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 past 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 – December 10, 2016 (WVN 251)

This weekend marks the last Vintages release of 2016 and thus the last before the Christmas and New year’s holiday celebrations.  There are some 160 distinct products offered in this release and if it isn’t the largest release ever, it … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – November 26, 2016 (WVN 250)

As the holiday season looms it’s a good time to seek out some good-value sparkling wines.  The Vintages team has delivered this weekend with a couple that meet the test, one from France and the other from South Africa. Neither … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – November 12, 2016 (WVN 249)

There are some special wines on this weekend’s list, so the prices are a bit higher than the TWR norm. No apologies will be given – these are wines for occasions so buy a few bottles and put them aside.  … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – October 15 and 29, 2016 (WVN 248)

First, apologies to loyal readers who were not well served by TWR at the last Vintages release.  I was pre-occupied by a personal matter that diverted my attention for several days. In any case, I provide below my comments on … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – October 1, 2016 (WVN 247)

This week’s Vintages selection is notable for a high number of high quality, pricy wines that don’t make the grade when it comes to value.  As a result, I haven’t been able to find my standard of 5 value wines … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – September 17, 2016 (WVN 246)

Prices for this weekend’s selections are higher than normal but from time to time we find exceptional values priced above my informal $20.00 per bottle value-ceiling.  I firmly believe you don’t need to spend a lot of money to find … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – September 3, 2016 (WVN 245)

This weekend’s value selections feature some diverse, interesting wines that are all well-priced.  There are a couple of keepers that will evolve nicely with some time in cellar. Ontario, Niagara – VQA Beamsville Bench Cave Spring Vineyard Estate Bottled Gewürztraminer … Continue reading

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General List Mixed case reviews – late summer 2016

In the past I written tasting notes in the early summer to celebrate the General List wines readers will find in their local LCBO stores in cottage country. It’s been a while since I have conducted such a review of … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – August 20, 2016 WVN 244)

This weekend all our best-value selections will serve well at late summer lunches or dinners.  The following five wines each has wonderful character and elevated acidity.  In other words, this is a collection of fine, food-friendly wines. Ontario, Niagara – … Continue reading

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LCBO Vintages release – August 6, 2016 (WVN 243)

Distribution update! For the first time in many years rumblings of change are gaining momentum in the Canadian wine industry. For Ontarians the last notable change was when stores opened their back-room stocks to self-serve displays. The first self-serve store … Continue reading

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