and Ontario. That’s the good news. The … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – March 7, 2015 (WVN 211)

Wines from Tuscany are featured this weekend at Vintages outlets. Italy – and more specifically, Tuscany – is a favourite for LCBO Vintages buyers. Wines from this part of the world are very attractive – food friendly, full of flavour … Continue reading

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Big news… for wine Ontario

The current issue of Decanter magazine features an article on the best Chardonnays (outside Burgundy). The article reports the results of a recent tasting by three leaders in Burgundy/Chardonnay/New World wines: Stephen Brook, Jasper Morris MW and Steven Spurrier. Brook … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – February 21, 2015 (WVN 210)

Australia 2012 is the theme of this weekend’s Vintages release. Why a specific vintage is the focus is beyond me: I don’t generally consider vintage variation when I think of Australian wines. Australia is a huge continent with a number … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – February 7, 2015 (WVN 209)

The theme of this weekend’s Vintages release is Only in Italy – 11 native grapes. This is an interesting idea that calls for exploration as Italy is the home of hundreds of native grapes, over 300 of which have been … Continue reading

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