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 – 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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LCBO Vintages release – January 24, 2015 (WVN 208)

Things return to normal this weekend at your local Vintages corner. Normal, of course, means that the hedonistic wines and prices we saw in November and early December have been replaced by a selection of wines that is more reasonable … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – January 10, 2015 (WVN 207)

The first Vintages release for calendar 2015 is now on the shelves of your local LCBO store. This release has a seasonal theme that is fitting for the post-holiday season: Smart Buys. This theme has a simple premise – by … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – December 6, 2014

This weekend’s release marks the end of calendar 2014 for the Vintages team, as this is the last release before the holidays. The release is another big one and it is arguably one of the best release I have seen … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – November 22, 2014 (WVN 205)

The annual holiday season onslaught of special wines for dinners and celebrations continues this weekend at Vintages corners across the province. The theme of the release is Uncork the Finest and this is an apt title. This is a very … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – November 8, 2014 (WVN 204)

It’s official! The LCBO has launched the holiday blitz with this weekend’s Vintages release. The theme is Uncork the Season, a feature which presents over 150 holiday wines. This holiday focus means, of course, prices go through the ceiling. There … Continue reading

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